Tagged ‘Jasmin Taylor’

End of Season

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The remaining races of the FIS Telemark World Cup season have been cancelled due to the corona-virus (COVID-19). The ski resorts and pretty much everything else, have shut down entirely to reduce the spread of this outbreak. That gives time to conclude another year of work, to reflect and look ahead to the next steps.

A few seasons ago an athlete-movement took place, all athletes met to discuss the viewpoint they have, and what they foresee in the future of our sport. This formed an Athlete Working Group comprising of three athletes; myself, Beatrice Zimmermann (SUI) and Matti Lopez (FRA). Since then we have attended FIS Congress events in Greece, Croatia and Switzerland doing our best to represent the athlete viewpoint.

There is an official organisation under FIS (International Ski Federation) called the Athletes Commission, and until very recently this only included athletes from Olympic disciplines. I am very pleased to announce that a further two athletes have been added, myself on behalf of Telemark and another British athlete; Jan Farrell from Speed Skiing. This is important as it gives a voice to athletes across a broader range of disciplines. We can share and exchange our experiences to develop further.

Whilst training and competing, I am also working my way through my BASI (British Association of Snowsport Instructors) qualifications, aiming to achieve the highest level. This season, I have been working for the ESF (Ecole du Ski Francais) in Les Houches which has been an amazing experience.

Whilst the competition circuit has functioned far from ideally, I managed to collect three World Cup podiums exceeding the former tally to hold a new British record. I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone that supports, from team and personal sponsors, to family, boyfriend, friends, team-mates, coaches, committees, federations, organisers, and many more.

Norway

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Following on from Samoens, France, the tour traveled on to Rjukan, Norway for two Sprint events and one Parallel Sprint.

Day one started well, I was sat in 3rd place after the first run but had a small crash on the second run, ending up in 10th place. Louis Hatchwell skied into 22nd, while Colin Dixon ended up in 23rd position; a personal best for Colin in the Sprint.

Day two was more of a success, I secured my third podium of the season finishing in 3rd place behind my training buddy, Argeline Tan Bouquet (FRA) and Amelie Wenger Reymond (SUI). Louis Hatchwell finished 24th and Colin Dixon finished in 28th place.

The final day of competition was the Parallel Sprint. This year the rules are slightly different in that your qualification time is now taken into account for the final result. If you make it to the quarter finals, rather than four athletes finishing in joint 5th place, their qualification time is used to determine who is 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th place. This means that the Parallel Sprint has taken a great step in the right direction and results are easier to follow for the viewing public.

I qualified 4th and then finished in 4th place behind Amelie Wenger Reymond (SUI), Beatrice Zimmermann (SUI), Kaja Bjørnstad Konow (NOR). Coincidentally, Louis Hatchwell qualified and finished in 21st, as did Colin Dixon in 32nd place.

It’s been cool to be mentioned on BBC Ski Sunday each week, who have been following my progress since last season where we filmed a feature together. The show is extremely popular in the UK averaging 1.22 million viewers weekly and it is awesome to see so much British snow sport success.

Unfortunately, the World Cup event in Oberjoch, Germany has been cancelled due to poor weather conditions. I know FIS Telemark are working hard to find a replacement event, all news will be updated here on the main website.

If you wish to catch up on any live-stream footage, you can find that here.

A Full Update

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Preparation

It has been a while since my last blog, so I thought I would start with a brief summary of what we have been doing! The summer was spent in Ipswich, England, catching up on my studies at the University of Suffolk and preparing physically for the World Cup season.

The GB Telemark training kicked off in a different style this year, we decided to have a team building camp in Brittany, surfing and learning new skills.

We soon returned to the slopes to start technical training, as always, the team is based in Hintertux, Austria, staying at Tux Diamant in Lanersbach.

This season is slightly different for me as it is the first year I have my boyfriend, Will, with me for the winter. He can telemark now (just so you know).

FIS Cup

The first races of the season were FIS Cup events (a series of races running alongside the World Cup) with day-one, a Sprint, held in Villars sur Ollons, Switzerland. I finished in 5th and British new-comer, Bonnie Price finished 16th in her first international race. The British boys were also on good form with Louis Hatchwell in 16th, Sion Bingham in 17th, Alec Dixon in 23rd, Ben Emsley in 25th, and Colin Dixon in 26th place.

That same weekend, on day-two, we raced another Sprint held in Les Houches, France which was a British hosted organisation. That day I finished in 2nd, and Bonnie Price finished in 17th place. The field was incredibly strong, with many World Cup athletes present, including the Germans, Swiss, British, French, Russians and Czechs. Louis Hatchwell placed 14th, with Sion Bingham in 19th, Ben Emsley in 21st, Alec Dixon in 22nd, Colin Dixon in 25th and Jack Emsley in 28th place.

Louis Blyth, one of our Development Team athletes finished 8th in the overall French Cup ranking, the results I have presented are based on the FIS Cup ranking (it was a dual purpose event to allow all ages to compete).

It was also great to have Leggett Immobilier, GB Telemark, sponsor on place to support us.

British Championships

The British (Army, and Navy) Championships were held in Pralognan-La-Vanoise, France. The organisation was impeccable and the standard of skiing was higher than ever. Thank you so much to the British Army for putting on such a great event. The first race kicked off with the Giant Slalom (GS), a discipline now extinct from World Cup competition. This was followed by the Sprint, and then the Classic discipline.

