Olympian Kirsty Muir urges people across Edinburgh to head to Midlothian Snowsports Centre
Freestyle skier Kirsty, who finished fifth in the Big Air final before coming eighth in the Slopestyle event on Tuesday, has joined a nationwide campaign to encourage more people to take up snow sports in her home country.
And Snowsport Scotland hopes the Aberdonian’s incredible performance on her Winter Olympics debut at just 17 will inspire the next generation of Scottish snowsports stars – and everybody else too.
Alongside the Midlothian and Polmonthill Ski Centres there are a further 19 ski centres across Scotland – five on snow and 12 artificial – and all Scotland’s major cities are within an hour of a ski slope where people can try the sport for themselves.
According to the National Records of Scotland, more than 80% of Scots live in or around the nation’s major cities.
Kirsty learned to ski at the Aberdeen Snowsports Centre and The Lecht 2090 aged just three years old, and has since risen to become one of freestyle skiing’s brightest talents following a string successful performances on the sport’s biggest stages.
The impressive teenager – who received the 2022 Scottish Youth Award for Excellence in Mountain Culture – hopes her Olympic performances will inspire future generations of snow sports athletes to medal winning success, and believes there is now no barrier to people of all ages who want to take up the sport.
Speaking on her return from Beijing as she backed Snowsport Scotland’s Here We Snow campaign, Kirsty said: “Scotland is an amazing place to learn how to ski and snowboard, and so many people don’t know just how close they are to a slope where they can try it out.
“There are facilities all over the country that are awesome and it means that people of all ages can take their first steps on a slope.
“Whether on real snow, artificial snow or on dry slopes, the most important thing is getting on those skis or snowboard and having a go, regardless of your age or experience.
“Olympic Games – summer or winter – always capture the public imagination, and Scotland is in a perfect place to make the most of that extra interest in snow sports. I hope everybody gets out there and gives it a go – there’s nothing like it.”
The Scottish ski season is back for the first time in almost two years following the Covid pandemic, and Snowsport Scotland has launched the Here We Snow campaign to ensure Scottish ski centres capitalise on a ‘golden opportunity’ to kick start the industry.
Prior to the pandemic, more than 750,000 tickets were sold at Scottish snowsports venues every year in an industry worth more than £30 million to the nation’s economy annually.
It’s hoped an avalanche of interest following the success of Kirsty and her British Olympic teammates in Beijing will help participation rates recover.
Trafford Wilson, CEO of Snowsport Scotland, said: “We as a nation should be immensely proud of the performances of Kirsty and the other Scottish athletes in Beijing, and there is a fantastic opportunity to ride that wave of enthusiasm and encourage more people to take up snowsports.”
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