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Page last updated at 12:50 GMT, Friday, 5 February 2010

British Olympic bosses step in to help skiers at Games

Zoe Gillings
Gillings has hailed the move by British Olympic bosses

British Olympic chiefs have guaranteed Team GB's 14 skiers and snowboarders will compete in Vancouver despite their governing body, the BSSF, going bust.

A contingency plan has been put in place to make sure athletes have all the resources they need at the Games.

"The athletes and coaches can rest assured that we will work around the clock to support them," said British Olympic Association boss Lord Moynihan.

A BOA subsidiary will take over as governing body until after the Games.

With British athletes arriving at the Olympic Village in Vancouver on Friday and the Winter Games due to get under way on 12 February, Moynihan said: "It is with great regret that one of our governing bodies has gone into administration, particularly at such a critical time."

606: DEBATE

The British Ski and Snowsport Federation struggled for some time, with some athletes having funding cut.

Snowboarder Zoe Gillings said of the BOA move: "It's been a difficult time for a lot of snowsport athletes, and I'm very hopeful that this will be a very positive step forward for skiers and snowboarders alike.

"With the Olympic Winter Games just around the corner, this is welcome good news."

Mark Tilston, the coach of top British skier Chemmy Alcott, told BBC Sport recently that coaches and skiers have had to pay for hotels and lift passes at races, and it was having a big impact on their Olympic preparations.

Zoe Gillings explains how money worries have hit preparations

"Some of these guys have dedicated more than a decade or more to the sport and they find themselves not able to prepare properly for the Olympics. It's a terrible situation," he said.

Last August, a refinancing package was agreed to service BSSF's £600,000 debt, but since then two funding streams have been deferred and a £30,000 overdraft facility has been withdrawn by the Royal Bank of Scotland.

SnowsportGB, an Edinburgh-based not-for-profit organisation, was responsible for the British teams in ski racing and snowboarding and received funding for the athletes from UK Sport and the Scottish Institute for Sport as well as private sponsors.



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see also
Rudman to lead GB skeleton squad
29 Jan 10 |  Skeleton
Former sprinter in Winters squad
28 Jan 10 |  Vancouver 2010
Baxter omitted from Winters squad
26 Jan 10 |  Vancouver 2010
Brits target three Winter medals
25 Jan 10 |  Vancouver 2010
Gillings records season's best
10 Jan 10 |  Vancouver 2010
British skiing hit by cash crisis
13 Aug 09 |  Winter Sports


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