The British Olympic Association has today confirmed that 10 athletes have been selected to represent Team GB at the Vuokatti 2022 European Youth Olympic Winter Festival (EYOF), which runs between 20-25 March 2022.
Team GB will have representation in six of the nine disciplines in Finland, with athletes participating in alpine skiing, biathlon, figure skating, Nordic combined, short track speed skating and snowboarding.
The Festivals provide athletes aged between 15 and 18 with one of their first multi-sport experiences and plays a crucial role in the development of young athletes from across the United Kingdom and Europe.
The next crop of aspiring Olympians will follow in the footsteps of Kirsty Muir, Katie Summerhayes, Niall Treacy and Kathryn Thomson, who have all graduated recent youth events to represent Team GB at a senior Olympic Winter Games – most recently at Beijing 2022.
Vuokatti 2022 is the 15th edition of the EYOF and the second time that it’s been on Finnish soil, with Vuokatti also playing host to the festival back in 2001. Approximately 1,500 athletes from 44 European countries will take part, in what is Europe’s largest multi-sport youth event.
Elaine Skilton, Team GB’s Chef de Mission for Vuokatti 2022, said: “I am delighted to welcome the 10 athletes to Team GB for Vuokatti 2022 – I’m sure that today is an extremely proud day for them and their families.
“European Youth Olympic Festivals provide our young athletes with an amazing opportunity to experience international competition and the environment of a multi-sport event. These events have helped to shape the careers of many Team GB Olympians, so I encourage them grasp every learning opportunity and make the most out of their experience.
“Vuokatti 2022 is set to be another brilliant event and I’m really looking forward to seeing Europe’s most talented young winter athletes in competition later this month.”
Mani Cooper, Nordic combined, said: “When I got the message to say that I was confirmed as part of Team GB again, I was absolutely overwhelmed. It’s a complete honour to be able to represent my country in the Nordic combined discipline.
“When I went to Lausanne 2020 (Youth Olympic Games), Team GB felt like one big family, so I’m going into the EYOF with complete excitement and I really can’t wait for the competition to start.”
Edward Appleby, figure skating, said: “I’m really looking forward to Vuokatti 2022. It’s an event that I’ve been building up to for a while, so I’m over the moon to be chosen for it.
“My main objective is to have a completely clean skate as I’ve been training a lot for it and I really want to reflect that hard work in my performance. I also want to get a grasp on what an Olympic event is like, as it’s my ambition to compete and qualify for an Olympic Games in the future.”
Team GB at Vuokatti 2022:
Alexa Elliff – aged 18 from Ipswich, Suffolk
Isla Ward – aged 17 from Glasgow, Scotland
Ted Slade – aged 18 from Kingsbridge, Devon
Aidan Urquhart – aged 17 from Shepherds Bush, London
Anna Berger – aged 17 from Starnberg, Germany
Elena Komova – aged 16 from Repton, Derbyshire
Edward Appleby – aged 17 from Wivenhoe, Essex
Mani Cooper – aged 18 from Kettering, Northamptonshire
Short track speed skating:
Adam Hill – aged 17 from Redditch, Worcestershire
Koby Cook – aged 18 from Barnsley, South Yorkshire