TOP 5 IN WORLD FOR GB?
8th February 2017
British Ski & Snowboard has announced ambitious plans to compete with the very best skiing and snowboarding countries in the world.
A year to the day until the next Winter Olympics open in PyeongChang, South Korea, the sport’s UK governing body announced on Thursday that its goal was for GB to become one of the world’s top 5 snowsport nations by 2030.
The long-term plan involves bringing a world-class coaching structure to all Olympic ski and snowboard disciplines.
The aim is to win medals at the Olympics and other major international competitions, and not only in Park & Pipe, where Britain is already one of the leading nations.
Our freeski and snowboard athletes have been achieving some outstanding results already this season with several World Cup and X Games podiums.
There’s also been success in Alpine, with Dave Ryding’s World Cup silver, Telemark and other disciplines.
PlanetSKI reported on a remarkable 10 days for GB snowsports.
The vision has been developed under the new Performance Director Dan Hunt, who joined BSS last autumn and has a background in elite cycling and football, and the BSS Chairman, Rory Tapner.
The first phase will involve following in the footsteps of GB Park & Pipe and putting in place a world-class coaching structure for each Olympic discipline.
With these coaches, British Ski and Snowboard will develop strategic plans based on identifying, supporting and retaining the best British snowsport talent and engaging them in sustainable, funded, high performance programmes.
Everything will be geared towards podium success at major international competitions and the Olympics.
Raising funds to bring the vision to reality will also be a key part of the strategy.
In the autumn British Ski and Snowboard launched two new fundraising schemes to help support future winter Olympians and talented up-and-coming athletes as well as increase grassroots participation.
You can read more in our report on the initiatives here.
“We have a very clear plan of how we can work towards our long-term goal,” says Performance Director Dan Hunt.
“We are already one of the world’s strongest nations in the Park and Park disciplines, and we truly believe that if we can bring in the right coaching talent, and of course the funding, we can develop a world-beating nation across all snowsport disciplines, including those in which we currently only have a few athletes, such as Ski Jumping.”
BSS Chairman Rory Tapner says sponsorship and fundraising are a crucial part of the plan.
“We have got to where we are today with huge help from our principal sponsor Delancey, and of course from UK Sport and the National Lottery for our Park and Pipe athletes.
“Athletes, parents and friends also make financial contributions, but to try and become one of the best snowsports nations in the world, bringing money in to realise this dream is vital.
“We launched the British Snowsports Fund because we know skiers and snowboarders are passionate and want to support our elite athletes. We are also on a clear mission to bring in money from commercial partners and would appeal to any companies interested in supporting British snowsports to get in touch.”
Dan Hunt says the current performances by British athletes bode well for PyeongChang in a year’s time.
“This season has already been phenomenal for us, particularly with a World Cup win from Katie Ormerod, an X Games gold from James Woods and our first Alpine podium for 35 years when Dave Ryding clinched second in Kitzbühel.
“We are confident that we can go to Korea in a year’s time and exceed the success we saw at Sochi 2014, and bring home more snowsports medals for Great Britain.”
There is also the possibility of a medal at the Alpine World Ski Championships, underway in St Moritz, with Dave Ryding going in the slalom on 19th February.
Some of GB’s top achievements this season to date:
November 2016 – Katie Ormerod, 2nd Pleasure Jam, Dachstein
November 2016 – Katie Ormerod, 3rd Big Air World Cup, Alpensia
November 2016 – Aimee Fuller, 4th Big Air World Cup, Moscow
December 2016 – Katie Ormerod, 2nd Big Air World Cup, Moenchengladbach
December 2016 – Billy Morgan, 3rd Big Air World Cup, Moenchengladbach
December 2016 – Katie Ormerod, 1st Big Air World Cup, Moscow
January 2017 – Dave Ryding, 2nd Slalom World Cup, Kitzbühel
January 2017 – Jamie Nicholls, 2nd Slopestyle World Cup, Seiser Alm
January 2017 – Katie Ormerod, 3rd, X Games Slopestyle, Aspen
January 2017 – James Woods, 1st X Games Big Air, Aspen
January 2017 – Andrew Musgrave, 6th Nordic World Cup, Ulricehamn
February 2017 – Katie Ormerod, 2nd Air + Style, Innsbruck
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