The overall results for the women were as follows;

  1. Jasmin Taylor
  2. Bonnie Price
  3. Dominique Symons

The overall results for the men were as follows;

  1. Jasper Taylor
  2. Louis Hatchwell
  3. Sion Bingham

If you would like more information or to see the full results, click here. The team is bigger than ever, there is a lot of young talent coming through with the likes of Harry Fletcher, Louis Blyth, Sissi Compton and many more!

World Cup

Pralognan-La-Vanoise 

The British hosted event was the opening World Cup race of the season. It was amazing to have so many Brits in town supporting us, including my parents and god-parents! The two-days were both Sprint events and on day-one I finished in 4th, Louis Hatchwell in 20th, Ben Emsley in 22nd, Sion Bingham in 24th, Jack Emsley in 26th, Colin Dixon in 28th with DNF (did not finish) from Jasper Taylor and Alec Dixon. New-comers, Bonnie Price and Max Carnegie were the race forerunners.

Day-two of competition I found myself on the World Cup podium in 3rd place, this took my World Cup medal tally to 30 which means I now hold a British record. You can read an article with Planet Ski here and News Chain here. Bonnie Price finished 19th in her first World Cup event, Sion Bingham in 22nd, Jasper Taylor in 23rd, Alec Dixon in 24th, Louis Hatchwell in 26th, Ben Emsley in 29th, Jack Emsley in 32nd and Colin Dixon in 33rd place.

Samoens

We then moved on to Samoens, France for the French hosted leg of the tour. There we skied two back-to-back Classic events, followed by a Sprint. I placed 6th, Jasper Taylor scored his first top-20 of the season with 18th, Sion Bingham 24th, Jack Emsley finished 25th, Colin Dixon 27th and DNF Ben Emsley who suffered a huge crash on course.

In day-two of Classic racing, I had more success finishing 2nd, always good to be back on the podium. Jasper Taylor placed 19th, Sion Bingham 22nd, Ben Emsley 23rd, Jack Emsley 24th with Colin Dixon in 26th position.

In the final race, I finished 5th, Jasper Taylor skied very well into 17th, Jack Emsley scored a personal best (PB) of 21st place. Unfortunately it was a DNF for Ben Emsley, Colin Dixon, Sion Bingham who all happened to fall on the same gate, all boys walked away injury free.

Thank you to Leggett Immobilier, team sponsor, for coming along to support us on location. It was also great to have Irish athlete; Max Screawn, join us for the duration of these races as one of our own! He made an awesome World Cup debut with 21st, 28th and 19th place finishes, very respectable. 

Now the tour travels on to Rjukan, Norway for the next round of competitions!

The World Championships

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The World Championship event kicked off in style with an opening ceremony in the valley of Rjukan, Norway. The atmosphere was electric and athletes proudly collected their bibs for the next day of racing.

The opening ceremony in Rjukan, Norway. Photo credits and thanks to Nikita Isaev

The athletes gathering at the opening ceremony. Photo credits and thanks to VM Telemark Rjukan

The bib draw. Photo credits and thanks to VM Telemark Rjukan

The British Telemark Ski Team; (L to R) Sion Bingham, Louis Hatchwell, Jasmin Taylor, Colin Dixon, Ben Emsley. Photo credits and thanks to Neil Dixon

The weather conditions were very changeable and the first event, the Classic, was postponed by over 4 hours because of high winds. We eventually set off during the late afternoon. Sadly, I am not proud of my performance in this race, I crossed my skis entering the second skiing section, though managed to recover my balance and continue. I lacked concentration, and my skiing that day was good enough for 7th place. Sion Bingham finished in 29th, Louis Hatchwell in 30th, Ben Emsley in 32nd, Colin Dixon in 35th and Jack Emsley in 38th place.

Preparing to race! Photo credits and thanks to Nitika Isaev

The next day was the Team Parallel Sprint; Great Britain faced Norway and lost out. Switzerland went on to take the victory, followed by Germany, France and Norway. Great Britain finished in joint 5th position.

The start gate. Photo credits and thanks to Nitika Isaev

Competing against Guro Helde Kjolseth. Photo credits and thanks to Norwegian Telemark

The podium for the Team Parallel Sprint. Photo credits and thanks to Christoph Frank

The following day, I was first out of the start gate with bib 1, though I cannot say that I was the first to cross the finish line. I gave it my best but I crashed out after the jump.

The British and French coaches setting the course. Photo credits and thanks to Nitika Isaev

Despite taking a gate to the face, Sion Bingham recorded his best ever World Championship finish of 24th place along with Ben Emsley who finished in 26th, Colin Dixon in 31st and Jack Emsley in 34th position. Louis Hatchwell finished in 33rd place. A true representation of how the British are going from strength to strength.

Sion Bingham styling a tisse in his nose after his nose bleed. Photo credits and thanks to Nitika Isaev

The final day of racing was the Parallel Sprint, qualification was not as I expected. I crashed again, this time before the jump and therefore did not qualify. Louis Hatchwell was the only British athlete to make the head-to-head heats; Louis successfully passed the first heat and finished the competition in joint 9th place.

Louis Hatchwell on course. Photo credits and thanks to Tommy Storoygard

Congratulations to the new World Champions; Amelie Wenger Reymond (SUI), Johanna Holzmann (GER), Trym Nygaard Loken (NOR), Stefan Matter (SUI), Philippe Lau (FRA) and medalists; Martina Wyss (SUI), Argeline Tan Bouquet (FRA), Jure Ales (SLO), Sivert Hole (NOR), Bastien Dayer (SUI) and Noe Claye (FRA).

