On a week of unprecedented success for British skiers and snowboarders, the nation’s athletes delivered 12 medals including three golds in a show of strength that confirms Britain’s standing as home to some of the world’s most exciting snowsport competitors.
At the Para Alpine World Championships Espot, Spain, Neil Simpson and Rob Poth banked gold, silver, and bronze medals in the Super-G, Slalom, and Giant Slalom respectively, crowning a 12-month period that secured gold and bronze medals in the Beijing 2022 Paralympic Winter Games for Simpson alongside his brother Andrew, as well as silver in the Super-Combined on Simpson’s World Championships debut in Lillehammer last year. Skiing together for the first time at major competition, after injury to Andrew in training over the winter, Simpson and Poth delivered a string of outstanding race performances amid fierce competition from the Italian pairing of Giacomo Bertagnolli and Andrea Ravelli, and Austria’s Joannes Aigner and Matteo Fleischmann.
In the Women’s VI Class, Menna Fitzpatrick and Katie Guest continued to show the form which has made Fitzpatrick Britain’s most decorated winter Paralympian with outstanding silver and bronze medal performances in the Giant Slalom and the Slalom, echoing the two medals the pair took at last year’s Lillehammer World Championships.
The Para Nordic World Championships in Ostersund, Sweden, meanwhile delivered a richly-deserved silver medal for Scott Meenagh in the 12.5km Biathlon. Meenagh, whose performances throughout the Championships were exceptional, finally took the podium that he has battled towards for so long, with a pristine shooting performance matched by a blistering ski pace. In the process, Meenagh delivered a first ever British Para Nordic World Championships medal, proving beyond doubt his strength as a skier and as a competitor at the highest levels of one of the most physically demanding sports in the world.
The 2023 X Games in Aspen, Colorado, saw three of the stars of British Freeski and Freestyle Snowboard invited to compete, with Zoe Atkin taking gold in a jaw-dropping display of half-pipe skiing, Kirsty Muir securing a brace of bronze medals in Slopestyle and Big Air that confirmed her status as one of the sport’s most promising athletes, and Mia Brookes a superb sixth place on her X Games debut. The team’s performances propelled Britain to seventh in the medal table, and saw some of Britain’s finest young athletes matched with the world’s best and most exciting freestyle talent.
Freestyle medals were also in the offing at the European Youth Olympic Festival where Team GB flagbearer, Charlie Lane, took gold in Freestyle Snowboard Slopestyle and silver in Big Air. At just 16 years of age, Lane’s performances continue a meteoric rise for the young Brit who first competed at international level in 2020.
In Moguls, Makayla Gerken-Schofield’s superb 2022/23 season finally brought the World Cup podium that her performances have so richly deserved, with third place in the Val St. Come Dual Moguls World Cup. Having taken eighth place in the previous day’s single Moguls contest, Gerken-Schofield’s third spot means she becomes the second Gerken-Schofield to take a Moguls World Cup podium following older brother Thomas Gerken-Schofield’s history-making second place in Krasnoyarsk in 2020, and leaves her having not finished outside the top-10 in any of the season’s seven World Cup competitions to date. In the Men’s competitions, Mateo Jeannesson took 31st in single Moguls and 40th in Dual Moguls, while Makayla’s fellow Beijing 2022 Olympian, Will Feneley, came 36th and 31st in single and Dual Moguls respectively.
With the Cross-Country World Championships on the horizon, Andrew Musgrave, Andrew Young, and James Clugnet were in action at the Les Rousses World Cup, with Young’s 15th place finish in the Sprint C the highlight of the team’s performances. Young also added a 47th and 50th place in the 10km F and 20km C, while Musgrave finished 17th, 52nd, and 35th in 10km F, Sprint C, and 20km C. Clugnet, meanwhile, was 61st in 10km F and 48th in Sprint C.
Alpine interests were focused on Schladming and Spindleruv Mlyn, with the Men’s Slalom and GS teams in action in Schladming, and Reece Bell returning for only the second World Cup race of her career in Spindleruv Mlyn, Dave Ryding delivering the week’s best performance with a 12th place finish in the Schladming Slalom WC.
The Alpine World Junior Championships concluded, with Calum Langmuir and Giselle Gorringe seeing the pick of the results. Langmuir’s 17th in the Men’s Super-G was a performance of real grit and promise, while Gorringe’s 23rd place in the Women’s Super-G left her unfortunate not to secure a top-20 spot, but still with much to reflect positively on. The Men’s Downhill, meanwhile, saw all three British entrants finish within the top-40, with Calum Langmuir in 32nd, Dominic Shackleton in 34th and Max Laughland in 37th. Further finishes were secured by Louis de Pourtales, Laughland, and Langmuir in the Men’s Giant Slalom.
The GB Snowsport Results Round-Up is brought to you by Snow+Rock.