Being selected for Team GB requires you to be the best in Britain, but some Winter Olympians still have to fight for bragging rights within their own families.
Three groups of siblings in two disciplines have booked their place in Beijing for the upcoming Winter Olympics.
Sisters Izzy and Zoe Atkin and Leonie and Makayla Gerken Schofield will compete in freestyle skiing, while Farrell and Niall Treacy will hit the ice in short track speed skating.
Izzy Atkin won Britain’s first-ever Olympic medal on skis at PyeongChang 2018 and is hoping to repeat the trick in China, although she is currently battling to recover from a pelvic injury.
This time around she will be joined by her teenage sister Zoe with the 19-year-old, who is five years her junior, a true medal contender who excelled in the halfpipe herself.
In 2021, Zoe won world halfpipe bronze in Aspen to make her own mark on the circuit after watching her sister win major medals before.
Born to a British father and a Malaysian mother in the United States, the Atkin sisters are based in Utah and grew up learning to ski on Sugarloaf Mountain in Maine.
Zoe revealed how thrilled she was to make Izzy proud after her first World Cup win in 2019 and her older sister reportedly leaned on her during rehabilitation with a broken pelvis that threatened to rule her out of the Games .
Gerken Schofield Duo
Mogul skiers Leonie and Makayla Gerken Schofield will hit the slopes of Beijing on the biggest stage of them all.
Born in Chelmsford, Essex, but having moved to the French Alps when young, the couple had the advantage of being able to walk to the slopes from the family home in Chatel.
Younger sister Makayla, 22, said: “It’s helped tremendously because people don’t realize how expensive travel, competitions and equipment can be as an athlete in this sport.”
Leonie, 23, went through injury hell between 2017 and 2019 after tearing knee ligaments, dislocating a shoulder and breaking her back, derailing her hopes of making it to PyeongChang and after be back in top form, she will be even more determined to impress in Beijing.
Leonie’s twin, Tom, who just missed out on Beijing 2022 selection, is also a moguls skier and won Britain’s first individual Moguls World Cup silver medal in Krasnoyarsk, Russia , just before the start of the pandemic in 2020.
The rivalry between short track stars Farrell and Niall Treacy grew a little too close for comfort when they went out at a World Cup in Japan in October.
Four years after Farrell Treacy, 26, became the first member of the clan to represent Team GB on the biggest stage, his little brother Niall will join him, the two being named as part of a skating team from short track speed consisting of three people.
A dream that is 13 years old………I am going to be an Olympian
Incredibly proud to announce that I have been selected to represent Great Britain in Beijing for the Winter Olympics 🇫🇷
Thank you to everyone who made this possible, an article will be dedicated to everyone involved! pic.twitter.com/PpNPeLbZAa
— Niall Treacy (@NiallTreacy1) December 20, 2021
And the duo – who are both competing in the 1000m – hope there will be no such problems if they meet again when they take to the start line in Beijing.
Farrell, who is also competing in the 1500m, said: “It’s an amazing achievement for the whole family, we’re really thrilled with it. It’s going to be special to see two Treacy’s on the starting roster.
“But the last time we raced together in the classification final, he wiped me out. So we’ll see how we do this time!
“He hit a block and came down and pulled me out. So it didn’t work from the perspective where we were trying to get as many ranking points as possible.
“The way the draw is done, they normally separate countries, so it would only be if we got to the final or the semi-final that we could meet. If we got there, that would be a fantastic achievement and that would be amazing.
Niall, 21, will be making his Olympic debut and will no doubt be nervous himself, but it is mum Catherine who will suffer the most if the two are brought together.
Niall explained: “My mum hates seeing us race normally, let alone when we race each other, because she thinks there’s too much drama and she gets too nervous.
“But she can’t stand the idea of us fighting each other. She despises him.