British Skiers & Snowboarders Exceed All Goals
6th May 2021
Last modified on May 20th, 2021
GB Snowsport is hailing its greatest season on snow. It’s predicting that next winter’s Olympics & Paralympics could be the country’s best ever.
Despite a season affected by Covid-19, GB athletes excelled on the World and European stage, as we reported in our earlier article.
Now the governing body has produced its own analysis.
“Even in a season curtailed due to the impacts of COVID-19, Britain has surpassed every target set, winning more medals and achieving more top-10 performances across more events and classifications than ever before,” GB Snowsport says.
It looks back to explain how it got to where it is today and ahead, concluding there is a bright future for GB on snow.
“A decade ago, British snowsport was in crisis. Despite the efforts of individual athletes on the slopes, the federation behind Britain’s world class programme was at the point of collapse, in severe financial distress and facing schisms within its ranks,” it says.
“As the dust settled, the first outlines of a plan began to take shape; a plan to make Britain a top-5 snowsport nation by providing a new generation of British snowsport athletes with the right infrastructure, funding, support and technology to make new strides at World Cups, World Championships and the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.
“The disciplines overseen by GB Snowsport are now accountable for 98% of all medals available at a Paralympic Winter Games and 50% for the Olympic Winter Games; the largest medal responsibility across any Olympic and Paralympic Governing Body, summer or winter.”
In the last two seasons, GB skiers and snowboarders were on the podium 45 times, para snowsport athletes had 30 podiums.
Two British World Champions were crowned and there were four Crystal Globes.
“Of the total Alpine Europa Cup wins in British history, 7 belong to current GB Snowsport programme athletes, 4 of which were achieved this season alone. These results surpass what many within, and outside, of our sport believed was possible for the country.”
GB Snowsport says the secret weapon in its journey of recent years has been simply to focus more on performance than results.
“The right ingredients now exist at every level to take British snowsports to never-before reached heights, while ensuring athletes are kept healthy, fit, and focused for moments that will be the pinnacle of their careers.”
Some other key points from the analysis:
- There is no room for less than 100% commitment to the programme, and no appetite for individual disciplines to be siloed or cut away from one another.
- Some athletes with high hopes of representing their country have been left behind as standards improve and new generations of athletes take over
- British snowsport medal hopes for the Beijing Winter Games in 2022 are 3-7 across Olympic disciplines and 7-11 across Paralympic.
- There are 144 athletes across GB Snowsport Olympic and Paralympic Programmes but only 27 Olympic and 16 Paralympic places are currently funded by the World Class Programme.
“As a sport we should always be grateful for the pioneers that helped Britain take its early steps in international snowsport, but we must also know when it is time to move on and to commit ourselves to a brighter future led by a new generation of world class British athletes,” GB Snowsport says.
There’s a lot more covered in what is a detailed analysis of the state of British skiing and snowboarding.
It’s worth reading in full. You can find it on the GB Snowsport website.