Higherford ski racer Robert Holmes will join a 28-strong team to represent Great Britain at the Lausanne 2020 Winter Youth Olympics next month.
The 17-year-old will head to Austria next Saturday to continue training and preparations for the Games, in the home of the Olympic movement in Switzerland.
The Games, which run from January 9th – 22nd, will see Team GB compete in 11 of the 16 disciplines on the programme, across 14 days of competition.
Robert is due to participate in the Alpine Skiing disciplines of Super G, Giant Slalom and Slalom, on the mountain slopes of Les Diablerets.
He forms part of a two-man British team selection, along with Jack Cunningham, also 17, of Oxford.
The other two members of the Apline ski team are Daisi Daniels of Rochdale and Sophie Foster of Leatherhead.
The entire GB team consists of athletes aged between 14 and 17 years of age, with four athletes who competed at Sarajevo 2019 European Youth Olympic Festival – Theo Collins, Daniels, Shawna Pendry and Olivia Weedon – making it a youth double for Team GB in Lausanne.
In a new format for Lausanne 2020, the two weeks will see the Games split into two waves of athletes attending across week one and week two – 1,880 in total.
Robert received an invitation last week from the British Olympic Association to participate in the Games, which take place on the shores of Lake Geneva, and in the nearby Vaud Alps, before the official team announcement on Wednesday.
The Youth Olympic Village will be located in the heart of the city’s 35,000 student university campus.
Speaking from his training base in Austria, where he trains with his Team Evolution Academy, Robert said: “I’m extremely happy to receive this news.
“It was a distant goal for me this season, and one which has been very difficult to achieve, as I’ve not been able to train as much as my competitors due to the financial considerations which are attached to ski racing.
“I’ve recently been racing continually for eight weeks, trying to compete with my rivals.
“Fortunately everything has come together in the last couple of weeks, with all the hard work paying off, as I have achieved some fantastic results which has really helped in the selection process.”
As well as wishing to pursue a career as a ski racer, Robert is also studying for his A Levels, completing his studies remotely with Nelson and Colne College and Loughborough Sports College.
Robert has skied for many years, representing his club, Pendle Ski Club, at many national races.
Earlier this year Robert won the British Dryslope Championship at Stoke, and then followed this up by retaining his English Dryslope Championship title at Norwich.
Robert plans to return home for Christmas tomorrow to spend time with his family, before heading back out to Austria the following week.
Robert would like to thank everyone who has made his participation in the Winter Youth Olympic Games possible, and is continually looking for any additional support which could assist in taking him to the next level of his journey.
If you can assist Robert in any way, please contact him, either by Facebook Robert Holmes-Skier, Instagram robholmes24 or on 07585024477.
Robert has set up a ‘gofundme’ page for his fundraising at www.gofundme.com/f/pendle-youth-olympian-skier-rob-holmes