Tharston’s GB skier TJ Baldwin gets Olympic bid boost

Great Britain's number one super-combined skier TJ Baldwin has received a big boost in his bid to race at World Cup and Olympic level.

The Tharston youngster has received a grant from the Norfolk Sports and Cultural Foundation and is already putting it to good use as he is currently competing in the first two Men's World Cup Downhill training runs in Lake Louise, Canada, and Beever Creek, USA. If he is the fastest of the two-man GB team, he will race.

He will also be competing in a number of Nor-Am Cup events – the level just below World Cup – with the aim of gaining a top-15 place to qualify for the World Championships in Germany, during February.

TJ said: 'The grant from the Norfolk Sports and Cultural foundation is a massive help to me. Over the past three years they have given me great support and I would have really struggled to pay for my full-time programme with the GB team without the money.'

He added: 'My goal has always been to race in World Cup races, and to get the chance at a World Cup start in my first season as a senior is great.

'My training has been going well and I'm skiing fast at the moment. I'm going to give it my all in the training runs at the races and hope I am quicker than my team-mate so I will get the race start.

'I am also very confident that I will get a top-15 place at one of the Nor-Am's to qualify me for the World Champs as I got three top-15 places there last season.'

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Baldwin, who lives in Tharston, is also sponsored by two local Norfolk companies – Sunfold Systems, based in Wymondham, and Chillspeed of Diss.

'I can't thank Mike Rawlings (of Sunfold) and Geoff Lazell (of Chillspeed) enough,' added Baldwin. 'They have put a lot of money and faith in me, so getting a World cup start would hopefully start to pay them back.'