Fourteen athletes and guides confirmed for selection ahead of 2022/23 season
GB Snowsport are delighted to announce the Para Alpine and Para Snowboard squads who will represent the nation through the 2022/23 season.
In total, fourteen athletes and guides have been selected ahead of the start of the season.
In Para Alpine, Britain’s most decorated Winter Paralympian, Menna Fitzpatrick is selected alongside Beijing 2022 Gold Medallist, Neil Simpson and new squad member, Michael Kear, in the VI classification, while Beijing Paralympians Shona Brownlee and Alex Slegg will compete in the sitting classification following a glut of highly encouraging performances last season.
Current VI Guides Andrew Simpson, Katie Guest, Gary Smith and Adam Hall will continue in their roles supporting the VI Athletes and will be joined, on an initial trial basis, by Louise Harrison who has been guiding Michael Kear for the previous five seasons.
The Para Alpine team will be looking to build on an astonishing 2021/22 season which saw them take five Paralympic medals, including a memorable Gold in the Super-G for Neil and Andrew Simpson and seven World Championships medals, crowned by Menna Fitzpatrick and Katie Guest’s Gold in the Slalom.
Millie Knight, whose performances alongside Guide Brett Wild in Lillehammer and Beijing yielded three medals, has elected to take a year out from skiing after completing three highly successful Paralympic Games cycles, while Wild confirmed his retirement from the sport following the conclusion of the Beijing Paralympic Winter Games.
In Para Snowboard, Britain’s first ever Paralympic Snowboard medallist, Ollie Hill, is named alongside multiple World Championship medal winner James Barnes-Miller. Joining them will be two new athletes who have moved up from the Development squad, Cycling Paralympic gold medallist Jon-Allan Butterworth will compete alongside Barnes-Miller in the SB-UL classification and Nina Sparks becomes Britain’s first female competitor since 2017 and will compete in the SB-LL2 classification.
2017 and 2019 World Championships silver medallist Owen Pick has joined Millie Knight in choosing to take a year out from the programme, while Andy MacLeod exits the programme having competed at the Beijing Paralympic Winter Games earlier this year.
Jayne Kavanagh, GB Snowsport Head of Paralympic Programmes, said:
“The strength of the Para Alpine and Para Snowboard squads this year is testament to the incredible successes that British Para Snowsport has enjoyed over recent years. Even as the standard of competition across the world increases every year, British athletes continue to stand at the forefront of Para Snowsport and are deservedly recognised for the world class athletes that they are.
“This is an incredibly exciting year for Para Snowsport as the disciplines fall under the oversight of FIS for the first time, and I’m certain that British athletes will continue to excel as the sport enters a new phase of its development.
“For those athletes exiting the programme this year temporarily or permanently, it’s important to place on record our thanks and congratulations for the success they’ve had and the impact they’ve made on British skiing and snowboarding. We wish them well, and will always consider them a vital part of the GB Snowsport family.”
Ollie Hill, Beijing Paralympic Games and Lillehammer World Championships bronze medallist, said:
“Last year was unbelievable, and to come home at the end of the season with medals from the World Championships and the Paralympics was an absolute dream.
“We have without a doubt some of the best coaches and support staff, without them we would be nowhere. We have been working hard on and off snow through summer, ready to show the world what’s up again this year. We will bring it to the very best!”
There is no Para Nordic squad named at present while GB Snowsport appeals against UK Sport’s decision not to fund the Para Nordic programme through the Milan-Cortina Paralympic cycle. While we await the outcome of that appeal, GB Snowsport are continuing to explore every avenue to support Britain’s Para Nordic athletes to train and compete throughout this season.
- Shona Brownlee
- Menna Fitzpatrick
- Katie Guest (Guide)
- Adam Hall (Guide)
- Louise Harrison (Guide)
- Michael Kear
- Andrew Simpson (Guide)
- Neil Simpson
- Alex Slegg
- Gary Smith (Guide)
- James Barnes-Miller
- Jon-Allan Butterworth
- Ollie Hill
- Nina Sparks
Header Image: Menna Fitzpatrick reacts in the Para Alpine Skiing Women’s Super-G Vision Impaired during day two of the Beijing 2022 Winter Paralympics (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images. Paralympics GB)