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British Olympic Team announced
Tuesday January 26, 2010 - Email this article to a friend

The skiers and snowboarders have been named as the British hope to bring home some medals in next month's Winter Games in Vancouver. Last time we got 1 silver medal, but this time we should do better.

There are no real surprises but the athletes will be pleased to see their names officially on the list.

In alpine skiing Chemmy Alcott is the only woman on the team, while for the men there is Ed Drake, Dave Ryding and Andy Noble.

In snowboarding Zoe Gillings will be competeting in the snowboard cross, while Ben Kilner and Lesley McKenna will be represting Team GB in the snowboard half pipe.

In the bob sleigh we have Nicola Minichiello and Gillian Cooke, plus Paula Walker and Kelly Thomas.  In the luge Adam Rosen has been selected.

The team was announced at Somerset House in London on Tuesday afternoon.

"Alpine skiing is one of the most fiercely competitive sports in the Olympic Winter Games, and it's testament to the dedication of our athletes and coaches that we continue to produce top-class performances. I'm hoping that all our skiers will rise to the occasion and take as much as they can from this experience, and I really hope they'll inspire more people to push themselves towards fulfilling their own Olympic ambitions," says the British Alpine ski team head coach, Mark Tilston.

Perhaps the one surprise though is the omission of 28-year old Noel Baxter, the brother of Alain Baxter. He has participated on the last 2 Winter Games but he has recently been out of form and so is out of the team.

For a look at an earlier PlanetSKI preview of the skiers see here and we have another preview piece on the luge, skeleton and bobsleigh.

Alcott in actionAlcott in action

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The names announced today are from 4 sports and 7 disciplines and they join the 24 athletes who have already been announced to travel to the Games as part of Team GB.

It brings the total to 43 athletes across 6 sports and 10 different disciplines.

"Within this group of athletes, we have a wonderful mixture of potential and experience. There are World Champions, but also teenagers who may not truly reach their peak until the 2018 Olympic Winter Games," says Andy Hunt, Team GB Chef de Mission.

"It's an exciting team - the best of British in winter sport - and we're doing everything we can to allow these athletes to fulfil their potential and achieve a personal best for Team GB in Vancouver."

The athletes themselves are obviously delighted to be on the team sheet and looking forward to competing.

chemmy_alcott_default.11Chemmy Alcott, alpine skiing: "The Olympic Winter Games are without doubt the biggest event in our sport, so it's a massively exciting prospect for me to be going as part of Team GB. Last time out, in Turin four years ago, I came 11th, but this time my aspirations are higher. I don't just want to break into the top ten - I do believe I've got the talent to challenge for a medal, and a gold one would be fantastic!

"Representing your country is something very, very special. I've hugely enjoyed my previous Olympic experience, but I hope this will be the best of them all."

 

ed_drake_default.49Ed Drake, Alpine skiing: “It’s an enormous honour to be selected as Team GB, and I feel it’s a reward for a huge amount of hard work that I’ve put into my skiing. The prospect of going to an Olympic Games is a fantastic one for me, and I just can’t wait to get out there.

"A lot of people have helped me along the way and I hope this is a reward for them as well.”

 

zoe_gillings_small.35Zoe Gillings, snowboard cross: "Representing your country really is the ultimate honour, and I make no secret of how much I love being part of Team GB. As an athlete who normally competes on her own, there's something fantastic about pulling on team kit and joining up with your team-mates, and I can't wait for the Opening Ceremony. I think it's going to be awesome.

"I'm even more excited about going to these Olympics than I was about going to Turin. I've been thinking of Vancouver ever since the Closing Ceremony in 2006, and I'm really hopeful of making my country proud. My ambition is to come back with a medal."

ben_kilner_default.31Ben Kilner, snowboard half pipe: "I've always wanted to represent my country at an Olympic Winter Games, so getting selected for Team GB really does feel like one of the greatest achievements of my career.

"Snowboarding is obviously massive in Canada, so it should be a great competition to be involved in, and it will feel particularly special to be out there with a Union Flag on my back."

 

images_02Nicola Minichiello, bobsleigh: "It's no exaggeration to say that, since we won the World Championship last year, everything that our team has done has been focused around the Olympic Winter Games. Our aim has always been to hit peak form when we reach Vancouver, and that's what we plan to achieve. Our season hasn't always gone according to plan, but those who know us also know that Gillian and I flourish in the face of adversity.

"Being selected to be part of Team GB is one of the greatest thrills you can imagine, but we're now focused on making then most of this opportunity on the biggest stage of all."

images_03Adam J Rosen, luge: "After competing at the 2006 Olympic Winter Games, I was desperate to get back to the Olympic environment in 2010. I learned a lot four years ago, and feel I've improved as an athlete, and that I've picked up a lot of valuable experience. But a few months ago I had a bad accident while training in Whistler and had to undergo a lot of rehabilitation work to get myself back into shape. It's been hard, but the one thing that's always kept me going has been a determination to be part of Team GB at the Games.

