Entertainment, Sports

Ice-cool Muir motors into second Olympic final in Beijing

Kirsty Muir kept her cool in freezing temperatures to soar into another Olympic final.

The 17-year old freestyle skier, the youngest member of Team GB in Beijing, has already banked a fifth place in the Big Air and is now dreaming even bigger in her preferred slopestyle competition.

Twenty-four hours after the event was supposed to take place, having been delayed due to a heavy blizzard at Zhangjiakou Genting Snow Park, Muir finished sixth in qualifying to comfortably book a top 12 slot. She’ll be joined in the final by team-mate Katie Summerhayes.

Slopestyle involves skiers navigating a downhill run pitted with obstacles, moguls and rails, performing grind, tricks and flips for judges as they go.

And Muir’s first of two runs was the pick of her qualifying, the Scot landing two 900s – to score 70.11. 

Estonia’s Kelly Sildaru was the top qualifier followed by Norway’s Johanne Killi and China’s Big Air gold medallist Eileen Gu, though their scores were well ahead of rivals.

“I’m really happy to have made another final,” said Muir, who is one of over 1,000 athletes able to train full-time, have access to the world’s best coaches and benefit from pioneering technology, science and medical support thanks to vital National Lottery funding.

“I’m pretty stoked just to get another chance to compete at the Olympics, I’m just loving it and don’t really want it to stop.

“There’s a lot of improvements to be made and things to be cleaned up. I’m pretty pumped and it’s given me a little bit of confidence as well.”

Muir, a Winter Youth Olympics silver medallist, insisted the delay hadn’t caused any concerns.

“Those conditions were really tough so I appreciated the delay, you don’t want to compete in weather like that,” said Muir.

“It’s another Olympic final and I can’t wait and I’m so pleased to have Katie with me too, that’ll make it even more special.”

Elsewhere, Summerhayes was delighted to make the final after missing out on Big Air qualification by a single place. She’s been seventh in her last two Olympic slopestyle finals and also thinks there’s room for improvement, following her 10th place in qualifying.

“I just squeaked through, it’s pretty nice no matter what place you qualify, just so long as the final goes well,” she said.

“My best run was still pretty bad. I landed sideways on a jump so that’s not good and there were a couple of mistakes in both of the runs.”

National Lottery players are one of the biggest supporters of Team GB and ParalympicsGB winter athletes and raise more than £30 million each week for good causes including grassroots and elite sport. Discover the positive impact playing The National Lottery has at www.lotterygoodcauses.org.uk and get involved by using the hashtag: #TNLAthletes  ​

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