World Winter Games 2017 - Daily Team Highlights



#TEAMSOGB Final Medal Tally

8 Gold, 5 Silver, 5 Bronze,
5- 4th's, 4- 5th's, 1- 6th, 1- 7th, 1- 8th
2 Participation Ribbons

Alpine Skiers Figure Skaters

Lauren Payne -       Gold Giant Slalom & Slalom

Heather McNeil – Gold
Tyler Charleston  -  Gold Giant Slalom & Slalom Courtney Montgomery – Gold
Ruth Charleston -   5th GS, Bronze in Slalom Calum Titmus - Silver
Becky Owen -         5th GS, Bronze in Slalom Stephanie Gott- Bronze
Lauren Cain-           Participation Ribbon,
                                Silver in slalom
Jenny Lee - 4th
Alex Scarborough - Silver Super G,
                                Bronze in slalom
Meg McFarlane - 5th
Karen Oosthuizen -Silver Giant Slalom,
                               Gold in Slalom
Graeme Watson - 5th
Anthony Coulon -   Bronze GS, Silver in Slalom Jonathan McSalley -6th
James Millard -      4th in SG & GS Elouise Carruthers -7th
Owen Stephen -    4th in SG,
                              Participation Ribbon
Calum Mills – 8th
David Corr -           4th in GS, Gold in Slalom  




24th March

Alpine Skiing

Smiles this morning as everyone had a long lie, the team reflected over breakfast on the achievements and life long memories forged this past week. We came as individuals from all over Britain and are going home as one team- proud to have represented our country.

Austria, Schladming has done Special Olympics proud, from the moment we arrived at host town - a fantastic and calming atmosphere for the athletes to soak in some Austrian culture before competing to  Schladming where everything has been an extremely well organised operation from the piste to accommodation to food. Everyone has served us with a smile and a friendly attitude, we could not have been made more welcome.


Here are the quotes from skiing athletes and team on their experiences

Lauren Cain - I like skiing and I like winning Tyler Charleston- I am pleased to be taking home 2 gold medals Ruth Charleston - I loved the skiing Karen Oosthuizen - I enjoyed making friends from different countries e.g. Canada, New Zealand and Australia Rebecca Owen- Getting a medal in the top female division has meant so much to me and beating some of the fasted females felt good.

Lauren Payne- my highlight was seeing Jason Mraz at the opening ceremony and being with everyone in the team Anthony Coulon- I liked skiing and winning medals James Millard - Two memories which stand out for me are lighting the candle in the church for my mum and when Tim Shriver said at the opening ceremony to put your hand on your heart to remember those people who could not be here with you.

David Corr - I had a fun time. Great Britain is made up of different countries, Scotland, England and Wales but we all made one team here.

Alex Scarborough- I believe it was a true honour to represent my country at the Olympics- that's what I came for Owen Stephen- it was good to get to know all the athletes from all the different nations.

Alex Williams (HOD) - it's been an absolute pleasure to watch the athletes perform on the slopes and to see their delight in the whole experience of Special Olympics

Coaching staff (Liam, Pete and Josh) - what an amazing performance from our athletes in a superb setting and fantastic venue.

Figure Skating

The two weeks have been a whirlwind of an experience. We've seen a beautiful country we had never seen before, we've seen extraordinary people achieving extraordinary things! We've been challenged with so many different situations and pushed to the limit. We've never been more moved by the people of the world or witnessed such kindness and heart warming encouragement with no judgement or discrimination. We've made friends with the coaching team and got to know 10 amazing young people who have made us all proud beyond words, and it's all been revolving around the one passion that's closest to our hearts, ice skating. What an event and a sport to give such strength and courage to so many athletes and countries. We are really proud to be coaches here, thank you for the opportunity Special Olympics.



23rd March

Alpine Skiing

Skiers magnificent medal haul.

