Olympic selection for local athletes

Andrew Musgrave in action at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver
Andrew Musgrave in action at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver

There was excellent news for three local athletes hoping to make Team GB for the forthcoming 22nd Winter Olympics that will be held in Sochi, Russia next month.

Andrew Musgrave, sister Posey Musgrave from Oyne and Callum Smith from Inverurie will join Andrew Young of Huntly travelling to take part in the Olympics which start on Thursday, February 6.

Inverurie's Callum Smith in action.

Inverurie's Callum Smith in action.

The British Olympic Association (BOA) made the official announcement on Wednesday (January 22) that the four would join the 19 skiers and snowboarders that have been officially selected for Team GB for the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games.

The Herald and Times has recently featured Callum’s efforts to reach Sochi, which has seen the Inverurie athlete take a year out from studying Chemical Engineering at the University of Edinburgh to concentrate on training full-time. Callum raced to Olympic qualification time in December in St Ulrich, Austria, and his dedication has paid off as he is selected to represent Great Britain.

Andrew Musgrave, originally from Oyne, but who is currently studying at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology and racing for a Norwegian Cross Country Team, is carving a reputation as a top skiier in Norway.

Having won the Norwegian Junior Championships, and been the first British skiier to take part in the gruelling “Tour de Ski” series in the Alps he caused a stir when finishing second in the Senior National Championships in January last year.

However, Andrew took another major step forward last week when he won the Norwegian National Sprint title in Oslo, a rseult hailed as “”an amazing result, a demolition job against world-class opposition,” by Great Britain’s cross-country Olympic team leader Roy Young.

Posy Musgrave is currently the top rated female sprinter in the UK. Posy is studying at London Metropolitan University, but has moved back home to train full time, a decision like Callum’s that has paid
off.

Commenting on his selection Andrew said, “Being selected to be part of Team GB in Sochi is a huge honour. This will be my second Olympics, having also raced at the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics, but four years ago I was still very young.

“Going into Sochi I feel like a much more mature and experienced athlete and I believe what I have learnt over the course of the last four years will help me perform to a much higher level and I cannot wait to get
started.”

Team GB Chef de Mission Mike Hay, Said, ““Team GB hasn’t taken a bigger contingent of skiers and snowboarders to an Olympic Winter Games for over two decades – since 1992 – so it is great to now have 19 of them heading out to Sochi with us shortly.

“What makes it even more exciting is the fact that we are going into Sochi with a number of athletes with medal potential in events new to the Olympic Programme.

“These new events should attract a varied audience and hopeful inspire many more young British people to take to up winter sport.”