Concern grows over the state of the speed programme for British racers

Press release:

GB Snowsport are to be congratulated on assembling a magnificent men’s and women’s team for the technical events at the 2021 Alpine Ski World Championships. We’ll be glued to our TVs and Eurosport mobile apps.

Ski fans may be curious that no British racers have been called up to tackle the speed events in Cortina. After all, slots are freely available. We have a teenage sensation winning FIS races in SuperG who could gain valuable experience. Also, we have a racer aged 26, not long ago ranked 38th in the world in SuperG, who, subject to appeal, like us will be watching on TV.

The attached letter spells out concerns expressed by well-wishers regarding the governing body’s handling of this self-funding athlete. It fell on deaf ears. The selection was made and the athlete made aware that his non-selection would not change even if he had the run of his life in the Garmisch SuperG, where, if he still starts, he faces off against the best in the world. While an appeal is being considered, many are concerned at the treatment of British speed athletes obliged to self-fund in a high risk sport where every hundredth of a second matters. We saw how one promising speed athlete was ranked Top 50 in the world in SuperG when he was dropped from the national team, aged only 24. We saw how another was denied a free place at the Sochi Olympic downhill when, with luck, he could have drawn #1 to #7 and capitalised on the advantage of an early draw. The only problem, our governing body was unwilling to put his name forward. For ten years British speed athletes have been dumped just when their years of hard work should have been rewarded.

It is worth noting that the performance director recently left his post with less than one week's notice to staff and athletes. Over the years governing body personnel change. But what about the governing body attitude to Alpine speed racing? The Alpine tech results have been magnificent. No one faults GB Snowsport officers for concentrating on those programmes. For a decade they have lacked the funds to provide a speed programme. The question is, if those funds were made available, would they even have the inclination?


Ask 4 Events, a company that has raised over £200,000 for British alpine athletes and their support staff over the years sent this document raising concern and the wider picture regarding the past and future of British racers competing in speed events (Downhill, Super G and Alpine Combined).

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