The Parallel Sprint podium with (L to R) Amelie Wenger Reymond (SUI), Johanna Holzmann (GER), Argeline Tan Bouquet (FRA). Photo credits and thanks to Tommy Storoygard

The Parallel Sprint podium with (L to R) Bastien Dayer (SUI), Philippe Lau (FRA), Noe Claye (FRA), Benedikt Holzmann (GER). Photo credits and thanks to Tommy Storoygard

Good bye to retiring athletes; Philippe Lau (FRA), Guro Helde Kjolseth (NOR) and Simone Oehrli (SUI). It has been a pleasure to compete with and learn from them over the years.

I cannot say that these are the championships or results I expected, though I am certain this will teach me a vital lesson I need to learn in order to make the next step. Despite my disappointment, it is always a pleasure to be on the mountain with skis on my feet competing against the best in the world. Thank you to my boyfriend, family, friends, team-mates, coaches, competitors, committees, federations, team and personal sponsors; without whom this journey would not be possible. Now it is time to concentrate on my ski instructor qualifications, spend some time on snow with loved ones and catch up on my university work.

The sun setting in Rjukan, Norway. Photo credits and thanks to Nikita Isaev

If you wish to catch up on all the racing, you can visit the live-stream here and see all the results on the FIS website here.

 

The 2019 World Cup Season

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After Christmas the British team, along with the French, spent time training in La Thuile, Italy. The conditions were amazing and it allowed for some great progress. I was joined by BBC Ski Sunday, who came to film over a few days. This was a really fun and interesting experience where TV presenter, Graham Bell, attempted to telemark in a giant slalom, on a jump and to skate for the first time.

BBC Ski Sunday Presenter Graham Bell with Jasmin Taylor in La Thuile, Italy

The training group with the BBC Ski Sunday team before Christmas

The first World Cup race was also held in La Thuile, it is a super steep slope and has hosted many alpine World Cup events over the years. Graham Bell and the Ski Sunday team turned up again, and Graham actually fore-ran the Classic event which proved to be quite the challenge. I managed a 2nd place finish, and 4th the day before in the Sprint discipline.

The first World Cup podium of the season in La Thuile. Photo credits and thanks to Luca Nava

The final steep section, possibly the steepest slope of the tour. Photo credits and thanks to Luca Nava

The prize from the first podium. Photo credits and thanks to Sara Mo Vanacht

The first race was the Sprint, followed by the gruelling Classic where Sion Bingham (30th, 26th), Ben (27th, 23rd) and Jack Emsley (DNF, 29th) were also competing. Louis Hatchwell achieved a career best finish of 12th place in the Sprint discipline but unfortunately did not finish (DNF) in the Classic. Jack Harvard Taylor and Tanner Visnick were in the commentary booth. US athlete, Tanner, suffered a serious ankle injury in training just before the first race. This is a real shame because Tanner is an amazing skier, and was showing real form on the slopes.

Team-mate, Louis Hatchwell, in the hot seat waiting for his competitors to finish, he looks quite comfy. Photo credits and thanks to Luca Nava

Meanwhile, the British Championships were hosted by the army in Pralognan-la-Vanoise, France, and from what I have heard they were a real success and well attended. The new overall British Champions are Sissi Compton (British C Team) and Robert Houstoun (British A Team), while Colin Dixon (British B Team) was victorious in the Classic discipline. There were also some great performances from Ben Silva (British C Team), Magnus McIntosh (Magnus had joined us for training in La Thuile), Naila Cardwell (British B Team) and Louis Blyth (Club des Houches).

My team-mates, (L to R) Naila Cardwell, Colin Dixon, Sissi Compton and Ben Silva in Pralognan-la-Vanoise

The British Championship Classic podium: 1st place; Colin Dixon, 2nd place; Robert Houstoun, 3rd place; Louis Blyth

Then the World Cup tour travelled to Pralognan-la-Vanoise where we joined the rest of our team-mates. The first race was the Sprint, I skied clean on the first run taking the lead by over 2 seconds, the second run was very intense but I am proud to have taken my first victory of the season and against Amelie Wenger-Reymond (SUI) who has proven to be one of the best athletes in snow-sport history. This occurred right before the BBC Ski Sunday program was broadcast to 1 million viewers on mainstream TV, and 80,000 viewers on BBC iPlayer back home in Britain. The support and feedback following the article has been overwhelming.

The opening ceremony in Pralognan-la-Vanoise, France. Photo credits and thanks to Agence Zoom

A team photo after opening ceremony

Louis Hatchwell on course in Pralognan-la-Vanoise. Photo credits and thanks to Agence Zoom

Sion Bingham powering through the run in Pralognan-la-Vanoise. Photo credits and thanks to Agence Zoom

Trying to find the front of my ski in France. Photo credits and thanks to Agence Zoom

The flower ceremony with (L to R) Amelie Wenger-Reymond (SUI), Jasmin Taylor (GBR), Beatrice Zimmermann (SUI). Photo credits and thanks to Argeline Tan Bouquet

The prize giving ceremony and British national anthem with (L to R) Amelie Wenger-Reymond (SUI), Jasmin Taylor (GBR), Beatrice Zimmermann (SUI). Photo credits and thanks to Agence Zoom

The French hosted race was a World Cup debut for Ben Silva and Magnus McIntosh where they finished 31st and 29th in the Sprint and 34th and 33rd in the Classic. Sion Bingham finished in 22nd and 21st, Jack Emsley 30th and 32nd, Louis Hatchwell DNF and 22nd, Colin Dixon 27th and 29th, and I finished 4th in the Classic. A great weekend of racing! You can see an article from BBC Sport here.

