Harpenden's Max Baggio to learn from Team GB debut

Max Baggio made his Team GB debut

Max Baggio made his Team GB debut

First published in Local Sport

Harpenden's Max Baggio will have a few regrets after his Team GB debut but the alpine skier insists he has learned a great deal from his European Youth Olympic Winter Festival experience.

The 17-year-old’s week of competition ended with the slalom event and, after a morning run that put him in contention for a top-20 place, Baggio missed a gate in the afternoon.

That mistake cost him a finish that could have potentially put him firmly in the mix for one of Team GB’s best-ever finishes for a male alpine skier at a European Youth Olympic Winter Festival.

But it was not to be in Brasov, and after finishing 34th in his opening event, the giant slalom, the Roundwood Park School pupil knows that he has much to work on in the coming months.

"The slalom was a little bit frustrating because a top-20 place was there for the taking," said Baggio. "I felt like the second run was going quite well up until the mistake.

"My first run was not that great so I could have been challenging much higher. But having watched so many people miss out on the course it was a great chance for me so it’s disappointing.

"I have to learn from it though, I know that one of the things I really need to work on is consistency. In ski racing sometimes you just need to make sure you finish the race and that can be good enough so it is definitely something for me to think about."

Away from the competition, Baggio enjoyed a week to remember in Romania with the teenager elected by his peers on the 17-strong British team to carry the flag at the opening ceremony.

And, with over 900 athletes from 45 European countries competing at the Festival, Baggio insisted it had been the experience of a lifetime.

"It was such a great week," he added. "I’ve loved every minute of it, from the skiing against the very best in the world to representing Team GB and joining up with a team, it was all great.

"I have made some real progress but there is still much to improve on and it’s up to me to keep working hard."

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