British Ice Skating is disappointed to report that a decision has been made to withdraw the GB squad from the ISU European Short Track Championships. This is because of complications faced due to the Coronavirus pandemic that could have seen athletes stuck at the event.
The team of eight, that included ten-time European Champion Elise Christie, was due to travel to Poland on the 17th January and had already undergone one round of covid tests. They would have entered a competition bubble with the event running from the 22nd-24th Jan.
The continued travel disruption because of the Covid-19 pandemic has seen difficulties in finding viable ways for the team to travel to and from the event in Gdansk. A huge amount of time and effort has been put in to try and get the squad there, but with extremely limited flights and constantly changing international rules and medical guidance this became too difficult.
Due to the ever-changing Covid-19 restrictions in place across Europe there was the very real possibility that the squad could have become stuck in Poland with very few options open for return to the UK. The number one priority of the national governing body is athlete safety, and it was with this in mind that the decision was made.
Due to compete in individual events as well as Christie were Niall Treacy, Jonathan Moody and Holly Hoyland. Westley Yates, Ethan Treacy, Charlotte Hayward and Isabelle Roberts were set to feature in the relay teams.
Elise Christie said: “After a tough year for everyone it’s with a heavy heart that the team have to withdraw from the European Championships. We are devastated as everyone has been working so hard and the team has made massive improvements. However, our health and safety must be our number one priority.
There was also a significant risk that our preparations for the World Championships in February would have been severely impacted by the potential travel disruption.”