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KIRSTY MUIR: BEST OF THE BRITS

The 15-year-old freestyle skier was the top GB performer in a busy weekend of snowsports action as she just missed an Olympic medal. It follows Katie Ormerod’s World Cup bronze as she continues her comeback.

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The talented Scot from Aberdeen was agonisingly close to a bronze medal in the slopestyle competition at the Lausanne 2020 Youth Winter Olympics.

She finished 4th in a world-class field, led by the 17-year-old Estonian Kelly Sildaru, who took the gold.

Sildaru is the reigning World Champion in halfpipe, a World Cup winner and 3-times X Games champion.

Second-placed Ailing Eileen Gu (16) of China and third-placed Jennie-Lee Burmansson (17) of Sweden are also both World Cup winners, so Muir’s 4th place is a huge achievement.

Kirsty Muir, Ski Slopestyle 2020 YOG - photo Sam Mellish

Kirsty Muir at the YOG – photo Sam Mellish

“I’m happy that I’ve landed my runs, I definitely have things to improve but I was really happy with that,” Muir said.

“In the morning it was really fast, I was struggling for speed there (in the final), but I managed to find it.

“I wasn’t too nervous. I knew I could go and send my tricks and do what I could; there was nothing to stop me, I just had to send it.”

Muir has another chance to challenge for an Olympic medal when she goes in the Ski Big Air at the Games later this week.

Kirsty Muir is one of the new young talents to emerge from the GB Park & Pipe programme.

In 2019, she was on the podium twice at the Junior World Championships.

We spoke to her at the British freeski and snowboard championships, The BRITS, in Laax in April last year.

She is hoping to follow in the footsteps of World Cup winner Katie Ormerod.

The 22-year-old snowboarder continued her comeback following her serious injury with a 3rd place in the slopestyle at the Laax Open World Cup on Friday.

MORE RESULTS FROM LAUSANNE 2020 YOUTH OLYMPIC GAMES 

Ski Cross

Scott Johns missed out on the semi-finals by just 0.1 seconds.

He finished in 11th place.

Scott Johns (centre) at 2020 YOG - photo Sam Mellish

Scott Johns (centre) – photo Sam Mellish

Nordic Combined

Mani Cooper made history by becoming the first British female to compete in the Nordic Combined (ski jumping and cross country) at an Olympic event as it made its Olympic debut.

She finished 19th.

Mani Cooper, Nordic Combine at 2020 YOG - photo Sam Mellish

Scott Johns (centre) – photo Sam Mellish

“This competition has been amazing and it’s very much a stepping stone,” Cooper said.

“It’s all about progress, progress, progress and improving, but I’m really happy to be here.

“My big aim is to compete at Beijing 2022 in the first women’s Nordic combined event.”

Ski Jumping

Sam Bolton (17) became the first Briton to compete in an Olympic ski jump since 2002.

He jumped well to finish 18th out of a field of 37 athletes.

Cross Country

In the cross-country skiing – free event 16-year-old Molly Jefferies was 51st, improving of her starting number of 72.

James Slimon finished 67th in the men’s event.

Both were also in action in the cross-country sprint free on Sunday.

Jefferies finished 48th (of 82) and Slimon 63rd (of 86).

ALPINE WORLD CUP

Dave Ryding couldn’t manage a second top 10 performance of the season.

He finished 16th  in the slalom at Wengen in Switzerland.

Next up is Kitzbühel in Austria on Sunday – the venue where he achieved the first of his two World Cup podiums in January 2017.

PARK & PIPE WORLD CUP

After a long injury lay-off, Katie Summerhayes was unlucky to miss out on a place in the finals at the ski slopestyle World Cup at Seiseralm in Italy, finishing 9th.

In the men’s event, Tyler Harding made the 16-man final where he finished in 13th place.

COMING UP …. X GAMES ASPEN

Later this week the prestigious invitation-only X Games will take place in Aspen, Colorado.

Last year’s bronze medallist in the ski big air, James ‘Woodsy’ Woods is recovering from injury and unable to compete.

Gus Kenworthy, who has switched allegiances from the USA to GB, will go in the ski superpipe and slopestyle events and Zoe Atkin will make her first appearance at an X Games in the ski superpipe.

Her older sister, the Pyeongchang Olympics bronze medallist Izzy Atkin, has been invited along as an ‘alternate’ and will compete if another athlete has to withdraw.

Izzy Atkin 2018 Olympic bronze

Izzy Atkin, Olympic bronze medallist

She will be hoping for her second X Games Aspen podium, having won the silver in ski slopestyle in 2018.

The X Games get under way on Thursday  23rd January.

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