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Page last updated at 18:00 GMT, Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Skier Noel Baxter omitted from GB Winter Olympics squad

Noel Baxter in action
Noel Baxter is the younger brother of former skier Alain

Skier Noel Baxter has been left out of Great Britain's squad for the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.

Baxter, 28, brother of ex-skier Alain, competed in the previous two Winter Games, but a dip in form coincided with a cut in his funding this season.

Snowboard cross medal hopeful Zoe Gillings is included, along with world women's bobsleigh champions Nicola Minichiello and Gillian Cooke.

The men's bobsleigh and skeleton athletes will be named on 29 January.

The 19 athletes announced on Tuesday takes Britain's squad numbers to 43 athletes across six sports and 10 disciplines.

"Within this group of athletes, we have a wonderful mixture of potential and experience," said Andy Hunt, Team GB chef de mission.

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

Those who know us also know that Gillian and I flourish in the face of adversity

World champion bobsleigher Nicola Minichiello

"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."

Minichiello's Olympic preparations suffered a setback when she underwent laser surgery in December after suffering a loss of vision in her left eye.

Ed Drake's video profile

However, the 30-year-old believes she is on her way back to full form and, alongside partner Cooke, will be a medal prospect in Whistler.

"Our aim has always been to hit peak form when we reach Vancouver, and that's what we plan to achieve," she said.

"Our season hasn't always gone according to plan, but those who know us also know that Gillian and I flourish in the face of adversity."

Alpine skiing: Andy Noble, Dave Ryding, Ed Drake, Chemmy Alcott

Biathlon: Lee-Steve Jackson

Bobsleigh: Nicola Minichiello and Gillian Cooke, Paula Walker and Kelly Thomas

Cross-country skiing: Andrew Musgrave, Andrew Young, Fiona Hughes

Luge: Adam Rosen

Snowboard PGS: Adam McLeish

Snowboard cross: Zoe Gillings

Snowboard half-pipe: Ben Kilner, Lesley McKenna

Ski aerials: Sarah Ainsworth

Ski moguls: Ellie Koyander

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see also
Gillings ready for Olympic test
27 Jan 10 |  Vancouver 2010
Brits target three Winter medals
25 Jan 10 |  Vancouver 2010
Minichiello makes steady return
09 Jan 10 |  Vancouver 2010
GB Olympic bosses to help skiers
05 Feb 10 |  Vancouver 2010
GB celebrate European medal haul
25 Jan 10 |  Vancouver 2010
Brit bobsleighers win World gold
22 Feb 09 |  Winter Sports
Britain's bobsleigh ice queens
02 Mar 09 |  Winter Sports
Murdoch expects GB curling medal
17 Dec 09 |  Vancouver 2010

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