AN ALPINE skier is set to become the town's first representative at the Winter Olympics.

Alex Tilley has been selected to represent Team GB at the games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, which begin tomorrow, Friday.

The Warrington Guardian understands that the 24-year-old, who has been skiing since she was eight, will become the first Warrington-born winter Olympian.

And she will be cheered on by her family at the showpiece event, who are jetting off to Asia today, Thursday.

Granddad Arthur Simpkins said: “She just missed out on the last Olympics in Russia but this time she’s got there.

“She only found out about that she was going a fortnight ago and now she’s out there.

“There are only four alpine skiers going from Great Britain, so Alex was very excited when she found out, and her mum and dad are flying out there to watch her.

“With a bit of luck she might be able to get a medal, but she’s up against countries where skiing is their national sport.

“In this country, our national sport is football but in places like Austria it’s skiing.

“I don’t think people realise how many people ski in different countries but she’s in the top 30 in the world out of a few million.”

Alex was born in Warrington and lived in Padgate until she was three years old, when she moved Aberdeenshire with her family due to her dad’s career in the oil industry.

She has been a full-time alpine skier since leaving school at the age of 16.

Starting next week, Alex will compete in the slalom, the giant slalom and the team race at the Winter Olympics.

But Arthur, who lives in Appleton, will only watch reruns of her races after he knows she is safe and sound at the bottom of the slope.

He added: “I never watch the actual races lives because my heart’s in my mouth - I watch the re-runs instead.

“Whenever she’s not skiing she’s in the gym every day - it’s hard work.

“She’s skied all over Europe, north America, Australia and New Zealand.

“It’s quite an achievement really - she’s 24 now but skiers don’t come into their prime until about 27.

“I’m very proud of her and I wish her all the best at the Winter Olympics.

“All we’ve said to her is to enjoy it, because she’s worked so hard.”