The winning moment caught on camera. Photo credits and thanks to Colin F Shepherd

We then moved onto the third round of racing in the southern French Alps in Pra-Loup. The event kicked off with a tough Classic, I felt like I was fighting an uphill battle from the very beginning so I was very pleased to walk away with 2nd place and team-mate, Ben Emsley achieved a career best of 23rd position. The following day, the Sprint, I took my fourth podium with a 3rd place, and again Ben achieved another personal best of 20th position. The third and final day of racing was the Parallel Sprint, the first of the season. I finished in 5th after crashing out in the loom against Beatrice Zimmermann (SUI) who went on to take 2nd place, Ben finished in 17th place after racing Theo Sillon (FRA). BBC Sport caught wind of the action again, which you can see here.

Last season there were 21 World Cup races, this season had just 12 although it is a World Championship year, these races are counted separately.

Awaiting the start of the Parallel Sprint in Pra-Loup. Photo credits and thanks to Argeline Tan Bouquet

On the podium in Pra-Loup, France with (L to R) Beatrice Zimmermann (SUI), Amelie Wenger-Reymond (SUI) and Jasmin Taylor (GBR). Photo credits and thanks to Argeline Tan Bouquet

Following these races in Italy and France, we had a short one week break which I spent back in Les Houches. It was so nice to see my boyfriend, Will, who came to visit and we enjoyed some powder skiing together.

Will being shy, or just looking at how much snow there is…

An amazing view of Mont Blanc from Les Houches, France

Some bad news struck in the form of team-mate, Sissi Compton, getting injured. Sissi broke her ACL whilst training, but everyone is behind her wishing her well. She will be back stronger than ever.

The next round of racing in Oberjoch, Germany kicked off with a Sprint where I finished 3rd, Louis Hatchwell DNF, Alec Dixon 31st and Ben Emsley in 30th place. Then the Parallel Sprint where I qualified in 4th place. I raced Johanna Holzmann (GER) in the semi-finals where I suffered one of the biggest crashes in my career, I had to race the small final with borrowed poles and my training skis because of the damage which had occurred to my equipment. Full of adrenaline, I won the dual against Argeline Tan Bouquet (FRA) taking 3rd place. Luckily the German team doctor was on location to treat my arm after the race which had swollen to twice the size. The boys all finished in joint 17th place.

The Sprint podium with (L to R) Johanna Holzmann (GER), Amelie Wenger-Reymond (SUI), Jasmin Taylor (GBR), Martina Wyss (SUI), Simone Oehrli (SUI). Photo credits and thanks to Stefan Hess

Louis Hatchwell racing in the Parallel Sprint. Photo credits and thanks to Bernhard Krempl

The crowd in Oberjoch, Germany. Photo credits and thanks to Bernhard Krempl

Ben Emsley on course. Photo credits and thanks to Stefan Hess

Jasmin Taylor (GBR) vs. Johanna Holzmann (GER). Photo credits and thanks to Bernhard Krempl

I think it was at this moment I realised that this might hurt… Photo credits and thanks to Bernhard Krempl

Slightly worse for wear… Photo credits and thanks to Guro Helde Kjølseth

The aftermath of the crash… A huge thank you to Sebastian Sinz, the German Team doctor who was on location to generously provide his help and expertise!

The Parallel Sprint podium with (L to R) Johanna Holzmann (GER), Amelie Wenger-Reymond (SUI), Jasmin Taylor (GBR), Argeline Tan Bouquet (FRA). Photo credits and thanks to Bernhard Krempl

Both races were broadcast on mainstream German TV with over 2.5 million viewers on each feature. There was another BBC Sport article published (see here) and a report on the local BBC news channel back home.

Feeling slightly worse for wear, battered and bruised we travelled on to Krvavec, Slovenia for World Cup Finals and the World Junior Championships. There were more junior women, than junior men which is a really positive sign for the sport. Again, we started with the Classic event where I took my final podium of the season, a 3rd place, taking my total to 29 World Cup podiums equalling the British record set by Free-skier, Gilly Curry in 1994. There was an article published by Planet Ski here and one by BBC Sport here. This podium places me 2nd in the World Cup Classic standings, earning me a silver medal. Louis Hatchwell finished in a respectable 20th place.

The race hill in Krvavec, Slovenia

On course in the Classic. Photo credits and thanks to Morten V Eriksen

Louis on course in the Classic. Photo credits and thanks to Morten V Eriksen

The prizes in Slovenia. Photo credits and thanks to Goran Kroselj

The World Cup podium earning me a joint British record with Johanna Holzmann (GER) and Amelie Wenger-Reymond (SUI). Photo credits and thanks to Goran Kroselj

A silver medal in the World Cup Classic standings with with Amelie Wenger-Reymond (SUI) and Johanna Holzmann (GER). Photo credits and thanks to Goran Kroselj

Alec and Colin Dixon did not compete in the World Cup Classic, reserving their energy for the World Junior Championships where unfortunately, Alec DNF but Colin placed in 16th position.

Alec racing in Krvavec, Slovenia. Photo credits and thanks to Goran Kroselj

Colin on course. Photo credits and thanks to Goran Kroselj

Qualifications for the Parallel Sprint were held the next day, picking up too many penalties, I found myself in 8th place. Louis crashed and therefore didn’t qualify; Alec qualified in 32nd and Colin DNF. The following day, Alec finished in joint 17th place and I finished in joint 5th place. In the World Junior Championship Parallel Sprint, Colin finished 17th and Alec in joint 9th place. This 5th place result puts me in 4th in the World Cup Parallel Sprint standings.

