Great Britain squad named for Winter Youth Games

Great Britain will send 23 athletes to compete at the inaugural Winter Youth Olympic Games, being held in Austria.

Alpine, cross-country and freestyle skiing, bobsleigh, ice hockey, figure skating and short-track speed skating, will be represented.

There will be more than 1,000 athletes, aged 14-18, heading to Innsbruck for the event between 13-22 January.

Chef de mission Sir Clive Woodward said: "I am hugely excited to be leading these very talented athletes."

The squad includes freestyle skier Katie Summerhayes , who will feature in half-pipe. The 16-year-old has already represented Britain in the World Championships, finishing 11th in slopestyle and 14th in half-pipe and has competed at the X Games  .

She said: "I have been training really hard over the summer to gain the best result that I can and it is going to be a dream come true."

DID YOU KNOW?

  • Some events will be mixed gender and mixed nation
  • GB's two ice hockey competitors will take part in a skills challenge

Also in the squad is Thomas Muirhead, younger brother of Eve, who competed in the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver and last weekend won the European Curling Championships with Scotland .

"Competing against the best athletes of my age from all over the world in an Olympic setting is really exciting," he said.

And cross-country skier Scott Dixon is the son of six-time Olympian Mike , who will be team leader for the biathlon.

The bobsleigh squad have already gained experience in competing at Europa Cup level and Jazmin Sawyers won a medal at the Youth Commonwealth Games this year in athletics.

Sawyers said: "I have represented my country at Commonwealth level but this is now the highlight of my sporting career to date - I can't wait to put on my Team GB kit and compete for the medals in Innsbruck."

It is the first time the Winter Games have been held for this age group but Woodward said the youngsters have been inspired by skeleton Olympic gold medallist Amy Williams .

He believed Team GB would "compete with great skill and pride to produce some thrilling performances".

Adding: "Amy Williams demonstrated what can be achieved with dedication, determination and a great support system.

"Our priority at the British Olympic Association has been to ensure we have left no stone unturned in our preparations to allow every Team GB athlete to fulfil their potential and produce their personal best in Innsbruck."

THE FULL GB SQUAD

Alpine skiing - Paul Henderson - Edinburgh

Alpine skiing - Rachelle Rogers - Bordon, Hampshire

Biathlon - Calum Irvine - Aviemore

Bobsleigh - Oliver Biddulph - Bridgwater, Somerset

Bobsleigh - James Lelliot - Poole, Dorset

Bobsleigh - Mic McNeil - Blackhill, County Durham

Bobsleigh - Jazmin Sawyers - Stoke-on-Trent

Bobsleigh - Kirsten Emery - Dronfield, Derbyshire

Bobsleigh - Frances Slater - Ware, Hertfordshire

Cross country skiing - Sarah Hale - Dalarna, Sweden

Cross country skiing - Scott Dixon - Aviemore

Curling - Duncan Menzies - Arbroath

Curling - Angharad Ward - Tonbridge, Kent

Curling - Thomas Muirhead - Perthshire

Curling - Rachel Hannen - Hamilton

Figure skating - Edward Carstairs - Nottingham

Figure skating - Millie Paterson - Rotherham

Freestyle skiing - Tyler Harding - Sowerby Bridge, Yorkshire

Freestyle skiing - Katie Summerhayes - Sheffield

Ice hockey - Katherine Gale - Crowthorne

Ice hockey - Lewis Hook - Peterborough

Short-track speed skating - Jack Burrows - Nottingham

Short-track speed skating - Aydin Djemal - Epsom, Surrey