With 49 days to go until the Opening Ceremony of the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games, the British Olympic Association (BOA) has announced the three-figure skaters who will represent Team GB in February.
Natasha McKay will compete in the Women’s Singles with the pairing of Lilah Fear and Lewis Gibson skating in the Ice Dance. All three athletes will be making their Olympic debuts when they take to the ice in Beijing.
McKay who was recently crowned British champion for the fifth time said that selection for Team GB left her feeling “super excited and very privileged”.
“It has always been a dream of mine and I am so excited that it is now becoming a reality,” she said.
The Dundee-based skater, who came 23rd at the World Championships in March to secure the quota place for Team GB, added: “I will keep working as hard as I can and look forward to an enjoyable and successful event.
Ice Dance duo Fear and Gibson were paired together in 2016, entering their first international competition that season.
They have since gone on to win two Grand Prix bronze medals and finished the 2021 World Championships in seventh place.
Fear, who trains with Gibson at the Ice Dance Academy of Montreal, said: “I feel such immense gratitude and honour to have been selected to represent Team GB at the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games. My love and ambitions for the sport were fostered in ice rinks all over the UK, from Queensway to Aberdeen.
“I feel an overwhelming sense of pride to be representing the nation whose past legends and legacies instilled in me the Olympic dream.
“This opportunity is the culmination of 20 years of passion for the sport, a committed vision through triumph, trial and tribulation, and the unwavering support of our wonderful team.”
Gibson touched on the commitment the pair have put in throughout their careers. He said: “To feel like years and years of hard work and dedication have paid off is truly one of the most satisfying things.
Born in Prestwick, Gibson originally began his skating career in singles before switching to Ice Dance. He added: “I can’t wait for the moment when we get to skate in Beijing with the Olympic Rings beneath our feet.”
Team GB Chef de Mission, Georgina Harland, said: “With just 50 days to go until the Opening Ceremony of the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games it is fantastic to announce a further three athletes who will be competing for Team GB at the Games and we are delighted to welcome Lilah, Lewis and Natasha to the team.”
“Lilah and Lewis were part of our 2018 Ambition Programme for the PyeongChang Games, whilst Natasha competed for Team GB at the European Youth Olympic Festival back in 2011, so I am thrilled to see all three coming through and making their Olympic debuts in Beijing.”
British Ice Skating Performance and Talent Manager, Jon Eley, said: “This is the reward for the years of hard work and dedication that Natasha, Lilah and Lewis have put into the sport.
It is brilliant to be able to add three new names to the illustrious list of Olympic figure skaters. I can’t wait to see their exciting performances that are sure to inspire future generations of skaters.”
Lilah Fear / Lewis Gibson