Youth Olympics: Team GB name squad for Lillehammer 2016

By Nick HopeBBC Olympic sports reporter
GB bobsleigh

World-leading junior skeleton and bobsleigh athletes head a 16-strong Team GB squad for the 2016 Winter Youth Olympics in Norway.

Ashleigh Pittaway (skeleton) and Kelsea Purchall and George Johnson (bobsleigh) led their respective world rankings after qualification.

Team GB athletes will feature in seven of 15 disciplines in Lillehammer.

The event, from 12-21 February, follows the inaugural Winter Games in the Austrian city of Innsbruck in 2012.

There will also be British athletes in alpine skiing, curling, freestyle skiing, ice hockey skills challenge and luge.

GB team

  • Yasmin Cooper, Alpine Skiing, 17, Chichester
  • Iain Innes, Alpine Skiing, 17, Edinburgh
  • George Johnston, Bobsleigh, 17, Taunton
  • Annabel Chaffey, Bobsleigh, 16, Newbury
  • Aimee Davey, Bobsleigh, 17, Chard
  • Kelsea Purchall, Bobsleigh, 15, Exeter
  • Ross Whyte, Curling, 16, Dumfries
  • Amy Bryce, Curling, 17, Kelso
  • Callum Kinnear, Curling, 15, Perth
  • Mili Smith, Curling, 17, Perth
  • Isobel Brown, Freestyle Ski Cross, 16, Ashbourne
  • Cal Sandieson, Freestyle Skiing Slopestyle, 17, Glasgow
  • Madison Rowlands, Freestyle Skiing Slopestyle/Halfpipe, 17, Maidstone
  • Verity Lewis, Ice Hockey Skills Challenge, 16, Twyford
  • Lucas Gebauer-Barrett, Luge, 17, Tunbridge Wells
  • Ashleigh Pittaway, Skeleton, 15, Munich

Switched allegiance

Pittaway lives in Munich and is a relatively new recruit to the British team after coming through the German set-up.

She switched nationalities, to that of her mother, after a fall-out with the German governing body and won all four of her qualification races.

British women completed a historic clean sweep of the podium places at the final Winter Youth Olympic bobsleigh competition earlier this month.

All three athletes are included in the GB team.

"Lillehammer is going to be an incredible experience," said world number two pilot Annabel Chaffey.

"It's been something that I've been working towards for two years and this makes all the effort, tears and sweat in training worthwhile."

Great opportunity

Adam Pengilly, who competed in skeleton for Team GB at the 2006 Turin and 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics, is the squad's chef de mission.

He believes the event will provide the young athletes with a great opportunity to prove their credentials.

"We want the Youth Olympic Games to be part of a journey to help with their development both as competitors but also as people," he said.

"I'm sure we're going to see some exciting things from these young athletes in Norway and beyond."