This season was rounded out by a small Brit invasion of Canada but this season has seen the Brits do well in a range of touraments and races across Europe and beyond.
Turkish Delight by far
British Nordic's young future stars give us an insight into their first step on the Team GB ladder as they took part in the European Youth Olympic Festival in Erzurum Turkey.
I think the whole experience was very enjoyable and it was one of the best weeks of my life, the altitude was challenging however the holding camp set us up for these conditions. I think my best race was the skate 10Km, I felt incredible and put in a strong performance and hit the technical points I was aiming for along with my aims of a top 40 for this competition, I think that my performance in both the sprint and classic races were very strong, almost achieving a PB in the sprint. I think my race technique highlights were in the warm up and also in the recovery such as hydration and food. In terms of self improvements, I believe that sleep and review of sessions should be points I work on over the duration of my career in skiing. Technical improvements could be to corner more effectively using my upper body to lead around the corner, getting low in free skate to increase aerodynamics, relaxing the shoulders in classic 2-phase and also keeping the tempo up on the hills for both skate and classic.
The EYOF experience was great as I had the chance to meet other snow sport disciplines along with the rest of Team GB, experiencing something like this has encouraged me even more to strive for the winter Olympic games and has given me the necessary experience required to compete in the
such a high level of sport. A thank you goes to all the team and supporters who helped, and encouraged, us to perform at our best.
It's been nearly two weeks since we got home from Turkey and the European Youth Olympic Festival so it's given me time to reflect back on what was an amazing experience.
From the moment we got to Bisham Abbey to when we stepped off the plane in sunny Aberdeen I can confidently say I only have positive things to say about being part of the festival and 'One Team GB'.
We arrived in London and Bisham Abbey on the 11th of February where we took part in various team activities and talks as well as collecting all our kit. It was nice to put faces to names, not just with the other athletes but with the whole support team who were unbelievably helpful and supportive through the whole week. The whole team really bonded from then, we all got on so well and it made for a great atmosphere even before we got out to Erzurum.
We were only in London for one night and we flew out the next day, it was a long day of travelling and we arrived in Turkey at about 1 o'clock in the morning local time. The first session consisted of activation intervals and getting used to the course. I really liked the tracks, they were similar to the ones in Planica where I raced earlier in the year and did well, so that gave me a lot of confidence going into the first race which was the 7.5km classic.
Classic is definitely my stronger technique so I was really focusing on that race. As a whole I was really happy with it, there's always improvements to be made but both my initial thoughts and results were good, it was definitely the best race I have ever done and to achieve that at that competition was pretty special.
The other two races weren't as good, I struggled in the 10km skate but got a PB in the skate sprint so I can still come away from the festival feeling happy about the competition side of it. We had a couple of days to relax and go and support the rest of the team which was really fun, the whole team was really good about going out and watching the other athletes compete and it showed how close the team was. The closing ceremony was great fun, it was basically just a big party with all the teams and we saw Yagi and Carl pull off some
Looking back on the whole festival I have to say the highlight was probably the opening ceremony, it was a really special moment. Walking out into the stadium full of people, including our families was something I'll definitely never forget. The whole festival was amazing, it has definitely made me want to go on and compete in further events like the Olympics in 2022.
Thanks to Carl and Alex for their work as well as the rest of Team GB.
I've had time to reflect on the amazing experiences I've taken away from the European Youth Olympics Festival in Erzurum, Turkey and the week building up to it in Austria. I left on the 2nd of February with 3 of my team mates (Brodie Murray, Jack Nicholls and Oliver Newman) and we headed out to Ramsau in Austria for a week at altitude to prepare for the races in Erzurum. During the week we focused on a number of aspects of training to get used to skiing on snow again such as technical sessions, long easy level 1 sessions and the occasional interval session, all in preparation for the festival which would be held at 1700m.
We then travelled back to London to meet the rest of Team GB and to get kitted out with numerous amounts of clothing, during this short period in London we did a number of team building activities and workshops to get us fully prepared for the week ahead. We then travelled out with the
team to Turkey with much excitement not really knowing what to expect. As soon as we arrived we were thrown into ski testing and preparation training for the 10km classic race that would be held the next day.
Full of nerves we all got up the next day and went into our pre race preparations which involved having to catch a 45 minute bus journey to the tracks giving me lots of time to plan out my race and have a quick pre race nap. The race conditions were close to perfect and although I didn't ski as fast as I'd like to, I still really enjoyed the occasion and was thoroughly looking forward to the next two races.
The 7.5km skate was a bit of a disappointment for me as I didn't ski as fast as I'd hoped but again the conditions were really good and skis were waxed to near perfection so I could still have enjoyment through the pain and this was the same during the 1.2km sprint the next day where I ended the race by throwing up.
We all really enjoyed the three races and could take lots away from them especially Jack and Oliver who managed to get personal bests and now that the races were over it gave us time to relax a bit and take in the atmosphere of the festival before finally ending with the closing ceremony where we could appreciate everyone's efforts throughout the week. The week as a whole was an amazing experience and I took so many amazing memories from it and met some great people that I'm sure I'll keep in touch with. I'd highly recommend the festival to anyone who has a chance to go as it was a week I'll never forget and has inspired me to maybe take it to the next level and go for the Beijing Olympic Games in 2022.
From a coaches perspective EYO is a special event from various aspects. It's the culmination of years of working together with
athletes, it's working alongside different sports, it's being part of 'Team GB', it's seeing the parents out on the track supporting and urging their kids on amongst many other things.
Even though we are away with the athletes for a whole week we actually don't get to see them all that much as we are busy testing and preparing skis as well as attending meetings and putting in race entries etc.., the highlights of the week for us are bedtime, opening and closing ceremonies and obviously seeing the athletes out on the tracks giving it their all. It was a shame there weren't any females in this group's age range to be able to take, as we couldn't enter a mixed relay on the last day of competition, but this did us the chance to chill out a bit and watch some of the other disciplines and take a walk round the city. An Olympic event of any kind is simply an honour to be part of and share with these athletes, it was also great to work with the BOA staff who went out of their way to create a fantastic environment for all the athletes to relax together and form, hopefully, long term friendships as well as assisting athletes to excel in an Olympic multi-discipline event.
2017 EYOWF Squad
Coaches: Alex Standen & Carl Carrier
Athletes: Jack Nicholls, Fergus Newman, Oliver Newman & Brodie Murray