Three ice skaters, Ed Appleby, Elena Komova and Adam Hill, played a huge part in the success of Team GB at the European Youth Olympic Festival (EYOF) in Vuokatti, Finland.
Appleby was selected to be the opening ceremony flagbearer, with Hill carrying the flag in ahead of the team at the closing ceremony.
In competition Appleby also registered the team’s highest placing coming fourth in the men’s figure skating. The Essex-born skater was lying third in the standings going into the free skate, but a couple of slight mistakes in his routine allowed Casper Johansson of Sweden to leapfrog the Brit into the top three. Despite some early disappointment he admitted how grateful he was to compete at the event.
After his final skate the two-time Junior British champion said: “I’m definitely happy – if somebody told me coming into the event that I’d be in the top 5 - I’d be thrilled. After today’s skate and seeing how close I was to third, I am slightly irritated with myself, but I’m still happy with the performance I left out there over the two days."
Two-time Junior British Champion Komova came 18th in the women’s figure skating, finishing with a score of 118.02. She was awarded 44.25 for her short program and 73.77 for her free skate.
Hill was the last Team GB athlete in action, where he bowed out in the quarter-final stage of the 1000m.
Despite finishing second in his quarter-final, Hill was penalised and disqualified following an infringement with Dutch skater Niels Bergsma. He ended up placing in 13th position, but had a positive week overall, achieving two personal bests in the 1500m and 500m earlier in the festival.