CHICHESTER alpine skier Yasmin Cooper hopes to soak up every ounce of experience when she lands in Lillehammer as part of the GB squad for this month’s Winter Youth Olympic Games.
Cooper will join 15 of the brightest young sporting stars in the country as they head to Norway to take on the best the world has to offer across a range of winter sports.
For 17-year-old Cooper the selection for GB comes off the back of a successful 2015 that saw her crowned British under-18 champion in combined, Super G and slalom events.
But for all her domestic success, the Chichester High School student is not about to get ahead of herself as she prepares for her biggest international stage to date.
“I am really looking forward to the Youth Olympics and it feels amazing to be selected and I still can’t quite believe it,” Cooper, a past winner of the Chichester & District Youth Sport Achievement Award winner voted by Observer readers.
“Preparations have been going really well as I have scored a couple of personal bests in Canada in the slalom and then in the Super G at the Scottish Championships. So that has given me a lot of confidence and hopefully I can build on that when I get out to Lillehammer.
“But I am not about to set myself any targets. I am just going to go out there to be really positive and just do my best.
“It will be a great experience and will hopefully lead to a senior Olympics down the line so I just need to take it all in.”
The Winter Youth Olympics do mean Cooper will not be one of 350 athletes that will descend on Bormio, Italy, on February 13 for the week-long 20th English Alpine Championships, organised by national governing body Snowsport England.
The championships continue to feature the rising stars having previously acted as a platform for the likes of Chemmy Alcott and Dave Ryding, and Cooper admits she is disappointed to sit this one out.
“The English Alpine Championships is one of the best events on the calendar and one I always look out for so I am gutted at missing it,” she added.
“I love competing in Bormio, it is one of my favourite places to compete, and the atmosphere is always really good there because there are lots of competitors in one place.”
* Follow the English Alpine Championships, organised by Snowsport England, via www.englishalpinechamps.org.uk or @SnowsportEng on Twitter.
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