Team GB Freestyle Skiing - Athletes to watch for Sochi 2014
January 6, 2014 07:30 am
Britain have their strongest chance yet of winning an Olympic freestyle skiing medal for the first time ever at Sochi 2014 with a promising squad expected to be selected.
James Woods is expected to lead the team in Russia having won the overall slopestyle World Cup in pre-Olympic year while he also won World Championship silver and X Games bronze.
Woods is part of team manager and head coach Pat Sharples’ band of ‘fridge kids’ – a nickname given by other nations due to many of the British team beginning the sport at indoor ski slopes.
Another slopestyle specialist Katie Summerhayes claimed World Cup silver in Silvaplana in pre-Olympic year as well as bronze at the World Junior Championships and finishing fourth at the senior World Championships.
She already has Games experience after competing in halfpipe at the inaugural Youth Winter Olympics in Austria in 2012 where she also carried the British flag at the opening ceremony.
Anna Vincenti is another promising slopestyle competitor while Murray Buchan is Britain’s actual hope in halfpipe.
Of the three British freestyle skiing athletes that competed at Vancouver 2010 only moguls specialist Ellie Koyander remains.
Elsewhere Emily Sarsfield is bidding to make up for missing out on the ski cross at Vancouver 2010 with it possible that Britain will field their biggest ever freestyle skiing squad for an Olympics, the highest number so far the five taken at Albertville 1992.
Rowan Cheshire is one of the brighest new stars in the British Freestyle Ski Team after her recent gold medal in the Ski Halfpipe World Cup in Calgary. Originally from Stoke on Trent, Rowan grew up just 15 minutes away from her local slope where she first learnt to ski. At just 18 she is now mixing it up with the world's best as she works her way towards Sochi.
Team mate Emma Lonsdale has been on the Freestyle Ski scene for many years, winning the British Championships nine times in Ski Halfpipe. Originally an Alpine skier, Emma switched to Freestyle and has never looked backed. After meeting Olympic Qualifying Standard she will now need to wait until 22nd January to know whether she will go to Sochi with Team GB.