(L to R) FIS Chairman; Andrew Clarke, Jasmin Taylor, Coach; Sebastien Mansart. Photo credits and thanks to Argeline Tan Bouquet

The very last day, a Sprint, tensions were running high with overall rankings vulnerable and not yet in the bag. I finished in 4th behind Amelie Wenger-Reymond (SUI), Johanna Holzmann (GER) and Argeline Tan Bouquet (FRA). This 4th place just behind Argeline meant I maintained 2nd in the World Cup Sprint standings, another silver medal. Not only that, I have a new world ranking within the top 3, my goal for the season earning me a bronze medal in the Overall World Cup standings. Great Britain finished 5th in the Nations Cup standings, our joint best result.

A silver medal in the Sprint World Cup standings with Amelie Wenger-Reymond (SUI) and Argeline Tan Bouquet (FRA). Photo credits and thanks to Goran Kroselj

A special moment. Photo credits and thanks to Goran Kroselj

A silver medal in the Sprint World Cup standings. Photo credits and thanks to Goran Kroselj

The Overall World Cup podium earning me a bronze medal with Johanna Holzmann (GER) and Amelie Wenger-Reymond (SUI) Photo credits and thanks to Goran Kroselj

The final day in Krvavec was spent in the commentary booth with Monica Huszcz Delevaux where I watched Alec finish in 16th and Colin in 12th in the World Junior Championship Sprint event. The races were broadcast on Slovenian mainstream TV which is again, hugely beneficial for the sport.

A team photo in Krvavec, Slovenia with (L to R) Colin Dixon, Alec Dixon, Sebastien Mansart, Jasmin Taylor. Photo credits and thanks to Neil Dixon

Still a team photo… Photo credits and thanks to Neil Dixon

At least it was a team photo… Photo credits and thanks to Neil Dixon

Now I return to the UK for a few days rest before travelling back to France for more training in preparation for the World Championships later this season in Rjukan, Norway. As always, thank you to everyone making it possible: boyfriend, family, friends, coaches, team-mates, university, organisers, committees, federations and fellow athletes.

An Autumnal Update

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We are very proud and excited to announce that Leggett Immobilier, an award winning estate agency based in France, are sponsoring the GB Telemark Ski Team this season, look out for their logo on our van and clothing. They have a great team of individuals working for them and they are in fact recruiting, you can read more about their ethos here.

The happy team at Leggett Immobilier

In other news, the British skiing federation, formally known as British Ski and Snowboard, have now re-branded and changed their name to GB Snowsport. The branding is now consistent across all disciplines. You can follow our team channels on /gbtelemark or @gbtelemark.

We, the British, along with athletes from the Czech Republic, USA and Russia have been commuting to and from the Austrian glacier; Hintertux, every other week since the end of September for a week of training at a time. The conditions have been variable, with hard ice to high winds, snow fall and even the odd, perfect blue sky day. We had the luxury once again of staying at Tux Diamant, a lovely chalet in Lanersbach owned by British brewer, Tim Jones. Tim runs his brewery from the basement of the chalet; the beer is called Tux 1280 and has a piste related scheme.

Very icy conditions on the first training camp, the Blossom ski’s were sharp!

Blue skies and grey snow! Awesome to have US athletes; Cory Snyder and Tanner Visnick with us this season, as well as many new comers…

Chatting with team-mate, Jasper Taylor, about skiing stuff no doubt

When you ski on a glacier in October, it starts to get much busier…

Louis Hatchwell and I, joined on the chairlift by the Russian and Czech athletes…

A new outfit from Dare 2b – thanks for supporting the team once more!

International training camp with athletes from the USA, Czech Republic, Russia and Great Britain

Since the beginning of summer, I have been in talks with Nino Severino, about a new concept for sport in Ipswich. Nino is now the founder and director of ‘The Hub – University of Suffolk’ where elite athletes, of all ages, in the area can receive and benefit from many services related to sport science. I am currently a student at the University of Suffolk and already work with Manos Georgiadis, my psychologist and Marco Beato, my physiologist. If Manos and Marco are anything to go by, this really will be one of the leading facilities in the country as Nino plans to offer everything from sport agents to social media support, fitness testing, movement screening and much more.

Some of the sport science team and athletes from The Hub

Some of the athletes from The Hub, posing for a photo at the Ipswich Town Football Club

Nino Severino, from The Hub with Graeme Mac, from BBC Suffolk

Participating in vision and motion testing with Jose Tomas

I was nominated for the Suffolk Sports Personality Award, which is run by Suffolk Sport. The nominations were reduced down to 8, we were then put up for a public vote to reduce this number to 3, I was very pleased to learn I had been selected. Zoe Newson, a power-lifter and Harriet Welham, a basketball player, were also shortlisted so I was very proud to be in this mix. It was an even bigger surprise when I actually won.

The Suffolk Sport Awards

Chatting to Graeme Mac, from BBC Suffolk on the stage

Manos Georgiadis, from the University of Suffolk and Alasdair Jones, from Colchester Physiotherapy

There might be a small height discrepancy! Photo credits and thanks to Keith Mindham

I am absolutely chuffed to have won and thank you to everyone that voted and supported the event, including sponsor Harrod Sport.

