Team GB aim for winter sports top table
24 November 2018 / 12:36
British winter sports stars are used to aiming high - and now they've got a soaring target in their sights.
Dan Hunt, GB Snowsport's performance director, wants to establish Great Britain in the world's top five nations by the 2030 Olympics - and insists it's no fantasy ambition.
Britain have claimed three Olympic medals in the snow disciplines in their history, with Jenny Jones winning snowboard slopestyle bronze at Sochi in 2014 while freestyle skier Izzy and snowboarder Billy Morgan both made the podium in PyeongChang this year.
All of which makes the prospect of winning ten medals at a single Games a big ask, though not a mission impossible.
And Hunt, a former British Cycling and Team Sky coach, believes his long-term strategy will become a reality, with the right investment.
"Ultimately, we're looking at 10-12 medals puts you in the top four or five nations," he said.
"If you think about Sochi, that's one. PyoengChang's two. We've got a four-medal target from UK Sport for 2022 so two becomes four, but realistically we're thinking we could probably do better than that.
"2026 you're probably talking seven to nine, 2030 we're talking 10-12.
"We set the performance aim out about 18 months ago and it's big enough to scare people and big enough for people to question it. But if it's not big enough to do either of those things you're probably lacking a little bit of ambition in your thinking."
This week World Cup winner Charlotte Bankes, a British-born snowboarder who skied for France at the 2014 Olympics, announced her intention to compete for Great Britain.
And Olympic success in South Korea gave Hunt the funds to recruit top coaches, with freestyle skiing and snowboarding his key targets for success.
"Fundamentally we broke down what a top five nation looks like," he added. "Which medals do they win? Where do they win them? What's their distribution of medals? What's their strong discipline? Where's their weak discipline?
"No top five nation does it all in one discipline. We need Park & Pipe to continue being successful, that ultimately will be our flagship discipline, but we have to diversify.
"Sometimes you've got to create something that isn't going to be delivering in the here and now. The fact is that no one's really tried this properly in the winter space.
"We are not genetically pre-determined to be worse mogul skiers than Swiss people. It's about environment and opportunity and now we have that. We just need time.
"Yes, it's a big vision but when you boil it down, it's actually incredibly attainable."