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Laggan cross country skier heading to Youth Olympics

By Gavin Musgrove

A strath cross-country ski racer is targeting at least one personal best time when he comes up against the best young talent in the world.

Laggan’s James Slimon will soon be competing for Great Britain in three discipline at the upcoming Youth Olympic Games which are being held in Lausanne in Switzerland.

His selection means Slimon becomes only second GBR cross-country skier at the winter games, following in the ski tracks of Dalnavert’s Scott Dixon in 2012 which took place in Innsbruck in Austria.

James Slimon will be competing in three events for GBR at the games.
James Slimon will be competing in three events for GBR at the games.

Slimon, (17), will be racing in the freestyle sprint, the 10km classic.and the cross country cross races, all being held between January 18 and 22.

The teen, currently based in Lillehammer in Norway for the winter, has been training and competing in races across Scandinavia in the build-up to the YOG 2020.

He told the Strathy: “For a goal, achieving a personal best in any of the races would be a good achievement.

“I have been working hard to get to the Youth Olympics over the past year so to be able to go is a massive achievement.

“I’m really excited and looking forward to it.”

Slimon continued: “I would like to thank Roger Hoymer who has helped me get into the sport and has coached me over the years.

“I would also like to thank snowsportscotland and Scottish Institute of sport for their support over the past year.”

As part of his preparations during the off-season, Slimon competed in the Scottish Roller Ski Series finishing runner-up overall.

Homyer described the youngsters as an outstanding athlete who excels at cross-country skiing and running.

Slimon has been a member of Highland Nordic since his first year at Kingussie High School and began to follow a training plan shortly after.

Homyer said: “I have always been impressed not only by James’ performances but by his determination to stick to his training and it is this consistency that has seen him improve and reach performance goals.

“It is not easy for Scottish skiers to break into world-class cross-country ski racing, but James has steadily grown as an athlete.

“This year he has benefited from support from sportscotland and Snowsport Scotland which has enabled a training base to be set up at Lillehammer in Norway.

“James has been based there since November and will stay until next March.

“His recent races at Idre and Ostersund, both in Sweden, have seen him record personal bests in both classic and free/skate disciplines and qualify for the forthcoming Youth Olympics Games and also the World Junior Championships.”

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