Path to PyeongChang: 18 days to go
Winter Sports

Path to PyeongChang: 18 days to go

22 January 2018 / 15:16

Eighteen days, 432 hours or 25,920 minutes – whichever way you want to express it, the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games are in striking distance.

More than ever the excitement is ramping up, with fine-tuning very much the order of the day as athletes enjoy their final races, runs and routines before heading out to South Korea.

That means the Team GB squad is getting larger by the day and with more to come this week, the countdown is well and truly on for athletes, coaches and fans alike.

Here’s what the Brits have been up to over the past seven days.

Rocket-man Ryding finds his vigour in Kitzbuehel

Sat 25th after his first slalom run, many had written off a top-ten finish for Dave Ryding on the slopes of Kitzbuehel, Austria.

But this Alpine skier isn’t nicknamed ‘The Rocket’ for nothing – and there was hardly a better time than now to show exactly what he is all about.

Entering his second run knowing he needed something special, the Brit pulled out all the stops and clocked in at 52.52 seconds – the quickest single run of any skier on the day, giving him a combined total time of 1:51.28.

That was good enough for ninth for Ryding, helping him to tenth in the World Cup slalom standings in the process, with the disappointing results of the past few weeks set to be left in the past.

But there is still more to come from the 31-year-old, with another round of slalom action to come on Tuesday.

Joining Ryding on the slopes was  21-year-old Laurie Taylor, competing at just his fourth World Cup, just 1.15 seconds off qualifying for the second run.

Coomes and Buckland grace European stage ahead of PyeongChang

With selection long since confirmed for Penny Coomes and Nick Buckland, every bit of figure skating action over the past few months has been geared towards PyeongChang.

But just being in South Korea will be a remarkable feat in itself, barely 18 months after Coomes shattered her knee into eight pieces during a training exercise.

The pair are back though and took to the continental stage over the weekend, finishing seventh at the European Championships – though they know they have a lot more in their lockers.

“Today didn’t go as well as I had hoped and trained for,” Coomes wrote on Twitter. “A simple error was very costly.

“I’m frustrated to not skate as well as I know I can but proud of how far I have come. So I’m going to smile all the way to the Olympics.”

Yarnold heads up Team GB's Winter Olympic skeleton quartet

An Olympic champion from Sochi 2014, Lizzy Yarnold will have the chance to do it all over again as she bids to become the first British Winter Olympian to retain their title.

And she slid into selection on the back of a fine outing, finishing fourth in Koenigssee – her best performance since the opening round of the World Cup season.

Yarnold will be joined in South Korea by Laura Deas, making her first appearance at the Olympic Winter Games having represented Great Britain at all three World Championships since the Sochi 2014 Games.

Deas also had a season to remember this year, finishing seventh overall at the end of the World Cup season.


There is also a debut for Jerry Rice, just five years after making his first Great Britain appearance, while Dominic Parsons will compete for a second time.

Like Yarnold, he made his Games mark in Sochi 2014, finishing tenth to follow up his two top-five finishes in the end-of-season rakings.

Bobsleigh hopefuls get last World Cup outing

The last World Cup before an Olympic Winter Games always comes with excitement and nerves, with this weekend no different as Great Britain took to the Koenigssee ice.

That included Mica McNeill and Montell Douglas sliding into bobsleigh action, finishing 17th after a much-improved second run.

The men’s bobsleigh saw Sam Blanchet pair up with Brad Hall for the first time in a World Cup, with the pair 14th after their two runs in a combined time of 1:40.28.

That wasn’t the only World Cup debut as Axel Brown got an outing in the four-man, though his sled, piloted by Hall, was unable to make the second run.

Lamin Deen and his four-man crew did however, going down the course 18th quickest in the second run to finish 19th overall.

Luge athletes Rosen and Staudinger selected for PyeongChang

Not since Vancouver 2010 has a luge athlete represented Team GB at the Olympic Winter Games, but two have secured themselves selection for PyeongChang 2018.

It was Adam Rosen who finished 16th eight years ago, and he’ll return to the ice for his third Games following his debut in Turin 2006.

There is also a debut for Rupert Staudinger, with the 20-year-old looking to build on the 27th place he picked up at the World Cup in Oberhof last time out.

Adam Rosen at Turin 2006

Rosen and Staudinger will be in action on the first day of the Games, with the first two runs of the men’s singles event set for Saturday February 10th. The medals will be decided the following day with runs three and four.

Rosen said: “It’s such an honour to go to another Olympics for Team GB – the feeling never gets old and it’s quite amazing to be selected and to be going to a third Games.

“Especially over the last few weeks, I feel like my sliding is really coming along and my form is a lot better. This is the right time to be peaking and things will be looking up in PyeongChang.”

Woods and Atkin gear up for X-Games

X-Games veteran James Woods is back for another crack at the whip this week, set to take part in the competition for the sixth straight year.

Big Air champion last year, Woods certainly has the pedigree for the competition, also coming third in the slopestyle in 2013.

This year will also see him joined by Izzy Atkin once again, looking to impress following her debut at the event last year.

Selections incoming for Olympic Winter Games

Day by day the Team GB squad for PyeongChang 2018 gets bigger and bigger – and this week will be no exception.

The teams for curling, skeleton, figure skating, short track speed skating and luge have already been named, but there are still plenty of athletes bidding to take their place on the plane. is the place to be for all the announcements, so make sure you don’t miss a moment as the countdown ramps up.

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