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Tuesday, 19 February, 2002, 00:41 GMT

There's no place like home

Not all Team GB's athletes are able to enjoy a stay at the Olympic Village, BBC Sport Online's Anna Thompson reports.

While most of the British athletes are being pampered in the Olympic Village, with meals prepared for them, free facials, haircuts and entertainment, spare a thought for our skiers.

The British alpine ski team are living in the mountains near Park City and are having to cook their own meals.

Not that they mind though. They prefer to be away from all the hustle and bustle as they gear up for their races.

Britain's top skier, Alain Baxter, has already rustled up a stir-fry for the rest of the six-strong alpine team and British ski coaches.

He told BBC Sport Online: "We have got a house which is very alpine looking and we can do our own thing there.

"There is a good atmosphere at the moment and nobody is too tense, which is very important"
Christian Schwaiger, British ski manager

"It's very much like being in Lofer in Austria where the GB winter camp is and I like the homely feel.

"We take turns cooking. Everyone mucks in and it is a relaxed atmosphere.

"I've not been to the Olympic Village yet and I'm not missing it.

"I'm here to ski but perhaps I'll be able to fit in an ice hockey game while I'm here."

Baxter grew up playing ice hockey and was offered a professional contract in the British league in 1996.

Although the skiers are not based in the Village, they can still visit it at will.

And slalom skier Gareth Trayner intends to do just that.

The 21-year-old has flowing brown locks but wants them plaited and beaded before he competes on Saturday.

He said: "We are secluded here but I went to the Village to have dinner with the British athletes the other night.

"There are super facilities there and I'm planning on getting my hair done for free before I compete."

British ski manager, Christian Schwaiger, said the mood in the GB house is good.

He added: "There is a good atmosphere at the moment and nobody is too tense, which is very important."


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