After the Suffolk Sport Awards, we commuted to the glacier for one final camp and we ended the week with a telemark test event. The contest format differed from usual in that there was no timing, but positive points given for telemark, rather than penalties for not having the telemark position. There were 4 jump lines where the furthest jump earned more points and a timed skate section which was converted into points as well. Essentially, you had to ski fast enough to jump a long way and carry speed into the loom and then skate, ski with good technique and skate fast. It turns out that I collected the most points and won the event. It was also great to see so many kids from Andorra, Spain and Russia alongside World Cup athletes from Norway, France and the USA. There were a total of 41 competitors, from 8 nations and with FreeHeeler festival running alongside, there were many telemark skiers on the glacier which is always great to see. Again, thank you to event sponsor; Tux 1280, hosts; Tux Finkenberg and Hintertux Glacier and all the organisers and volunteers involved.

Over the finish line! Photo credits and thanks to Tim Jones

Having a lot of fun! Photo credits and thanks to Tim Jones

Goggles off! Photo credits and thanks to Tim Jones

It was also lovely to have my parents there, they are not often on place for training so this was a special occasion! My Dad took photos throughout the day of the contest, you can find more of his images here and some of my favourites below.

Julien ‘Pingu’ Annequin, French National Team Coach with Sebastien Mansart, British National Team Coach. Photo credits and thanks to Mark Taylor

Neil Dixon, making it happen… Photo credits and thanks to Mark Taylor

On course… Photo credits and thanks to Mark Taylor

Colin Dixon (GBR); Photo credits and thanks to Mark Taylor

Barnaby Hodge (GBR); Photo credits and thanks to Mark Taylor

Skating with Seb watching on… Photo credits and thanks to Mark Taylor

The ladies podium and top 10 with Argeline Tan Bouquet (FRA) and Goril Strom Eriksen (NOR)! Photo credits and thanks to Mark Taylor

The guys podium and top 10 with Trym Nygaard Loken (NOR), Sivert Hole (NOR) and Raphael Mahlknecht (ITA)! Photo credits and thanks to Mark Taylor

Thanks to Tux 1280 for sponsoring the event; Argeline and I were happy… Photo credits and thanks to Mark Taylor

I now need to get organised for the winter season before heading out to France, there’s a lot to do…

GB Telemark Dinner

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GB Telemark hosted a dinner at the Cavalry and Guards Club in London to celebrate all that we have achieved so far and to thank everyone that has helped us at some point along the way. The event was hosted by my team-mate, Robbie Houstoun.

Athlete and host; Robbie Houstoun (Photo credits to Jay Norman Photography)

Athletes; Alec Dixon, Ben Silva, Sissi Compton and Jack Emsley (Photo credits to Jay Norman Photography)

Athletes; Naila Cardwell and Sissi Compton (Photo credits to Jay Norman Photography)

Athletes; Robbie Houstoun, Ben Emsley, Ben Silva and Jack Emsley (Photo credits to Jay Norman Photography)

GB Telemark Head Coach; Sebastien Mansart (Photo credits to Jay Norman Photography)

The evening began with drinks and an introduction from FIS Telemark Commentator; Jack Harvard Taylor and Robbie, who invited the guests into the main dining room. All athletes circulated following the starter and main course to socialise with as many of our guests as possible.

FIS Telemark Commentator; Jack Harvard Taylor with Robbie Houstoun watching on (Photo credits to Jay Norman Photography)

An evening to remember (Photo credits to Jay Norman Photography)

The guests arriving and listening to opening comments from Jack Harvard Taylor and Robbie Houstoun (Photo credits to Jay Norman Photography)

We were incredibly lucky to have support from Ben Jeens-Williams, a professional producer who conducted interviews with various guests. We were also joined by Jay Norman, a very talented photographer, who took all these beautiful photos. You can see more of his work on his website here and make sure you follow him on Instagram here. Jay’s photos are also featured on an article by PlanetSKI here. We received some press coverage, written by Nino Severino, in the Ipswich Star and East Anglian Daily Times which you can read here.

Producer; Ben Jeens-Williams with Jack Harvard Taylor (Photo credits to Jay Norman Photography)

Athletes; Colin and Alec Dixon talking with newly appointed Chairman of Norwegian Telemark; Per Olav Tangen (Photo credits to Jay Norman Photography)

Colin Dixon explaining filming protocol to the Director of the Performance Hub at the University of Suffolk; Nino Severino with Producer; Ben Jeens-Williams (Photo credits to Jay Norman Photography)

PlanetSKI Reporter; Jane Peel (Photo credits to Jay Norman Photography)

Jack narrated our evening, introducing FIS Telemark Chairman; Andrew Clarke, also former athlete and team captain. Andrew said a few words and read out a speech written by GB Telemark Chairman, Adrian Pery, who unfortunately was unable to attend.

FIS Telemark Chairman; Andrew Clarke (Photo credits to Jay Norman Photography)

Jack Harvard Taylor enjoying his dinner with CEO of the Ski Club of Great Britain; Darren Neylon (Photo credits to Jay Norman Photography)

Robbie Houstoun enjoying his dinner (Photo credits to Jay Norman Photography)

The Cavalry & Guards Club (Photo credits to Jay Norman Photography)

There was a raffle and silent auction with prizes from team sponsors; Dare 2b, Point 6 and VOLA, and team supporters; Reusch, Tux Diamant, Ski Bartlett, Christopher Lees, Moose, George’s Surf School, British Ski & Snowboard, Montrachet Fine Wines, Sonia and Norman Chessman from The Place, Young People’s Company and Kate Emsley.

