The 26th World University Winter Games will commence on December 11th, where 60 countries will be represented by over 3,000 student athletes in a 10 day long competition in Trentino, Italy. Among the ranks of Great Britain’s team will be Strathclyde’s Jennifer Osborne who will compete in the snowboard cross. Already a member of the British snowboard cross team, and having competed in over 15 national and international competitions, Jennifer cemented her place for the Universiade with strong performances in races last season.
Elated at making the national team, she added “I am so excited for this event, it’s like a mini Olympics. It is going to be amazing to experience the atmosphere of a competition plus it is my first time being selected to represent GB in an event like this which will make it even more special”.
It’s really only a matter of days before Jennifer heads out to begin competing, though she is encouraged by her training camp which has “been going really well, I’ve been making good improvements. The weather has been a bit mixed so that’s made training a bit tougher but that’s just the risk you take when training at this time of year. Overall I’m feeling ready though.”
Over 10 days the games will feature competitions in Alpine Skiing, Cross Country Skiing, Ski Jumping, Snowboarding, Freestyle, Speed Skating, Figure Skating, Ice Hockey and Curling, as well as others, which will all be broadcast on over 100 TV channels. Trentino is located in the Alps and boasts over 1300km of ski slopes as well as cross-country skiing tracks, and has been the centre of internationally renowned events such as the Nordic World Ski Championships.
Sports Union president James Reid commented that “It’s fantastic that Jennifer has the opportunity to represent both Great Britain and Strathclyde over in Italy, she’s on the university elite athlete program and its great reflection when a student competes at the international level, we wish her the best of luck”
In a short ceremony at the Vatican earlier this month Pope Francis lit the torch of the Trentino Universiade and thus marked the countdown until the Games, which will begin on December 11th. The torch will be carried to numerous different universities throughout Italy and then finally to the opening ceremony in Piazza Duomo, where it will inaugurate the beginning of the 10 day competition.