The British Olympic Association (BOA) today announced that six figure skaters have been officially selected for Team GB for the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games. The six athletes join the male and female curling teams already selected, bringing the total Team GB size to 16.
Winter Olympian Jenna McCorkell is 11 times British Champion and the single most successful female ice skater ever to hail from Northern Ireland.
She was the youngest ever skater to make it onto the national squad at ten years of age. Now 27, she has remained there for her entire competitive career.
Penny Coomes and Nick Buckland, both 24, train in the USA under two times Olympic Champion, Evgeny Platov. They are the current British Ice Dance Champions and placed 6th at the European Championships in 2011. Coomes and Buckland competed at the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Games. Bucklands recently had surgery after being diagnosed with tachycardia - a form of arrhythmia, a condition in which the heart beats faster than normal.
Stacey Kemp, 25, and David King, 29, are the nine times British Champions and in 2010 became the first Team GB Pair to qualify and go to an Olympic Winter Games for 16 years. They train at Southwest Florida Figure Skating Club under the tutelage of Lyndon Johnson, Jim Peterson and Alison Smith. Kemp and King have qualified and competed at seven European and World Championships.
Matthew Parr is a three-time senior British National Champion and Sochi 2014 will be his Olympic debut. He is the men’s representative in the Team Event.
Commented Sochi 2014 Team GB Chef de Mission Mike Hay:
“With just 58 days to go to the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games, another six members have been added to Team GB, bringing the total to 16. Over the coming weeks this will grow further, until we reach the expected 50 or so athletes.
“For the first time the Olympic Programme features a team event and it is great that our talented figure skaters have qualified for this. They will be the amongst the very first members of Team GB in action at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics as this event starts on 6 February. I wish all the figure skaters the very best for continued success in Sochi.”
Annie Veck, Team GB Figure Skating Team Leader:
“We would like to congratulate the six skaters who have been selected for Team GB. They have done incredibly well to reach the standards needed for selection and should feel proud they have won the right to be called an Olympian. The Winter Olympics is such a special event and we have put forward a really talented, dedicated and hardworking team of figure skaters to represent Team GB. We would like to wish them all the very best of luck.”
Jenna McCorkell said:
“I’m incredibly proud to be a part of Team GB for Sochi. This will be my second Winter Olympics and I’m going into the event after winning my 11th British title, which gives me great confidence. It’s starting to feel real now it’s getting closer and closer. I would like to thank my coaching team for their amazing support in getting me here.”
Nick Buckland said:
“After a challenging few months, Penny and I are delighted to be officially selected for Team GB for the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games.
“Life constantly tests your character and being given the chance to bounce back from this has made me realise I’m ready for anything this Olympic season throws at me. I want to thank our medical team, coach and also UK Sport for their support throughout. Their support has allowed me to continue with my Olympic ambition and beyond.”
Penny Coomes said:
“Competing for my country at the Olympic Winter Games was one of the best experiences of my life, so to do it again will be amazing. Your first Olympics is often about the experience but we've got high hopes for Sochi and it will be fantastic to share it with Nick and the rest of the team. We always use the British Championships in November as a stepping stone towards the Winter Olympics and it was great to skate well in front of a British crowd at this event.”
“It is fantastic to be selected as part of Team GB for Sochi. All the hard work that we have put in over the last four years has paid off and it feels great. We have been working very hard throughout the off season both on and off the ice as part of our final build-up to the Games.”
Stacey Kemp said:
“Our whole four years have been focused towards the Winter Olympics. We have sacrificed so much to get here and we feel so proud to have been selected. The buzz you get being part of Team GB, living in the Olympic Village and competing for your country is incredible; we can’t wait to get to Sochi now.”
Matthew Parr said:
“The competition for a men’s place in the Team Event was really tough so I am thrilled to have been selected to represent Team GB. It will be my first Winter Olympics and I can’t wait to experience everything it has to offer. Most importantly, I want to do my family, coaching team and country proud.”