Daniel Yule heads to the Olympics: “There will always be a bit of me that is British”

Daniel Yule racing at Obereggen in December 2013 - Copyright RACER READY

Daniel Yule is the slalom racer with the British name, the British accent yet skis for Switzerland. Daniel Yule is also going to the Olympics following his tremendous result in … the Kitzbuehel Slalom where he snuck into the thirty and used the clean course that he had on the second run to score a top seven place and book his ticket to Sochi.

With both parents from the UK, Yule grew up in the Valais region of Switzerland and after starting school there and then starting his racing career in the Swiss system, Yule worked his way up through the regional racing in Switzerland and then onto the Swiss Team. For three years though he did race at the British Championships in Meribel. From 2006 to 2008, Yule raced in Meribel, ending up in 2008 with a win in both the Slalom and Giant Slalom. Signs that his slalom was something to watch were evident as he won the ’08 slalom by over one and a half seconds!

These days Yule is a slalom racer. He enjoys chilling out with Dave Ryding at the Europa Cup races and other races where their paths cross and while like Ryding he is focusing on Slalom, Yule will spend some time before going to the Olympics doing some Giant Slalom. Yule has form in slalom and back at the 2007 British Championships he won the second run in the Children’s Championship despite having crashed in the first.

As his career progressed, Yule did think that if things did not work out for him with the Swiss he could revert to racing for the British, just as James Leuzinger did ten years ago. Sadly for the British set up, he is now firmly entrenched in the Swiss set up and they have no plans to let him switch his allegiance!

In 2014 Yule is now one of the top racers in the Europa Cup Slalom rankings. Should he go on to win the Title, he will have a guaranteed spot in the World Cup next year, just as Ryding has this year. For Yule this will be invaluable as he is part of a strong and improving Swiss team.

Racing at the Kitzbuehel World Cup Slalom, Yule admitted that he was lucky in making the flip: He qualified in 30th spot after making “a huge mistake” and this gave him the clear track to attack. And attack he did. Yule lead for a long time and while he eventually placed 7th, this was a result that saw him book his spot in Sochi. While his parents were delighted, they will be watching him race in Sochi from the comforts of the home town of Branche d’en Haut.

Yule speaks English with a Swiss / French accent, French and also gets by with Swiss German. He is always happy to talk and is fast becoming known in the finish area by the International press. Like Ryding he races on Fischer and uses Bolle head and eyewear. And also like Ryding, he likes to go fast through Slalom gates.

With the limited number of training pistes available in Sochi during the Games, Yule will train in Switzerland before heading off to the biggest race of his career to date. Yule too the opportunity that presented itself in Kitzbuehel with both hands. He may have a Swiss flag by his name and be racing under the Swiss race suit but he admits that there is a part of him that will always be British! So come the final race of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games, Britain could actually have two racers in the race.

It is nice to think that the Swiss are having to steal from Britain for their ski team!

Follow Daniel Yule through his website www.danielyule.com