The British Olympic Association (BOA) this week hosted the first Team Leader workshop to develop Team GB planning for the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games. The meeting took place at Loughborough University and was attended by members of the BOA leadership, Team Leaders from Olympic winter sports and representatives from UK Sport, Sport Scotland, EIS and TASS.
The workshop was preceded by a recce to Sochi last week involving a delegation from the BOA, which included CEO Andy Hunt and Director of Sport Sir Clive Woodward, together with Team Leaders from five winter Olympic sports: Andi Schmid (Skeleton), Gary Anderson (Bobsleigh), Dave Crosbee (Curling), Mike Pilarski (Alpine Skiing) and Stuart Horsepool (Short Track Speed Skating).
While in Sochi they met representatives from the Sochi Organising Committee to receive a full update on Games planning. The group visited the sites of the sport venues and Olympic Villages to assess the challenges and opportunities in preparing Team GB for the 2014 Games.
The findings from the Sochi recce were shared with the wider group at the Team Leader Workshop, which took place on Tuesday and Wednesday this week, and also included sessions focused on talent identification and sport science support for winter sports.
Andy Hunt, British Olympic Association CEO said:
“The visit to Sochi provided us with a great opportunity to further develop strong relations with both the Russian Olympic Committee and the Sochi Organising Committee. It also allowed the Team Leaders from five sports to experience the cultural, environmental and climatic challenges that the Sochi Games will provide. We saw great progress being made with the construction of the Venues, Villages and Infrastructure for the Games and I have every confidence that Sochi will host an outstanding Games in 32 months time.
"It is always impressive to see a bold vision turned into a reality on the ground over just a small number of years.
“We held a very constructive workshop with the Team Leaders and I was very pleased with the spirit of unity and cooperation between the sports. We will now take away all the information collected in Sochi and debated at the Team Leader workshop and use it to further develop the preparations for Team GB’s participation in Sochi 2014.”
Andi Schmid, Skeleton Team Leader said:
“The opportunity to visit the Host City for the 2014 Games at this stage in our preparations was excellent. It allowed us to better understand the challenges related to logistics and language and to experience the cultural differences. Visiting the site of the sliding centre was very helpful in terms of getting a feel for the venue; its altitude, landscape and access. Most of all, the trip was a chance to ask questions, and with the great support from the BOA, find solutions to our issues.
“The combination of the visit to Sochi and the Team Leader Workshop has really focused our minds on what we need to achieve over the next three years and enabled us to significantly progress our planning for the 2014 Olympic Winter Games. We have been very impressed with the level of information provided by the Team GB leadership and the Workshop was very productive in enabling Team Leaders from different sports to share ideas and support each other.”