Team GB figure skating duo bounce back from injury to qualify for PyeongChang 2018
Aiming to follow in the footsteps of the iconic Torvill and Dean who picked up Gold at the Sarajevo 1984 Olympic Winter Games, Nick Buckland and Penny Coomes are now one step closer to their dream following the figure skating team announcement for PyeongChang 2018.
The couple faced challenges in their quest for selection for Team GB, following an injury to Coomes in July 2016 that put her career at risk. Shattering her knee in eight places, the ice dance pair had to take a break from the sport, only returning to competition this summer. An incredible recovery saw the duo set a new personal best accumulating 177.12 points overall, just months after returning to competition, and securing their spot at PyeongChang 2018 by winning the Olympic qualifying competition at the 49th Nebelhorn Trophy in Obertsdorf, Germany.
PyeongChang 2018 Team GB Chef de Mission Mike Hay said: “This is a fantastic achievement for Penny and Nick. They have had to overcome more adversity than most in recent months, so to have qualified for their third Games they will be extremely proud.
“The dedication and effort shown to their sport should be commended and the opportunity to showcase their talents on the ultimate stage is one that’s richly deserved and I’m very pleased to welcome them to the team and look forward to working with them both, as well as Robin Cousins in the coming months ahead of PyeongChang 2018.”
Following her remarkable return from injury, Penny Coomes said “Qualifying for our third Olympic Games was made even more special as just over a year ago we thought that dream had been taken away. After the hardest year of our career, we are grateful to have come back and skated two personal best performances that put us back in the mix with the best in the world. We would like to thank UK Sport and The National Lottery for providing us with the best treatment and support throughout the injury, we couldn’t have done it without them.”
Partners both on and off the ice, Buckland expressed his excitement to be attending their third Olympic Winter Games “It’s very exciting to be named as part of Team GB again for a third time, it’s very special. There was always that bit of doubt about our return because we’ve spent so much time off with the injury but I think we can be right up there in PyeongChang and our performance in Germany showed that.”
Former Olympic Champion and current Team GB Figure Skating Leader Robin Cousins said of the couple’s achievement “Nick and Penny overcame the nerves and excitement of returning to competition by performing two very strong programmes and securing their spot with Team GB in PyeongChang. They’re now looking forward to having more competition time in front of judges and audiences to hone the performance in the lead-up to the Games.”
Nick and Penny’s selection follows the male and female curling team announcement earlier this year, led by Thomas Smith and Eve Muirhead. The latest announcement brings the current Team GB team size to 12 ahead of further announcements in the upcoming months.
Tickets for the figure skating and curling competitions at PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games are still available, so you can reserve your placenow with Team GB Live.
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