Free Spirits BBC documentary: what is Winter Olympics 2022 special about who is in it and where to watch on TV

Britain’s best snow sport athletes, including Tyler Harding, Katie Ormerod and Pat Sharples, feature in the BBC’s new documentary called Free Spirits as the Beijing Games are underway

The Beijing Winter Olympics are already underway with qualifying stages taking place in the freestyle skiing and curling events.

Great Britain have sent 50 athletes out to Beijing, Yanqing and Zhangjiakou to compete in the Games, with bronze medallists Eve Muirhead and Laura Deas amongst them.

Up until this Games, Great Britain had won 32 medals since the games began in 1924. Compared to the Summer Games, Britain are not known for their prowess in the Winter Sports but Olympians such as Lizzy Yarnold, Jenny Jones and Eddie ‘The Eagle’ Edwards have put Britain on the map as a country not to rule out when it comes to competition.

For Beijing 2022, the BBC around 300 hours of live coverage from the events as well as a highlights show and Radio content.

In preparation for the Games, the BBC also produced and released a documentary called ‘Free Spirit’ which is now available to watch on iPlayer.

So what is Free Spirits about?

Here is all you need to know about the new documentary…

What is ‘Free Spirits’ about?

The BBC documentary follows a group of Team GB freestyle skiers and snowboarders as they prepare for the 2022 Winter Olympics.

The documentary follows the trials and tribulations that it takes to reach the highest level of a sport that is almost impossible to play in Britain.

The show starts with the Rossendale dry ski slope in Lancashire and follows the lives and training of several British Winter Sports stars as they tackle their hardest battle yet - Beijing.

In an environment where snow is hard to comeby on a regular basis, the documentary shows the rise of Britain’s best winter athletes and how they have been able to compete alongside the world’s best.

Who features in the Free Spirits documentary?

The opening of the documentary starts with Pat Sharples. Sharples is the current head of GB snowsports and helps with the coaching and organisation of Britain’s winter Olympians.

The documentary goes on to introduce those whose lives will be followed: Katie Summerhayes, Tyler Harding, Kirsty Muir, Katie Ormerod and James ‘Woodsey’ Wood.

Summerhayes, Muir, Ormerod and Wood are all featured on Team GB’s squad for the 2022 Olympics with just Tyler Harding missing out.

Katie Ormerod at the US Grand Prix in January 2022

While three of the athletes are in the freestyle skiing squad, Katie Ormerod will participate in the snowboarding event.

This would be 18-year-old Kirsty Muir’s first time at a Winter Olympics and she will be the youngest Brit to compete.

Still at school, Muir will take part in the Women’s ski slopestyle and big air events.

‘Woodsey’ has been one of Britain’s most notable skiers and has competed in the last two Olympics and won gold medals at the 2019 World Championships in Utah, the 2017 Winter X Games as well as the 2015 Naseby New Zealand Winter Games.

Katie Ormerod was due to compete in the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics and was cited as one of Great Britain’s best medal chances but broke her heel in two places during training shortly before the competition and was unable to compete.

She has now been selected to compete in the women’s slopestyle and big air snowboarding events.

How can I watch the Free Spirits documentary

The documentary was aired on BBC Three on Thursday 3 February 2022 and is also available to watch on BBC iPlayer for the next year. It is being broadcast on BBC One tonight (Monday 7 February) at 11.35pm.

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