Today was our last day of competing and what it day it was with 10 athletes competing and 9 achieving medals, we were on for 10 out of 10 however one of our athletes straddled a gate and was unfortunately disqualified, leaving us with: 4 Golds, 2 silvers, 3 bronze and a participation medal for the 10th. It was a night of celebrations at the medal ceremonies this evening as time and time again the skiers from team GB dominated the podium and did their country proud. 

The Alpine team have a standing invitation from the Schladming Special Olympics ski club who were impressed with the professionalism, attitude and sportsmanship of the whole team.

Tomorrow we are having a long awaited and we'll deserved long lie, a relaxing morning in the hotel pool before packing and heading to the closing ceremony.

Figure Skating

Awards were colected this morning for all the level 2 skaters (Meg, Courtney, Jenny, Callum Mills, Graeme)

Competition this afternoon:

Stephanie Gott had an amazing skate today , her free programme was perfect . After lying 7th after the elements she pulled up to 3rd . Well done Steph , really proud of you .

Calum Titmus was really excited for his skate since his elements and he delivered a great skate winning a silver medal and making us all proud. He loved every minute of his routine and was really pleased with himself.

Elouise performed her free program beautifully. All of her jumps landed. Two lovely sit spins and executed the straight line step sequence with speed and flow . Well done Elouise. She finished 7th in her group.












22nd March

Alpine Skiing

The morning started with thick fog which brought new challenges for the skiers doing their divisioning runs for tomorrow's slalom race. Visibility was down to 30 meters but that didn't stop the athletes doing their best and they have all competed divisioning successfully and we are now waiting to hear which categories they will race in tomorrow.

The afternoon was spent in Schladming shopping for gifts for famliy members and buying momentos to remind the athletes of their time out here, we bumped into Lara and Luis the games mascots and were able to get a team photo with them ( photo attached)

While the athletes were shopping the coaches were busy getting the skis prepped for tomorrow's race - as they have done every night before a race - thank you Pete, Josh and Liam. Pete was on edges and polishing today and Josh was on waxing ( photo attached)

It's early tea for us tonight before we head down to the advanced medal ceremony for yesterday's races and then bed early in preparation for our final day of racing tomorrow.

Figure Skating

Heather McNeil today recieved her Gold medal for her performance (Level 1 Ladies, ages 16-19yrs). Everyone was so proud of her and she really has become a star.

Jonathan McSalley (Level 1 Men, ages 24-45yrs) recieved his 6th place ribbon and enjoyed every moment of receiving his award on stage with proud parents, coaches, friends and team mates looking on and congratulating him.

Eloise Carruthers (Level 4 Ladies, ages 14-26yrs) was a little nervous on her practice , today. Some of her elements did not go as well as she can do . She worked through it  and came of the ice feeling confident. Eloise performs her free programme tomorrow afternoon.

Meg McFarlane (Level 2 Ladies, ages 11-16yrs) what a star!!! Meg skated fantastic in the free program. After lying in 7th place after the compulsory elements, Meg pulled up into 5th place after the free program. Well done Meg team GB are so proud of you. Meg will collect her 5th place ribbon tomorrow.

Courtney Montgomery (Level 2 Ladies, ages 11-16yrs) was calm before her skate no nerves skated the best ever was very fast but still in total control was very happy with her skate. She has earned herself a Gold medal which she will collect tomorrow.

Jenny Lee (Level 2 Ladies, ages 17-20yrs) made us all proud here and at home with some last minute changes to her program she delivered a superstar performance with fantastic presentation as she does best :) the marks were so close it was a real knife edge finish between 4th and 3rd place and we're all so happy with her. Jenny ended up in 4th place and will collect her ribbon tomorrow.

Calum Mills (Level 2 Mens, ages 18-23) soldiered through his skate even though he felt bad with a cold and made it to the end of his skate with no faults and a performance to be proud of! Calum will collect his 8th place ribbon tomorrow.

