My name is George Brown and I am one of the UK’s most promising dryslope ski racers. I came to the world of ski racing much later than many of my peers as I was and still am a competitive gymnast. From the age of six I had been getting trained to an elite level with a goal of reaching the British Gymnastics (BG) development squad. I had to accept a really tough decision from my club and coaches just before I turned 10 that I was no longer going to be on the elite pathway.
This came as a real confidence blow, but I still took everything in my stride and with limited training of my new routines I managed to come 7th in the country within the second (development) teir of Gymnastics giving me a chance to train at the national gymnastics center with BG.
Winter was fast approaching and we were due to go away on our family ski holiday at February half term. We decided to join Midland Ski Club in the January to get some practice in and all three of us started race training. This was in 2018. I skied my first race at the club just under a month later and I came third in the U12 section. Every internal club race after that in my age group I have won. I have skied for my club in interclub champs, represented Central England, was Birmingham and Midlands Schools champion for my age two years running, have skied for my club in the Alps at The Anglo Scottish championships with my best results being 7th U12 Giant Slalom(GS) in my first ever GS race and 8th U14 in my first ever Alpine full gates Slalom race, 3rd in my year of birth.
Then the world went into lockdown. Just as my skiing was flying and I was getting a chance to race, even whilst still training 14 hours a week as a gymnast, I was making waves. I put all the effort I could into training at home for my sports and along with a growth spurt the physical gains were showing and 103 days later we were skiing again in summer 2020. I attended as many camps as I could through that summer and the skiers that were beating me the year before, I was now faster than them and I was catching and beating skiers in the older age groups. There were two races after the first lockdown in the UK at Stoke and Welwyn Garden City and I won both of them in my age group and was 4th and 9th respectively overall in the two races. Against U16-18, senior and masters skiers. I was happy that all my training and conditioning was now paying off.
We entered lockdown 2 and skiing stopped again, but after that The National Schools Snowsports Association (NSSA) started a schools league and so far I have been able to ski in three of the races, winning all three in my age group and overall.
We then entered lockdown three and my efforts of home training were recognised by The Birmingham Mail and they published a story about me. The weekend the story was published it snowed in Birmingham and I had some fun in my back garden building a jump. With the newspaper article and my footage on social media of my slope the media went mad. National papers printing the story, BBC Radio west midlands interview for their breakfast show, Dan Walker featuring it in the newspaper section of BBC breakfast, ITV and channel 5 national evening news both covering the story. Then the German Equivalent to Newsround and the official Olympic Instagram feed featured it. It was an amazing distraction to what has been a really tough time. I have also been added to Rossignol UK sponsored athlete program to assist me to reach my potential and in time become a fully sponsored factory athlete.
The easing of restrictions can’t come soon enough so that I am able to get back to doing what I love and then get out to Austria to train with Team Evolution who have a place ready for me when I can get there.
I really would love to be an ambassador for the show to highlight what grassroots skiing in the UK is all about.