Last week the British Olympic Association (BOA) confirmed the final members of Team GB for the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games. Now with eight days to go until the Opening Ceremony of the Games, the BOA is delighted to introduce you to Team GB for Sochi 2014 with a celebratory group photo of the athletes, courtesy of Getty Images.
“With athletes chasing qualification right to the end of the qualification window it’s been a tense and exciting time, but we are delighted to have the entire team of 56 athletes finalised and officially registered to compete at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games.
“Today, the very first group of Team GB athletes arrive in the Olympic Athletes Village and we are ready to help them transition into what can only be described as fantastic accommodation across the three villages we will occupy during the Games. We at the British Olympic Association have worked hard to put our own touch on the rooms to make sure that the accommodation feels like home away from home for our athletes.
“The potential of this group of athletes makes this Olympic Winter Games an exciting prospect and it’s fantastic that we have been able to capture almost the whole team in this spectacular and historic photograph taken by Getty Images,” Sochi 2014 Team GB Chef de Mission Mike Hay said.
The images needed to create this team photo were captured by Getty Images photogrpahers Alex Livesey and Micheal Steele. The Team GB group photo required Livesey and Steele to photograph each athlete individually with postproduction merging them into a composite image.
Said Getty Images photographer Micheal Steele:
"Working on the Team GB official photograph was good fun although a little challenging: our only chance to catch most of the selected athletes was during the kitting out week in Stockport. Due to the athletes arriving at different times over a three day period we shot each athlete individually and then photoshoped a composite group picture, a bit like putting a jigsaw together.
"It was important to capture lots of different angles of each athlete so we could piece together the group and give the illusion that it was taken in one shot, on one day. There were a few puzzled looks as we explained to our subjects that they would be part of a big group shot and we didn’t know if they would be sitting down or standing up. Now that the final image has been unveiled it should all make sense and I hope everyone is happy with the results. Many thanks to all involved in the project and the best of luck in Sochi!"
The current team of 56 athletes join an exclusive group of 641 athletes (467 men and 174 women) that have competed for Team GB at an Olympic Winter Games, and narrowly misses out on being the largest winter Team GB, after St Moritz 1948 where 58 British athletes competed (not including 4 athletes taking part in the winter pentathlon demonstration event) and Calgary 1988 where 57 athletes competed for the United Kingdom.
Since Chamonix 1924, Team GB have won at total of 22 medals at Olympic Winter Games, including eight gold. The most recent of these was won by skeleton athlete Amy Williams and was Team GB’s only medal at the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics. Team GB once again boasts strong competitors in women’s skeleton at Sochi as Lizzy Yarnold and Shelley Rudman go into the Games having just finished 1st and 3rd respectively overall in the World Cup last week. Rudman also won a silver medal at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin.
A total of 34 members of the team (61%) will make their Olympic debut in Sochi, while Team GB’s most experienced athletes are skeleton athlete Kristan Bromley and alpine skier Chemmy Alcott who are both set to compete at their fourth Olympic Winter Games in Sochi. Craig Pickering will not make his Olympics debut but it is his Winter Olympics debut, as the former track sprinter-turned-bobsledder was part of Team GB at the summer Games in Beijing in 2008.
Sochi 2014 Team GB fun facts:
Family fortunes: Siblings Andrew and Roasmund (Posy) Musgrove are both representing Team GB in cross country skiing;
World women’s first: Slopestyle snowboarder Aimee Fuller is the first woman in history to land a double back flip;
Young blood - Team GB’s youngest ever Olympian was women’s single skater Cecilia Colledge. She competed at the Lake Placid 1932 Olympic Winter Games aged 11 years and 73 days, finishing 8th. In Sochi, the youngest athlete will be 18-year-old slopestyle skier Katie Summerhayes. Oldest athlete is skeleton athlete Kristan Bromley, at the aged of 41;
Little and large: Team GB’s biggest height difference is between ice dancer Penny Coomes and bobsledder Stuart Benson, who measure in at 5ft and 6ft 5inces respectively. Between each of the two ice dancers, Penny Coomes and Stacey Kemp (43kg) and bobsledders Bruce Tasker and Lamin Deen (105kg), there is a weight a difference of 62kg;
Leading ladies: Sochi 2014 will see Team GB’s second largest contingent of female athletes competing - 23 in total. The largest was in Vancouver 2010, where 24 women competed for Team GB.