Graeme Watson (Level 2 Mens, ages 18-23) made his family and us all proud and smashed another good routine. His spirit continued to push him through the routine, in the zone he was really happy with his skate. Graeme will collect his 5th place ribbon tomorrow.

Also skating tomorrow afternoon is Steph Gott (Level 3 Ladies, ages 15-20yrs) and Calum Titmus (Level 3 Men, ages 22-34)

All videos of the athletes performances so far can be found on YouTube.













21st March

Alpine Skiing

The day started with 15 degrees at 7.30am and as the athletes anticipation increased as the start of the race grew closer so did the temperature. The giant slalom race started promptly at 9am on both the advanced and intermediate courses and our last skier finished at 3.15pm. It was a long day but the hard work paid off with the final medal tally for the day being 2 Gold ( Lauren Payne, Tyler Charleston) 1 silver ( Karen Oosthuizen) 1 bronze ( Anthony Coulon) 2 4th place ( James Millard, David Corr) , 2 5th place ( Becky Owen and Ruth Charleston) and one participation medal for Lauren Cain who unfortunately fell on the course.

The medal ceremonies began at 4pm so it was a quick turn around from ski gear to team attire before we headed into Schladming. The team joined the families to celebrate the success of the intermediate athletes, the ceremony for the advanced athletes has been postponed until tomorrow evening. There was a huge cheer for Tyler as she took prime position on the podium ( photo attached)

Lauren Payne has a huge group of supporters with her this week who were all there to see her win Gold wearing their Team Lauren T-shirts

Figure Skating

Callum Mills' practice - Callum really went for it in his practice. It was a good practice today and even though there were music issues he still soldiered on. Towards the end of the practice he was looking much calmer than the start and said he felt good about his routine tomorrow.

Graeme Watson's practice - Graeme filled the rink with ease with plenty of pushing power. His elements in his program were solid after some little reminders to keep his head up he was skating proud!

Meg McFarlane's practice- Meg had a fantastic practice full of confidence & looking forward to competing tomorrow.

Jenny Lee's practice - Jenny was a superstar in her practice after some last minute changes to her routine and a couple of goes through she was feeling much better and ready to go for it tomorrow, currently in 4th place she is really trying hard for a podium finish.

Calum Titmus' practice - Calim was a trooper today on practice. He was heads up and smiling, putting real effort into everything and followed instructions from the coaching team to the word to deliver a great run through. He has his eyes firmly set on the gold and we wish him the best chance he can have!

Stephanie Gott's practice - went really well considering she had was involved in an accident on the ice . She regained her composure and went through her routine marvellously.

Torvill & Dean visited the GB Team at lunchtime and even stayed on watch purdie athltes skate. It was just the boost the athletes needed and it was an honour for both athletes and coaches to meet them and give a little pep talk.

Heather McNeil Competition - (Level 1 Ladies, ages 16-17years) - Heather had her Competition today skating to tinker bell she twinkled on the ice with a flawless performance very composed and confident winning her a Gold Medal.

Jonathan McSalley's Competition - (Level 1 Men, ages 24-45 years)- Johnathan skated his routine the best he has ever skated it. I'm not sure I've seen him move so fast before and his artistic was done with real heart and soul. He lapped up every hand clap and cheer that was thrown at him :)













20th March

Alpine Skiing

The day started with nervous anticipation as the bulk of the athletes were taking part in the divisioning for the giant slalom race tomorrow. The sun came out and was a pleasant reprive from the rain but unfortunately the downside of the clear blue skies and sunshine was the race piste soon became rutted in the spring snow conditions. This created challenges for the athletes which they rose too with great fortitude.  Lauren Cain said she enjoyed snaking through the gates.

ITV spent the day following the athletes and doing interviews this were aired in some regions this evening and a longer piece will hopefully go out on the Friday evening local news.

