Charlie Lane and Arabella Sear-Watkins to carry flag at Friuli Venezia Giulia 2023

Snowboarder Charlie Lane and figure skater Arabella Sear-Watkins have been named as Team GB’s flagbearers for the Opening Ceremony of the Friuli Venezia Giulia 2023 Winter European Youth Olympic Festival (EYOF).

Lane, aged 15, and Sear-Watkins, aged 16, were each put forward for the honour by their sports for best displaying the Team GB values throughout their junior careers, before being selected by Team GB Chef de Mission Pete Ambrose.

They will carry the flag at the ceremony in Trieste tomorrow evening (Saturday 21 January), marking the beginning of the eight-day multi-sport event. Taking place across the Italian territory of Friuli Venezia Giulia and neighbouring regions in Austria and Slovenia, the EYOF will see Team GB’s young athletes compete in nine of the 14 sports on the programme: alpine skiing, biathlon, figure skating, freestyle skiing, freestyle snowboard, short track speed skating, ski cross, snowboard alpine and snowboard cross. 

Team GB travel to Italy with a squad of 17 athletes all aged between 15 and 17. The latest to join the team are Candice Bomberg and Nicole Wordley, both aged 17, who complete the line-up of alpine skiers. The full squad can be found here along with more information about Friuli Venezia Giulia 2023.

Lane said: “I feel honoured to be walking out with the flag and leading the team onto the field. I feel very proud to do it, and I’m really excited for the Opening Ceremony, it always looks like it’s a load of fun. The EYOF itself is going to be a brilliant contest and I can’t wait to get out there.”

Sear-Watkins said: “It was really unexpected to be selected as one of the flagbearers but I’m really excited, and I feel really honoured to be representing Great Britain in this was. Training’s been going really good, the EYOF is a massive experience and I’m really excited for the opportunity.”

Pete Ambrose, Team GB’s Chef de Mission for Friuli Venezia Giulia 2023 said: “Both Charlie and Arabella have clearly demonstrated Team GB’s values of pride, unity, responsibility and respect throughout their careers to date, and we are therefore delighted to have them leading the delegation at tomorrow night’s ceremony. They are both excellent ambassadors for their sports and for Team GB, and we look forward to seeing plenty more from both of them as the competition unfolds.”

The full event schedule for Friuli Venezia Giulia 2023 can be found here, with all events streamed live here.