24 January 2022
| THE HEARTBEAT OF WOMEN'S SPORT

Team GB hopeful for Winter Olympic festival medals

February 14, 2011

Emily Evans (pictured left) will follow in the illustrious ski-tracks of British No. 1 Chemmy Alcott at this week’s European Youth Olympic Winter Festival in Liberec – and she can’t wait.

NEWS1The 16-year-old from Kent will be part of a 15-strong GB team heading out to Czech Republic for the ‘mini Olympic’ event, designed to prepare the next generation of stars for a future senior Winter Games.

The event sees more than 1500 athletes from over 44 countries go head-to-head in Eastern Europe and for Evans she has some big boots to step into.

In 1999, Alcott won Great Britain’s two and only EYOWF alpine skiing medals in Slovakia and has since competed at three Winter Olympics where she has chalked up four top-15 finishes.

And while Evans admits reaching the medal podium in Liberec could well prove beyond her, she believes Alcott provides the perfect blueprint for success.

“Watching Chemmy is a great inspiration for me,” said Evans. “I’ve raced against her a few times at the British Championships and that has always been a great experience.

“She’s the best in Britain but I don’t think I’m all that far away which has to be a good sign.

“I can’t wait to compete at the European Youth Olympic Winter Festival – it’s going to be a great experience and a step up in terms of what I have done in the past.

“It will be the best skiers in Europe and it’s a brilliant opportunity. I’ve been in the Great Britain children squad before and competed abroad but this is going to be a much better standard.”

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Evans will be joined in Eastern Europe by another skiing sensation in the making in the shape of 16-year-old Natalie Beattie (pictured right).

Having been brought up in Arbroath, Beattie is based full-time in France and spends her weeks surrounded by the likes of French Olympians Taïna Barioz and Olivia Bertrand.

But Beattie insists she’ll be brimming with pride when she takes her first step on the Olympic ladder with Great Britain – and she believes her recent upturn in form will ensure she leaves Liberec with a smile on her face.

“I had a difficult start to the season and I failed to finish the first nine races but things have got a lot better since then,” said Beattie.

“And so I’m really looking forward to the competition. I’ve done a few international events before but this is going to be on a much bigger scale than anything I’ve done.”

The third skier on the plane is Scottish cross country ace Katy Homyer while the solitary figure skater is Natasha McKay.

“I’m really looking forward to going over there and competing,” said McKay. “It’s definitely going to be the biggest event I’ve ever done so the experience is going to be fantastic.”

The BOA prepares the ‘Best of British’ at the summer, winter and youth Olympics. It supports Team GB and National Governing Bodies to enhance Olympic success and is responsible for championing the Olympic values. www.olympics.org.uk

Kim Mogg, Sportsister
The Women’s Sports Magazine

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