The highlight of the day was a surprise meeting with ice skating legends Torvill and Dean, the athletes all had an opportunity to meet the and get the obligatory selfie. A class of pupils from our supporting school in Salzburg were also able to meet us and gifts were exchanged.

It's off to bed early now in preparation for race day tomorrow.

Figure Skating

Heather McNeil had her free programme practice today

Heather took a while to get used to the ice and layout but once we got her starting point in order she was off and feeling more confident, once the music was played she was gliding through it with ease.

Jonathan McSalley had his free programme practice today

Jonathan worked hard on his training session today paying attention to detail and pushing hard with both feet and keeping them close together was happy with his session and good to go for his comp tomorrow

At lunch time Class 2C from the International Bilingual school visited the rink to give the GB Team athletes some gifts and to cheer Eloise on during her Competition.

Eloise Carruthers was the only GB Figure Skating Competition today (Level 4 Ladies ages 14-26years) - Eloise felt good before her skate and did a good run through of her elements. She showed composure under pressure and managed her elements without any assistance. Coaches noticed an improvement from the last training weekend. (We left the rink before the results were posted)

All athltes spent the afternoon with their parents except Callum Mills who went round some of the Hoathly Athletes Programme and visited the Special Smiles station, Opening Eyes station and Fun Fitness station.














19th March

Alpine Skiing

Today was the first day of racing or the skiers, three of the athletes competed and gained the following results:

James Millard 4th place in intermediate division 7 Owen Stephen 4th place in advanced division 2 Alex Scarborough 2nd place in advanced division 2

The afternoon was spent down at the medals ceremonies celebrating the success of all the athletes and cheering loudly the GB team.

Figure Skating

After the Figure Skating Compulsory Elements  (which are worth 33% of the final mark):

(Level 1 Ladies, ages 16-17 years):

Heather McNeil is lying in 1st place - Heather was the first athlete from the GB Figure Skating Squad to compete (on 17th March). She did so well, keeping her head up and performed all of her elements extreemly well and even managed to smile at the crowd too.

(Level 1 Men, ages 24-45 years):

Jonathan McSalley is lying in 6th place - Jonathan also competed on 17th March and really did his best out on the ice. He performed his elements really well and loved having the crowd there to bow to at the end.

19th March competition:

(Level 2 ladies, ages 11-16 years):

Meg McFarlane is lying on 7th place - Meg had a wonderful skate. Excellent presentation. T-stops executed very well. Over all a fantastic skate

Courtney Montgomery is lying in 1st place - Courtney was fast on the ice but in control, very confident skating with excellent presentation skills. She looked super confident in her practice and made all of her elements clear precise and by the book!

(Level 2 Ladies, ages 17-20 years):

Jenny Lee is lying in 4th place - Jenny really went for it today. She knew exactly what she needed to do and did it all with a touch of finesse! Super arms and presentation was the icing on the cake :)

(Level 2 Men, ages 18-23 years):

Callum Mills is lying in 8th place - Calum was calm and collected in his practice. He performed his cross overs with ease and made sure all the right elements were placed correctly :)

Graeme Watson is lying in 6th place - Graeme was a littke nervous but showed excellent spirit in his elements attacking them with speed and a confident war face ;) in his words "I'm gonna smash it for my country" and that he did and he was happy with his performance.

(Level 3 Ladies, ages 15-20 years):

Stephanie Gott - Steph performed her elements to the best of her ability, excuiting them with poise and confidence. Well done Steph.- (we left the rink before the results were posted)

(Level 3 Men, ages 22-34 years):

Calum Titmus - Calum was really excited about his skate and after a good off ice session to clarify the rules he remembered everything and tried 100% on his turn! He is very happy with his skate! - (we left the rink before the results were posted)

(Level 4 Ladies, ages 14-26 years):
Eloise just had her practice today and she looked strong and confident. After a little adjustment to the new surroundings she found her way to do some excellent edges, 3 turns and Mohawks :)













