Richardson wants British ice hockey team at Pyeongchang 2018

04 March 2014 / 12:37

Mark Richardson wants to turn his Winter Olympic watching brief into a playing one in four years time as Britain gear up for next month’s World Championships.

Britain just missed out on fielding an ice hockey team at Sochi 2014 with qualifying for the next Games in Pyeongchang in 2018 set to begin in 2016.

That meant Cardiff Devils defenceman Richardson watched last month’s Winter Olympics in Russia from home – but he’s now determined to reach the Games himself.

Britain will aim for promotion from World Championship Division 1B to Division 1A next month as they take on hosts Lithuania, Croatia, Netherlands, Poland and Romania.

And Richardson believes success at those World Championships can provide the springboard needed to help Britain field a team at Pyeongchang 2018.

"The Winter Olympics really were fantastic to watch. Playing in any sport at an Olympic Games is the pinnacle of a career," said Richardson.

"It is where we, as GB, really need to strive for. Reaching the Olympics would do wonders for the sport in the UK.

"We have some massive tournaments ahead of us first though, but if we can gain success in them, there's no saying how far we can go.

"We came pretty close to qualifying for Sochi, only losing out in final qualifying as Latvia went through instead.

"I feel the national team are in a great spot at the moment. We have some terrific coaches and a very good group of players."

© Sportsbeat 2014