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Britain names team for Youth Winter Olympics
Tuesday December 13, 2011 - Email this article to a friend

The team for the Youth Winter Olympic Games to be held in Innsbruck next January has been announced. PlanetSKI will be reporting direct from The Games in the Austrian city.

23 youngsters aged between 14 and 18 will be representing Team GB in Innsbruck from 13th - 22n January. 

They will be competing against 1,000 other teenagers from across the world.

The sports are the same ones as the senior Olympic Games and Britain has a bright prospect in the ski half-pipe in the shape of 16-year old, Katie Summerhayes.

Katie competed at the 2011 FIS World Championships in the USA, where she finished 11th in slopestyle and 14th in halfpipe.

She has also also taken part at the X Games in Tignes and is a potential medal winner.

Katie SummerhayesKatie Summerhayes"I am so happy that I have the chance to compete at the Youth Olympic Games in January. It means so much to me to be able to compete for Team GB and to experience everything else around it. I have been training really hard over the summer to gain the best result that I can and it is going to be a dream come true," said Katie.

Her competition in the event though will be tough.

There is a familiar name included in the curling squad - Thomas Muirhead, younger brother of Eve, the four-time junior World and current senior European Champion and Team GB Olympian.

The mixed gender curling team will be skipped by Duncan Menzies.

"I am really excited about representing Team GB in this once in a lifetime opportunity. Representing your country is a great honour and pulling on the Team GB kit will be a special moment in my career. I'm going to give it 100% and I am sure I will gain a great deal from the experience, on and off the field of play," said Duncan.

All six of the bobsleigh athletes selected have already gained senior experience competing for Great Britain at Europa Cup level.

Jazmin Sawyers has previously represented Great Britain at athletics, including winning a medal at the Youth Commonwealth Games earlier this year.

Cross-country skier Scott Dixon is the son of six-time Olympian Mike Dixon, who will perform the role of Team Leader for biathlon, where Team GB will be represented by Calum Irvine.

Both Dixon and Irvine gained their first taste of Youth Olympic competition as members of Team GB at the European Youth Olympic Festival in the Czech Republic earlier this year.

The team will be led by Sir Clive Woodward.

"I am hugely excited to be leading a team of 23 very talented and ambitious young winter athletes to the Youth Olympic Games in Innsbruck. I have no doubt that Team GB's athletes will compete with great skill and pride to produce some thrilling performances," said Sir Clive.

"Critically, the experience the young athletes will gain in Innsbruck goes well beyond the sporting competition. They will have a very special opportunity to experience the Olympic atmosphere of living in an athletes' village, competing in a multi-sport environment and participating in the culture and education programmes organised by the International Olympic Committee."

All the other athletes are delighted to have been selected.

Thomas Muirhead, curling, said: "I am thrilled to be selected for Team GB for the winter Youth Olympic Games. Competing against the best athletes of my age from all over the world in an Olympic setting is really exciting. I will do my very best to win a medal for Team GB in Austria."

Frances Slater, bobsleigh, said: "I am very proud and excited to represent Team GB at the first winter Youth Olympic Games in Innsbruck. It will be a very special feeling to compete for my country in such a big competition, it has been my dream from a young age to represent my country at an Olympic Games."

Micia McNeil, bobsleigh, said: "The Youth Olympic Games are an important step for me in my ambition to represent Team GB at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games. I will give it my best shot to win a medal for Team GB."

Olly Biddulph, bobsleigh, said: "We have worked hard throughout the qualification period and are well set for a personal best performance at the winter Youth Olympic Games."

Jazmin Sawyers, bobsleigh, said: "I have represented my country at Commonwealth level but this is now the highlight of my sporting career to date - I can't wait to put on my Team GB kit and compete for the medals in Innsbruck."

Tyler Harding, freestyle skiing, said: "It's a great achievement to not just be competing for myself but for Team GB, I am extremely honoured to take part in this once in a lifetime opportunity."

Calum Irvine, biathlon, said: "Making Team GB for the Youth Olympic Games means a great deal to me. Recently I've been racing internationally at the IBU cup and I feel I'm improving every day. Over the next month I will be fully focused on preparing well and aiming to achieve my full potential for Team GB in Innsbruck."

Katherine Gale, ice hockey, said: "I can't believe I am actually going. It will be an incredible experience. It will be truly amazing to be part of Team GB and representing women's ice hockey in such a prestigious event. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity and I cannot wait."

Lewis Hook, ice hockey, said: "Representing your country is a great honour and pulling on the Team GB kit will be a special moment in my career. I'm going to try my best and I am sure I will gain a great deal from the experience, on and off the field of play. Also I am representing everyone that has shown belief in me."

PlanetSKI will be at The Games and we wish them all luck.

For a report on a preview visit to Innsbruck last seasonn see this story on PlanetSKI.

We have updated details about the 2012 Winter Youth Olympic Games here that also includes details of holiday packages.

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