My speech (Photo credits to Jay Norman Photography)

I gave a speech at the end of the evening, quite nerve-racking but the great atmosphere and support in the room carried me through.

Something amusing Robbie Houstoun and I (Photo credits to Jay Norman Photography)

Team Captain; Louis Hatchwell (Photo credits to Jay Norman Photography)

Marguerite Nice from the Ladies Ski Club (Photo credits to Jay Norman Photography)

Louis Hatchwell and I listening carefully (Photo credits to Jay Norman Photography)

A beautiful setting (Photo credits to Jay Norman Photography)

Jack Harvard Taylor talking with Robbie Houstoun (Photo credits to Jay Norman Photography)

Amazingly, we made just over £6,000 in total. I would like to thank all the guests for attending, all the sponsors and supporters for their generosity, everyone involved with GB Telemark and my teammates for their hard work – without which, this would not have been possible.

Top to bottom, left to right; Jack Emsley, Jasper Taylor, Alec Dixon, Naila Cardwell, Colin Dixon, Ben Silva, Andrew Clarke, Jack Harvard Taylor, Ben Emsley, Sissi Compton, Louis Hatchwell, Jasmin Taylor and Robbie Houstoun (Photo credits to Jay Norman Photography)

I am so proud of this team – here’s to another great winter to come!

The Olympic Bid

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Following the FIS Congress earlier this year, the International Ski Federation (FIS) voted to put forth various sports (that sit under the FIS) to the International Olympic Committee (IOC). Telemark was successful in this vote but was unfortunately not successful at the final hurdle; the IOC stage. The decision took place a few days ago and while the answer was not the one we were hoping for, telemark as a sport is the strongest it has ever been.

The official statement from FIS Telemark

The official statement from FIS Telemark

Prior to the IOC decision, the World Cup athletes headed up a social media campaign which not only raised the profile of our sport, but has shown our unity and that we are a strong force. I spoke with BBC reporter, Nick Hope, leading up to the decision. There was an article published on ‘BBC Sport’ here and ‘BBC Get Inspired’ here.

An article with 'BBC Sport' by Nick Hope

An article with ‘BBC Sport’ by Nick Hope

An article with 'BBC Get Inspired' by Nick Hope

An article with ‘BBC Get Inspired’ by Nick Hope

The story also ran on the BBC World News television channel 7 times throughout the day of the decision. BBC World News has over 378 million viewers per week and over 52 million per day. You can see the report below which includes other international World Cup athletes; Amélie Reymond, Phil Lau and Tobi Muller.

The video below is the version included on the ‘BBC Get Inspired’ news article.

You can read about the FIS sports which did make Olympic inclusion here with an article by ‘Planet Ski’ and how it affects British Ski & Snowboard athletes and disciplines here with their official statements. I believe telemark would bring diversity to the Winter Olympic Games and it remains my dream to one day see telemark make Olympic inclusion. Thank you to everyone that has supported the journey along the way, the job is not done yet.

FIS Congress in Costa Navarino, Greece

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This season was significant for a number of reasons though something I haven’t mentioned until now is the athlete involvement that has taken place. I should imagine it’s obvious that for me, telemark is more than a passion, it has been my main source and measure of personal development, for which I am very grateful.

Corinth Canal, Greece

We saw the Corinth Canal on the way

The FIS Congress in Costa Navarino, Greece

The FIS Congress in Costa Navarino, Greece

Our accommodation

Our accommodation had some nice features…

The beach

The in-resort beach

Enjoying our lunch hour in Costa Navarino, Greece

Enjoying our lunch hour, could be worse…

This year, I attended the FIS Congress in Costa Navarino, Greece with fellow athletes; Beatrice Zimmermann (SUI) and Matti Lopez (FRA). We went there to communicate and represent the athlete viewpoint from athlete-centred meetings conducted within the winter season. The FIS Telemark Committee were polite and receptive, it was an extremely positive week which has taught me so much about the governance of our sport.

While we were there, the International Ski Federation (FIS) voted to put forth various sports (that sit under the FIS) to the International Olympic Committee (IOC). Telemark was successful in this vote and the next stage continues in June later this year. Whether or not we become an Olympic sport, this is still a significant step in our sporting development.

This is the official statement from FIS Telemark: “We’re delighted to announce that our proposal for Telemark Parallel Sprint and Team Parallel Sprint to be included in a proposal to the IOC has been approved by the FIS. The next stage is the IOC vote in June.”

Matti Lopez (Athlete Representative, FRA), Beatrice Zimmermann (Athlete Representative, SUI), Andrew Clarke (FIS Telemark Committee Chairman, GBR), Jasmin Taylor (Athlete Representative, GBR), HP Birchler (FIS Telemark Committee, SUI), Neil Dixon (FIS Telemark Committee Representative, FRA)

Matti Lopez (Athlete Representative, FRA), Beatrice Zimmermann (Athlete Representative, SUI), Andrew Clarke (FIS Telemark Committee Chairman, GBR), Jasmin Taylor (Athlete Representative, GBR), HP Birchler (FIS Telemark Committee, SUI), Neil Dixon (FIS Telemark Committee Representative, FRA)

You can easily following this movement on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram by tracking the FIS Telemark social media account and hashtags.

#FISTelemark #MakeTelemarkOlympic

An amazing telemark family, long may it last and grow. It would be amazing to see telemark make it all the way to the Winter Olympic Games, to think it could now be a reality is so exciting. Please follow the story and spread the message far and wide.

