Felsted skier takes gold at English Alpine Championship

THE ENGLISH Alpine Championships proved to be a competition of firsts for a Felsted student who earned his first podium before topping that with a win.

Kieran Norris travelled to Bormio, Italy, last week where he took a third place in his age group in the Super G to achieve his first podium finish at a major championship. Then, in the very next race jumped two places to take a win in the giant slalom.

The 16-year-old told the Broadcast, his success was the result of years of hard work.

“It was pretty amazing. I have been working really hard over the past few years and now I am starting to catch up with the top racers and compete with them at championships.”

What makes Kieran’s ascent to the top of his age group is the fact that he only started race skiing four years ago.

“As a family we went skiing a lot when I was younger so I started when I was five-years-old. It wasn’t until I was 12 that dad found out about the British academy and took me along for a trial.”

Kieran impressed the coaches and earned himself a recall and the rest, as they say, is history. Two years competing in the children’s races followed before Team Ambition – a selected group of British skiers – saw his potential and snapped him up.

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He now spends 12-15 weeks a year in Austria at Team Ambition’s hotel when they are honing his skills for championships all over the world. Last summer he was in Chile racing against the best skiers in the world.

With the best facilities and coaches at his disposal, it would be easy to get ahead of himself but Kieran is keeping his skis firmly grounded.

“The winter Olympics is the main goal but I think the 2014 games in Russia is too soon - I will only be 18 so I am not sure if it is achievable. However, 2018 in South Korea is what I am aiming for.

“I am planning to ski full time after I leave Felsted so when South Korea comes around I will be 22 and have been skiing at the top level for four years.”

In the meantime, Kieran’s coaches think he has a good chance of making the British junior team – a whole year earlier than he had planned and he has a trip to Meribel, France, at the end of March for the British Championships.