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Britain's snowsports dream big for Beijing 2022

Xinhua | Updated: 2020-02-04 09:30 菲律宾申博太阳城官网
Britain's Kirsty Muir in action during the final run 1 of the Freestyle Skiing Women's Freeski Slopestyle at 2020 Winter Youth Olympics in Leysin Park, Leysin, Switzerland, Jan 18, 2020. [Photo/Agencies] 

LONDON - Britain's skiers and snowboarders are training and racing all over the world, chasing competition and chasing the snow.

Vicky Gosling, CEO of GB snowsports, believes the team has the strength and depth to achieve great results at the Beijing Winter Olympics in two years.

Britain collected two medals at the PyeongChang Winter Olympic in 2018. For Beijing 2022, Gosling said that they definitely want "more than that."

"We're aiming around eight medals, but that's not set in stone," she said. "We've got such a diverse set of athletes. Athletes at the top end of the pyramid are already delivering."

Gosling was quite pleased with the teams' preparations for Beijing 2022. "It's really good. We've got teams everywhere training."

"We obviously have some World Cups we are focusing on a lot and we put our athletes first, making sure that they are fit for the snow. And obviously the best training that they can have is that on the mountain. So we have them literally across the world. Everybody's out there racing and the results have been fantastic."

But GB snowsports won't be complacent with the single-digit medal collection. They have set an ambitious goal of making Britain one of the top five Olympic ski and snowboarding nations by 2030.

"It's particularly ambitious when we don't have big mountains or much snow," Gosling said frankly. "However, that comes with having the strength and depth across the different disciplines and the ability to medal in the different disciplines. What we've done to create some depth underneath that vision is set some pillars out there."

The pillars are built with the principle of athletes first, such as putting world-class coaches into the performance structures, picking the right locations all over the world that can provide the best facilities.

"We know what it takes to win in Britain. We've seen it in cycling. We've seen it in rowing and it's taking those lessons that we've learned and actually pulling them into our disciplines, which is really helpful," said Gosling.

Gosling believes that Britain has the potential to become a snowsports powerhouse because two million British people go skiing at least once every three years. "It's a sport that can bring the family together. It doesn't matter on the standard and you can all get on the slopes."

Gosling said it's fortunate that Britain is not far away from countries such as France and Italy where the great mountains and snow are, but they also have 60 different facilities with a combination of dry slope and indoor domes across the country.

Kids in Britain can get a taste of skiing or snowboarding first in those indoor facilities just as 15-year-old Kirsty Muir, who took silver for Britain at the 2020 Youth Winter Olympics, spends almost every weekend in Aberdeen on the dry slope.

Last month in Lausanne, Muir finished just 1.25 points behind China's gold medallist Gu Ailing in the women's freestyle ski big air final.

Gosling has visited three venues for Beijing 2022 and was amazed by the speed of the build-ups. She also expects that "the passion and the vision and what they are going to be putting on in Beijing, it's going to blow people's minds".

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