Team GB targeting best ever Olympic Winter Games at PyeongChang 2018
Winter Sports

Team GB targeting best ever Olympic Winter Games at PyeongChang 2018

09 January 2018 / 14:17

Team GB is targeting its most successful ever Olympic Winter Games when PyeongChang 2018 begins in a month’s time.

UK Sport has announced their medal target for Team GB athletes in South Korea, with five the minimum aim – which would surpass the four won at Sochi 2014 and Chamonix 1924.

The prediction foresees medals being potentially won in skiing, snowboarding, curling and short track speed skating, with Team GB also competitive in several other sports.

However, Chef de Mission Mike Hay will be looking for more than just medals, with the former curler and coach keen to see British bests recorded in South Korea.

“The target of a best ever Olympic Winter Games is indicative of just how far the athletes and their National Governing Bodies have progressed over the past four years,” he said.

“It is a reflection of the growth we have seen across many of our winter sports that they have medal potential on the world stage and that Great Britain is now viewed as a credible winter nation.

“There is however, no guarantees in winter sport and the winning margin is fine.

“For Team GB it is about more than just the medals, our best ever Games will also be determined by those athletes who record personal best performances in their sports.”

Sochi 2014 saw Team GB’s first ever medal won on snow and with multiple World Cup and World Championship medallists set to make the squad this time around, Jenny Jones’ snowboarding bronze could be added to in PyeongChang.

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And with triple short track speed skating world champion Elise Christie and reigning Olympic skeleton champion Lizzy Yarnold also set to compete, Team GB will possess genuine medal potential in an array of sports.

Hay has been busy working to make PyeongChang a home away from home for Team GB’s athletes since his announcement as Chef de Mission in September 2016.

Although he admits the planning has been in action for much longer than that, with seven trips himself to South Korea in recent years indicative of the detailed planning it takes to prepare Team GB for a Winter Olympics.

“We do quite a lot of work in the village to give that feeling of a home from home, but also set up what we believe are some of the best performance centres for our medical and physio team,” he added.

“I’ve been lucky enough to be at five previous Games in various roles and a lot of the work begins four or five years out, before an Olympic Games.

“We as the BOA certainly go out on recces and the blueprint is very similar, but the challenges each Olympic host country pose are very different.

“I’m excited about PyeongChang, I think it’s a fantastic environment and I think when our athletes get to see the stadiums and venues that they will be compete in, they will be thrilled as well.

“That journey we take our team leaders on every four years assesses the various challenges that we think could be a problem for us and sees us try to put a strategy in place to mitigate those.

“Going into these Games we’ve worked very closely with performance directors individually and collectively to find out where we can help, improve and enhance the performance environment for them.”

Sportsbeat 2018

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