SUTTON’s newly crowned British Champion Jason Thompson has been selected to represent Great Britain at one of the biggest ice skating events in the world - the European Figure Skating Championships.
Jason, who battled back from a career-threatening injury to take the Men’s title at the recent British Championships at iceSheffield, is part of a 12-strong squad picked for the prestigious event.
The 22-year-old achieved his qualification place after clinching the national crown in front of a home crowd at iceSheffield last month.
The European Figure Skating Championships will take place at the Motorpoint Arena in Sheffield from the 23-29 January 2012 – it is the first time the event has been held in England for more than 20 years.
It will see 200 elite international skaters from 39 countries, including many Olympians, descend on the city to compete in Ladies, Men, Pairs and Dance disciplines.
Jason, who spent 18 months on the sidelines following the injury which he suffered at a British Olympic Association Generation training camp, said: “I am so happy to have been selected. There was a point a year ago when I never thought I would skate again, so to have won the national title and make the European Championships GB squad is incredible. This is only my first competitive season after tearing the cartilage in my right knee.”
Winter Olympians Penny Coomes and Nicholas Buckland, Stacey Kemp and David King and Jenna McCorkell are also part of the National Ice Skating Association (NISA) team.
Coach Dawn Peckett said: “No one deserves this more than Jason. Having given so much to the sport over the last 15 years, training day in day out, it is reward for his talent, dedication and desire to succeed. He is in great form and full of confidence going in to the event and having a home crowd on his side will be a real boost.”
As a national Centre for excellence, iceSheffield, operated by Sheffield International Venues (SIV), is one of the best ice sports facilities in the UK and will be used as a practice base for competitors at the European Championships.
Mandy Parker, general manager, iceSheffield, said: “Jason is such a talented skater and thoroughly deserves his place in the GB team. He has worked really hard to get back to fitness and we will be so proud to see an iceSheffield skater competing at the event.”
For more information and for ticket sales visit www.europeans2012.co.uk.