"The track in Whistler is a monster but it's a fantastic challenge. Despite that crash, I can't wait to get back to Canada and get back to action. I'm keeping my goal to myself, but it's enough to say that I want to make sure I show my best form at this, the biggest event in sport."

The athletes selected to Team GB today are:

Alpine skiing:               Andy Noble, Dave Ryding, Ed Drake, Chemmy Alcott

Biathlon:                      Lee-Steve Jackson

Bobsleigh:                   Nicola Minichiello and Gillian Cooke

                                      Paula Walker and Kelly Thomas

Cross-country skiing:     Andrew Musgrave, Andrew Young, Fiona Hughes

Luge                         Adam Rosen

Snowboard PGS:            Adam McLeish

Snowboard cross:          Zoe Gillings

Snowboard half-pipe:      Ben Kilner, Lesley McKenna

Ski aerials:                    Sarah Ainsworth

Ski moguls:                   Ellie Koyander

There are 13 Snowsport athletes comprise of four skiers, four snowboarders, three cross country skiers and two freestyle skiers. Here's the reaction of some of the others;

Andy Noble, Alpine Skiing:  “I'm obviously over the moon about my selection to Team GB. Racing in the Olympics has been my biggest dream and goal since I was young boy watching Alberto Tomba win a handful of Olympic medals in '88 and '92. It means so much to me to represent my country in an Olympic Games, and signifies a stepping stone for my career as an athlete. As it's my first Olympics I hope to compete to my highest level and contend for a top 20 position in the Giant Slalom. I'm not, at the moment, considering medalling in these Games, but I will use the opportunity given to me to perform to my best and use the experience in order to target medals in Sochi 2014, which is when I should be peaking as an athlete”.
 
Dave Ryding, Alpine Skiing: "I am over the moon!  Going to the Games has been a live long goal of mine, I’ll give 110% to ski well and pull out a good performance.  Between now and the Games I’ll be preparing in Europe racing and training until I fly over in February".

Sarah Ainsworth, Freestyle Skiing: “I'm really proud to be selected to represent GB in the biggest sporting event in the world and am very excited to be a part of the whole Olympic Games experience. At the games I hope to do two good jumps that get me the best result I can. Realistically this Olympics is mainly about gaining as much experience as I can for the future.  As the only British Aerial skier on the World Cup tour I'm really looking forward to being part of a team at the Games and not just any team, the best British athletes from all different disciplines”.
 
Ellie Koyander, Freestyle Skiing:  “It's just indescribable how I feel at this moment in time, words cannot explain it.  When I look back at all the hard work over the last five years with all my coaching team travelling around the world, it starts to puts into perspective just what an incredible journey it been for us. There's nothing easy about elite level performance and there have been so many ups and downs, but its all come together year upon year. I have such a long career ahead of me in moguls and I am sure that everything that I take away from the Vancouver Games will really feed into my next 4 year cycle towards Sochi ....in the meantime I am very focused on producing my best at the Games, and my clear target is to make the finals. I am so proud to have been selected to Team GB, it’s an honour that few people have in their life.  I am going out to the Olympics to ski my absolute best and I really feel ready!”

Fiona Young, Cross Country Skiing: “I’m excited about the opportunity to represent my country at the Olympics and I’m really looking forward to competing.   I’m only going to take part in one event this time, the 10km freestyle time trial, which is one of the first events at the Games and I’m really looking forward to it. I’m only 19 and my teammates on the cross country team are 17 and 19 so we are quite a young team to be selected for the Games.  Hopefully we will learn a lot from the experience as well as putting in some good performances and are able to return in four years time even stronger and hopefully in contention for the top positions.

Andrew Musgrave, Cross Country Skiing: “I’m looking forward to the Games, I think its going to be a good experience and I’m hoping I will learn a lot from it.I’m very excited about being selected, I’m hoping to get a best performance at a major tournament like a World Cup or World Championships, and to try compete against the best in the world”.
 
Andrew Young, Cross Country Skiing: “I’m pretty excited although I haven’t really thought much about the selections as I’m at the World Junior Championships just now and I’m trying to focus on each little bit as it happens.  I’m racing tomorrow and I’m trying to concentrate on the individual races I’ve got coming up over the next few days.  Once I’ve got these Championships out the way then I can start to focus on the Olympics and the upcoming events. I’m entering three events definitely and maybe a fourth but that will be confirmed out there.  It will be a different experience to what we are normally used to as we will have a month to focus on the one event whereas normally we have a competition each weekend, and then we travel to the next one on the Monday.  We never have a big build up to a race whereas we now have a big build up which does put a little bit more pressure on but it makes it quite exciting as well”.

Photos courtesy of Snowsport GB; main photo: Jono Brauer.

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