18th March

Alpine Skiing

Athletes are getting used to their 5.30 start to the day. Today we had three athletes divisioning in the Super G event - James Millard on intermediate and Alex Scarborough and Owen Stephen on the Advanced course. James catapulted himself out of the start with his race cry after he had flown down the course coach Joshua Murphy asked James how he was feeling to quote James " it's an absolutely amazing feeling I've got such an adrenaline rush going through me ".  On the advanced course from the top of piste 32 our two skiers were competing in the fastest and highest event of the games, coach Pete Jesse prepared our athletes for the start of the race and was able to capture  Owens explosive start on camera ( see photo below). Alex said he felt the race went well and the course was well laid out. Those not competing today cheered on their team mates  from behind the start gate before heading off for more training for their races later on this week. The girls enjoyed the views from the gondola on the way up ( photo attached).

The rain that was forecast has now arrived so we are heading back to the hotel to give the athletes a rest before the opening ceremony this evening.

Figure Skating

Everyone had a lay in this morning and got to relax and finally unpack their bags after a few very busy days.

Boarding the bus at 2.30pm we were driven to Schladming where we got to meet up with the the rest of the GB Team who we have not seen for a few days.

Lots of high fives, and the chance for more pin badges swapping with other countires whilst waiting to parade into the Opening Ceremony

The team walked in extreemly proud, waving to the cheering crowd and cameras.

There was music, speeches, raising of the Special Olympics flag and lighting if the cauldron followed by fireworks and a great time was had by all.

Despite the pouring rain everyone enjoyed this once in a lifetime opportunity  - many highlights for all the athltes but most really loved the torchlight decent before the lighting of the Special Olympics calurldron and Calum Titmus said he love the red, pink and purple fireworks!













17th March

Alpine Skiing

Adrienne says: "The day started bright and early with a 5.30am start - to quote Ruth and Tyler 'that was really hard'.

"We were on the bus for 7.30am and on the snow by 7.45am - 45 mins before the lifts opened to the public.

"The morning was spent doing the skier assessments prior to divnisioning tomorrow. The assume that course was a shorted giant slalom used by the hosting delegation to ensure the athletes were in the correct categories. All athletes completed the course and have been categorised correctly.

"Following the run we headed up the mountain to get a final training run in for the day, we came across the South Korean team who were lost on the mountain so we escorted them to the race piste and saved them from disqualification from the entire Alpine event as to qualify for the week all athletes had to complete the assessment run.

"The team then headed down for lunch - not only a time to eat but a great opportunity to mix with other nations and we shared our table with the Japanese team ( photo attached) the athletes learnt how to say hello and good luck in Japanese. Becky Owen said she really enjoyed seeing their head of delegation hand making origami animals for them all at the table.

"We then headed to the Olympic village where athletes were allowed to interact with other nations in a relaxed and friendly environment. Coca-Cola invited the team into their stand where the team made badges and bracelets ( photo attached). The highlight afternoon was the Austrian team challenging the GB team to a life sized table football match. #TEAMSOGB won that match 3 -2 but went on to lose against South Korea 2-3 (photo attached).

"James Millard said it was great fun and amazing to play against another country and new friendships were made.

"We headed back to hotel for dry land training and are heading to bed early so ready for our early start again tomorrow."

Figure Skating

It was a busy day today with half of the team getting up very early to catch the bus to he rink in time for their practice. The rest of team had an extra hour in bed before they followed on to the rink.

Practice went well for everyones elements (yhis was the first time that most had skated on an outdoor ice rink) and then we made our way to Messe Graz for lunch.

The afternoon was great as the compulsory elements Competition started with Jonathan and Heather Competing in level 1 wearing there fabulous compulsory elements outfits (made by Susan Carruthers- mum of Eloise carruthers).  Both enjoyed their skate and did their best and still remembered to smile and wave at the crowd. They were supported by the awesome cheering squad of GB family members most of which were also showing off their official GB Team kit.