Harpenden teenager Max Baggio gets Olympic call up
PUBLISHED: 12:27 13 February 2013 | UPDATED: 12:28 13 February 2013
A STRONG year on the slopes has earned Harpenden’s Max Baggio a place on Team GB’s squad for the European Youth Olympic Winter Festival.
The 17-year-old topped the podiums at the English and British Alpine Championships and had the fourth fastest Giant Slalom time in Villars Gryon, providing solid evidence that he has the ability to ski fast scoring another PB in the process.
“After being injured last year, this season I feel really well prepared and ready to represent Team GB at the Youth Olympic,” said the Roundwood Park student.
“I am happy with my training and I know that I have a good shot of doing well.
“My training at Team Evolution has been pretty intensive and its good to go to through it with Darcie [Mead] as we are in the same boat with regards to competing on the same level and managing pressures from our AS levels.”
Max spends most of the year based at the Team Evolution training facility in Austria, coached by Paul Telling, and is ranked as Team GB’s No.1 Junior skier.
Head Coach Telling added: “This year has been geared towards meeting criteria for Darcie and Max to qualify for these Youth Olympic Games. It has been for them, one of the toughest challenges to date.
“After both were shortlisted at the start of the season, special arrangements have been made to ensure that they both peak at the right point and to find the balance between training and schooling.
“It is incredibly important that the schooling for both athletes is not compromised by this amazing opportunity, and it’s a true testament to how hard both have worked that their schools are fully behind them having long periods of time away throughout the winter months.”
Baggio and Mead are not the first athletes to represent Team GB at the Youth Olympics, following on from Sam Clissold, who went to the 2010 European Games in Liberec, Czech Republic.
The Opening Ceremony for the European Youth Winter Olympic Games, which will be attended by Jacques Rogge, president of the International Olympic Committee, will take place on February 17 in Brasov, Romania.