Who are Ellia Smeding and Cornelius Kersten? When are Team GB stars competing at Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics

The couple launched coffee company Brew ‘22 to help fund their journey to the Winter Olympics

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Team GB are competing in a whole host of winter sports at the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics, including skiing, snowboarding and long-track speed skating.

But who are long-track speed skaters Ellia Smeding and Cornelius Kersten, and when are they competing?

Who are Ellia Smeding and Cornelius Kersten?

Ellia Smeding and Cornelius Kersten are long-track speed skaters competing in the 2022 Games and they’re also a couple.

They live and train in the Netherlands, which is a nation known for its speed skating and a multitude of 400m rinks.

Smeding has represented Great Britain at numerous events, including the 2017 Winter Universiade, World Cups, the European Sprint/All-round championships and World Championships.

She holds the National Records for the 500m, 1000m and 1500m and had two top 10 finishes at the 2022 European Championships.

In the 2020/2021 season, Kersten won the 1000m in the B-group at the second World Cup and finished 11th overall at the World Championships, when he then started to get noticed.

This is why when Worldstream assistant coach and former training partner Daniel Greig mentioned his name, Kersten jumped at the chance to join the professional team.

However, with long-track skating not funded in the UK, reaching this level of the sport is not cheap, which is why the couple launched coffee company Brew ‘22 to help get them to the Winter Olympics.

The Brew ‘22 website said: “We met each other back in 2014 when we were both invited to join the new UK Longtrack Development team.

“The team was set up to promote long track speedskating in the UK as the sport is not well known. We both have Dutch fathers and British mothers so lived in Holland at the time. We were able to make use of the great facilities in the Netherlands whilst bringing attention to the sport in the UK.”

However, the couple said that elite sport often means “a lot of travel” and between training, training camps and races, they were often on the go, but finding good coffee was “a challenge”.

The couple came across an innovative product whilst in Japan, which was a single cup enabling them to choose their own coffee bean, grind it and therefore travel with their own coffee, which is how Brew ‘22 was born.

They added: “We sourced our own high-quality beans and set up this web shop selling the unique single cup filters, bags of beans and special accessories in the hope that coffee lovers would find us, love our coffee and support our Olympic journey at the same time.

“Thank you to everyone who followed our journey, bought our coffee and supported our dream. A dream we have always had, is now a reality, we did it!”

When are they competing?

Smeding will compete in the speed skating Women’s 1500m on Monday 7 February at  4.30pm (Beijing time) and the Women’s 1000m on Thursday 17 Feb at 4.30pm (Beijing time).

Kersten will compete in the speed skating Men’s 1500m on Tuesday 8 February at 6.30pm (Beijing time),  the Men’s 500m on Saturday 12 Feb at 16.53pm (Beijing time), and the Men’s 1000m on Friday 18 February at 4.30pm (Beijing time).

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