Coe upbeat 200 days out from Sochi Olympics

22 July 2013 / 17:18

Great Britain's Winter Olympic team is in good shape - according to British Olympic Association chairman Lord Coe.

With Britain basking in 30 degree plus temperatures, Sochi seems much more than exactly 200 days away.

Team GB have won one medal at the last three Winter Games - Rhona Martin's curling gold in Salt Lake City, Shelley Rudman's skeleton silver in 2006 and a skeleton gold for Amy Williams in Vancouver three years ago.

And hopes are high for the class of 2014.

Britain ended the most recent winter sports season with a record number of World Championship medallists - with Rudman and Eve Muirhead crowned world champions in skeleton and curling respectively.

Freestyle skier James Woods claimed world silver in his slopestyle discipline, which makes its Olympic debut in Russia, and won the overall World Cup title.

David Murdoch, who is hoping to appear at his third straight Games, won world curling bronze and Elise Christie claimed the same colour medal over 1000m at the short track World Championships.

In addition, snowboarder Billy Morgan and freestyle skier Katie Summerhayes both claimed maiden World Cup podium places.

"I love the challenge of being here on the other side of the fence and thinking of our teams," said Coe, who took over as BOA chairman last November.

"We have a very talented winter team that we are going to be taking away in a few months time. 

"And if you look at the performances that our winter sports men and women have shown in the last season of World Cups and World and European Championships, then it is very promising."

Coe is aware British sports fans have quickly become accustomed to Olympic success but, in an interview to mark the one year anniversary since London 2012, admits maintaining the winning feeling in Sochi and beyond won't be quite so easy.

"These are the things you can choreograph at a home games that are more difficult away from home," he added.

"I'm off to our holding camp in October in Brazil, just to get a feel for where our teams are going to go and we are buried deep in the planning for Sochi.

"We are working very collaboratively with UK Sport and I think it’s a good strong relationship. We will do everything we possibly can to create a home from home for our competitors. 

"I don’t think we should be under any illusion Rio will be tough, the environment will be tough and the very fact were not competing in front of a home crowd will make it harder."

© Sportsbeat 2013