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Cheltenham College duo Max Pini and Jack Cunningham are star turns at English Alpine Racing Championships

All Areas > Sport > Skiing

Author: Contributed, Posted: Monday, 5th March 2018, 12:30

Max Pini Max Pini

Two pupils from Cheltenham College, Max Pini and Jack Cunningham, came first and second respectively in the Under-16 English Alpine Racing Championships, in Bormio, Italy.

More than 400 English racers competed and Max and Jack proved they are two of the most talented skiers in the country.

Max won a gold medal in the giant slalom and a bronze medal in the slalom, and following the championships, he is ranked no. 1 for England and no. 27 in the world in the under-16 category. Jack won two silvers in two super giant slaloms and was placed second overall in the championships.

The next races are the GB Championships in Tignes, France, before they fly to the southern hemisphere to chase the snow after their GCSEs.

And young Max clearly loves what he does.

“I enjoy the feeling of being free and being able to challenge myself,” he said. “Racing gives a huge adrenaline rush as you are putting yourself on the edge of your abilities to gain tiny fractions of time.

“I started skiing at the age of three with my family and started racing around the age of seven when a ski coach asked me to join her team, and I have been improving since then.

“Normally, I train in Austria in a place called Leogang. There is lots of variation in terrain and I think it is the best place.

“I train by slightly improving every run and when I make a significant change I then work on making that change muscle memory.”

And what of the future?

“I would like to represent Great Britain at the Olympics and would like to have a few World Cup starts,” said Max.

And Jack is clearly a fan of all things skiing too.

“I love the lifestyle that comes with skiing,” he said. “It is unlike any other sport because you can do so much outside the sport.

“Most sports restrict you from other opportunities but skiing opens them. You can play lots of other sports and they will all positively affect your skiing.

“I also love competing against others. It fills me with excitement and an intensity that I love, it gives you a rush like no other and makes you love the sport more.

“I have been selected to represent Great Britain in a number of races throughout the year which has been amazing.

“I have been skiing since the age of two in Austria but only started racing in 2013 with Team Evolution Alpine Racing.

“I train mainly at Reiteralm in Austria with Team Evolution, they both provide the best training facilities and coaches who help with all of your needs.”

And like Max, Jack has big plans for the future.

“My ambitions are to firstly race Europa Cups and Nor-Am and progress through the ranks there,” he said.

“Next I want to race World Cup and compete against the best in the world and show that you don't have to be from a skiing country to become one of the best. I would also like to compete in the Olympics – that has always been a goal of mine.”

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Jack Cunningham

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