Image: Jack Tompkins
21 November 2018

Charlotte Bankes returns to GB

The International Ski Federation has this week approved the request from snowboard cross star Charlotte Bankes to return to the country of her birth and compete for Great Britain for the remainder of her career.

Still just 23-years-old, Bankes has already competed for France at two Olympic Winter Games and is a three-time World Cup winner. She is a three-time French national champion and was twice crowned Junior World Champion.

Born in Hemel Hempstead, Bankes moved to the southern alps of France with her family when she was just four years old, and has been racing internationally for France since she was 15.

However with GB Snowsport now providing a world class ski and snowboard cross programme under the leadership of performance director Dan Hunt and head coach Guillaume Nantermod, Bankes decided the time was right to return home.

“Coming up through the French system was really good for me, and although I’ve thought about coming back to compete for Great Britain before, there was never really a programme in place which would allow me to continue to improve,” said Bankes. “I’ve watched on for the last year or so as the British programme has been set up and I’ve been really impressed with what they’re doing.

“It’s been a bit of a nervous wait for the release to come through from France and for FIS to approve the change of nation but now I’m really excited to pull on the GB colours for the first time.”

Performance director Dan Hunt says that Bankes’ decision is a sign of confidence of where the organisation is heading and he expects that she won’t be the last athlete to change nations in the coming years.

“Anyone involved in elite snowsport in Britain knows that there are plenty of GB-eligible athletes competing under other licences because it’s what’s been best for their development,” he said. “It’s no secret that we’ve historically lacked both the funding and the expertise to succeed across the board and outside of Park + Pipe we’ve struggled for international success.

“But we’re changing the way we do things now; we’re not sitting back and hoping for results. We’re putting the systems in place to generate success and I’m certain that more and more talented athletes like Charlotte will be enticed back to Britain on the strength of the programmes we’re putting in place.”

CEO Vicky Gosling welcomed Bankes to the British scene at last night’s launch of GB Snowsport, and commended all involved for making the move a successful one.

“Changing nations can be quite a complicated situation, particularly when it comes to an athlete as successful and accomplished as Charlotte is,” said Gosling. “I’d just like to thank the French Federation for working with Charlotte’s family and GB Snowsport to ensure FIS were in a position to ratify the change of nation before the start of this competition season.”

Bankes will head into camp with the British squad later this week and is scheduled to pull on the GB race suit for the first time next week at the Europa Cup event in Pitztal, Austria.

 

CHARLOTTE BANKES

Born: 10 June 1995, Hemel Hempstead ENG

Sport: Snowboard Cross

Career Highlights:

- 3 World Cup Wins (La Molina ESP 2015, Veysonnaz SUI 2017, Bansko BUL 2018)

- 3 French National Championships (2013, 2015, 2018)

- 2 Junior World Championships (2014, 2015)

- 2 Olympic Games appearances (2014, 2018)

- 1 World Championship podium (2nd Snowboard Cross Team 2017)

- 13 Europa Cup victories

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