January 26 - Britain's alpine skiers and snowboarders including Chemmy Alcott (pictured), will all compete at the Winter Olympics, which open in Vancouver on February 12, despite the sport's governing body, Snowsports GB, struggling to avoid bankruptcy, British Olympic Association chief executive Andy Hunt promised today. 

He gave the assurance as 19 athletes were announced for Vancouver, taking Britain's squad to 43 across six sports and 10 disciplines.

The men's bobsleigh and skeleton athletes will be named on Friday, taking the team to more than 50.

Alcott is the only woman on Britain's alpine skiing team, while for the men there is Ed Drake, Dave Ryding and Andy Noble.

She said: "The Olympic Winter Games are, without doubt, the biggest event in our sport, so it’s a massively exciting prospect for me to be going as part of Team GB.

"Last time out in Turin four years ago, I came 11th, but this time my aspirations are higher.

"I don’t just want to break into the top ten - I do believe I’ve got the talent to challenge for a medal, and a gold one would be fantastic.

“Representing your country is something very, very special.

"I’ve hugely enjoyed my previous Olympic experiences, but I hope this will be the best of them all.”

In snowboarding Zoe Gillings will be competing in the snowboard cross, while Ben Kilner and Lesley McKenna will be representing Team GB in the snowboard half pipe.

World champions Nicola Minichiello and Gillian Cooke head the women's bobsleigh team and are joined by Paula Walker and Kelly Thomas. 

In the luge Adam Rosen has been selected.

Mark Tilston, the British alpine ski head coach, said: "Alpine skiing is one of the most fiercely competitive sports in the Olympic Winter Games, and it's testament to the dedication of our athletes and coaches that we continue to produce top-class performances.

"I'm hoping that all our skiers will rise to the occasion and take as much as they can from this experience, and I really hope they'll inspire more people to push themselves towards fulfilling their own Olympic ambitions.

Perhaps the one surprise though is the omission of 28-year old Noel Baxter, the brother of Alain Baxter.

He has participated on the last two Winter Games but he has recently been out of form and so is out of the team.

Hunt said: "Within this group of athletes, we have a wonderful mixture of potential and experience.

"There are world champions but also teenagers who may not truly reach their peak until the 2018 Olympic Winter Games.

"It's an exciting team - the best of British in winter sport - and we're doing everything we can to allow these athletes to fulfil their potential and achieve a personal best for Team GB in Vancouver.''

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