The Final World Cups

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We arrived in Rjukan, Norway for a training day prior to the Norwegian round of World Cup racing. The conditions were superb and the set up was as perfect as ever. Rjukan is the location for the World Championships next year so it very much felt like a warm up in preparation. It was just myself and Robbie Houstoun competing from Great Britain and the racing kicked off with an afternoon Sprint. I finished in 5th and Robbie finished in 37th place.

The scenery in Rjukan, Norway

Gaustatoppen in Rjukan, Norway

The race hill in Rjukan, Norway

The race hill in Rjukan, Norway

The following day was the Parallel Sprint event and after a tricky qualification run I was paired against World Cup winner, Simone Oehrli (SUI). Simone took the win meaning I finished in 9th place. Robbie unfortunately didn’t quite make the qualification cut.

Parallel Sprint in Rjukan, Norway

Buckling up for the Parallel Sprint

Out of the start gate in Parallel Sprint

Out of the start gate in Parallel Sprint

Shaking off the previous day, I took the Parallel Sprint start gate once more though this time with a fresh perspective qualifying in 7th place. I met Gøril Strøm Eriksen (NOR), moving on to the quarter finals where I met Argeline Tan Bouquet (FRA). After winning the first two rounds, I raced Beatrice Zimmermann (SUI) in the semi finals and unfortunately missed a gate meeting Guro Helde Kjølseth (NOR) in the small final. I was pleased to finish back on the podium in 3rd place. That race was also broadcast on NRK1, which is a main TV channel in Norway at prime time viewing and a great achievement for the sport.

The podium in Rjukan, Norway

The Parallel Sprint podium in Rjukan, Norway

After the race, we went up to the top of Gaustatoppen and skied powder, it was a real joy and wonderful way to switch off post competition.

Gausatoppen with Canadian telemark team member, Antoine Belanger-Morin and team-mate, Robbie Houstoun

Gausatoppen with Canadian telemark team member, Antoine Belanger-Morin and team-mate, Robbie Houstoun

The summit of Gausatoppen

The summit of Gausatoppen

Amazing snow!

Amazing snow!

The final race day in Rjukan was another Sprint and my 100th World Cup start where I finished on the podium in 3rd place behind Argeline Tan Bouquet (FRA) and Johanna Holzmann (GER).

The Sprint podium in Rjukan, Norway

The Sprint podium in Rjukan, Norway

The tour then travelled to Murren, Switzerland for World Cup Finals and the World Junior Championships. The first day of racing was the Team Parallel Sprint where myself, Ben Emsley and Robbie Houstoun raced the formidable Norwegians. I managed to win my race though on the whole, the Norwegians took the victory progressing on to take 3rd place. The junior team; Naila Cardwell, Alec Dixon and Sion Bingham also lost out to Norway.

The scenery in Murren

The scenery in Murren

Team Parallel Sprint in Murren with Ben Emsley and Robbie Houstoun

Team Parallel Sprint in Murren with Ben Emsley and Robbie Houstoun

The final Parallel Sprint was a success for me – I took the win after qualifying in 2nd place. This victory gave me enough World Cup points to finish in 2nd place in the Parallel Sprint overall standings. It was a real rush to compete that day and amazing to feel such a strong team affect with my team-mates cheering from the sides.

The start gate in the Parallel Sprint

The start gate in the Parallel Sprint

On course in Murren

On course in Murren

The Parallel Sprint podium in Murren with Johanna Holzmann (GER) and Beatrice Zimmermann (SUI)

The Parallel Sprint podium in Murren with Johanna Holzmann (GER) and Beatrice Zimmermann (SUI)

Coach Seb was pretty happy with my victory...

Coach Seb was pretty happy with my victory…

The World Junior Championship Parallel Sprint was held the following day where all the British juniors finished in 17th place. Jack Harvard Taylor made his return to the commentary box where I paid him a visit for an interview.

Interview with Jack Harvard Taylor

Interview with Jack Harvard Taylor

The World Junior Championship Classic saw Naila Cardwell finishing in 10th place which is a personal best. The top British male was Sion Bingham who finished in 13th place. The final World Cup Sprint race followed on that afternoon, I finished in 4th place which resulted in 4th place in the Sprint overall World Cup standings. Ben Emsley achieved a career best, finishing in 23rd position. We were joined by Dave Edwards, the current CEO of British Ski & Snowboard, which was a real privilege. Melanie Byrom, the chairman of the Kandahar Ski Club, was also on place to support with many club members.

The GB Telemark Ski Team with British Ski & Snowboard CEO, Dave Edwards

The GB Telemark Ski Team with British Ski & Snowboard CEO, Dave Edwards

The very last day was the Classic, I finished in 6th position which was good enough to finish 3rd in the overall Classic World Cup standings and 4th in the general World Cup standings. Robbie Houstoun finished in the top 20 for the first time with a 19th place. In the World Junior Championship Sprint, Sion Bingham was the top Brit once more finishing in 16th place, followed by Alec Dixon in 21st, Colin Dixon in 23rd and Jack Emsley in 24th place.

My Classic bronze medal in Murren

My tired eyes say it all, happy with my Classic bronze medal in Murren

It has been an incredible season! So proud to have finished with 4 victories across all 3 disciplines, 14 podiums and 2 medals in the overall standings. Thank you to my team, coaches, team-mates, sponsors, supporters, family, friends, federations and committees for making it totally awesome.

The GB Telemark Ski Team

The GB Telemark Ski Team

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