FELIX KLEIN was kept off the slopes this summer but the Cirencester skier is not putting his Olympic ambitions on ice any time soon.

The 20-year-old was set to head to Europe for vital practice through 2020 but the coronavirus pandemic put paid to those hopes before they got going.

As a New Zealand-born athlete living in England, natural skiing conditions haven’t come easily for Klein since first getting into the sport more than a decade ago.

But he won’t be curtailing his dreams any time soon, with the next winter Olympic Games in 2022 and 2026 both high on the agenda.

"I just want to keep skiing for as long as possible. The Olympics and the X Games are big goals of mine,” said Klein, who is financially supported and mentored by charity SportsAid and GVC.

"The Olympics is such an amazing competition, I'll be trying to get into the 2022 Games until it's no longer possible and then trying for the 2026 event after that.

"That would be a dream come true. Four years sounds like a long time but it's amazing how quickly it goes.

"Realistically, 2026 is probably the one but 2022 is still a goal of mine. Achieving that goal, a life goal, would mean so much to me.

"I never really wanted to be an Olympian at all when I first started skiing. It was about the X Games at the time and freestyle skiing wasn't even in the picture for being in the Olympics.

“But that all changed at Sochi 2014 and being part of the Games has done so much for the sport.”

Klein moved to the UK when aged 15, admitting he was surprised at just how strong the British team was at age-group level.

It’s both a blessing and a curse that there’s strength in depth for a man who is looking to break through on both the continental and global circuit.

The squad have yet to reunite for training but when they do, Klein is relishing the chance to show what they can do in spite of the enforced break.

He added: “In a country with no proper ski resorts, the fact that there were so many good skiers was amazing.

"When there's competition, it makes you more competitive and feel the need to bring up your game and improve more.

"More competition makes it so much harder to break through, there's always someone to be there competing against.”

GVC is championing the next generation of British sporting heroes by providing talented young athletes with financial support and personal development opportunities in partnership with SportsAid.

As part of this three-year partnership, GVC are supporting a diverse group 50 of UK athletes per year from a variety of spots and para-sports. Visit gvc-plc.com to find out more.