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WELCOME HOME! - Jane Peel, Chief Reporter
Monday February 26, 2018 - Email this article to a friend

PlanetSKI was at Heathrow to meet Team GB's record-breaking Winter Olympians as they arrived home (and get our hands on a medal!)

The most successful and best funded team of British Winter Olympians touched down on Monday afternoon after a long flight and, by all accounts, some heavy partying.

Family and friends had turned out to welcome them home.

The aerials skier Lloyd Wallace's parents, Robin and Jilly - both Olympians themselves - were there.

Family & friends Robin Wallace & Jilly Curry (left) with other families and friends

And Emily Jones and baby Otto, the sister and nephew of skeleton slider Jerry Rice.  

Emily Jones & OttoEmily & Otto Jones

And, of course, the nation's media..

Media at HeathrowAssembled media

After the long flight from Seoul the athletes emerged into arrivals at Terminal 5 in dribs and drabs.

Among the first to appear were three of the bronze medallists - skeleton's Laura Deas, snowboarder Billy Morgan, who won GB's fifth medal in the big air, and slopestyle skier, Izzy Atkin.

PlanetSKI had mixed success in attracting their attention....

Fortunately, we managed to grab hold of Billy Morgan later to find out, among other things, how he ended up in a shopping trolley in the celebrations after his medal ceremony and what his plans are for the future...

We also caught up with his coach, Hamish McKnight. 

The head snowboard coach for GB Park & Pipe usually avoids the limelight but we've named him as one of our unsung heroes from Pyeongchang in our round-up of the Games, and thought he deserved another mention.
Hamish McKnight & Billy MorganHamish McKnight & Billy Morgan

He is, after all, the man who has produced TWO Olympic medallists on snow - Billy Morgan and Jenny Jones at Sochi four years ago.

That's a pretty impressive record.

We asked him a bit more about Morgan's partying, for which he's infamous. 

He laughed.

"Billy and partying.  How do you tell those stories without it sounding horrific?

He didn't spill the beans, other than to say "Billy rarely lasts the whole night because he tends to go a little bit quick at it, so he was in bed fairly early and we finished off the party for him!"

We're not sure how 19-year-old Izzy Atkin celebrated her bronze medal, but we are guessing it wasn't quite as wild an affair.

Izzy Atkin & Jane PeelPlanetSKI meets Izzy Atkin

We had time for a quick photo but she was whizzed off to the BBC with the other medallists to appear on The One Show.

We hope to speak to her soon.

Britain's only gold medallist, Lizzy Yarnold (skeleton), who'd returned to the UK earlier, was also at Heathrow for a news conference to hear the Chairman of the British Olympic Association hail the team's success.

News conferenceNews conference

"We had some pretty serious ambitions before these games," Sir Hugh Robertson said.

"We were confident the team we were sending out was the best that had ever left these shores for a winter games.

"The result of that, I am delighted to say, 16 days later, thanks to Lizzy and others, is that we have come home after our most successful Games.  It's fantastic."

Sir Hugh Robertston, Chairman BOASir Hugh Robertston, Chairman BOA


Team GB came home with five medals - one above the minimum target set by the elite funding body UK Sport.

It's thanks to Ski & Snowboard and Skeleton. 

Ski and snowboard met its minimum target of two medals - and that's without arguably its best prospect, Katie Ormerod, who was injured while training in Pyeongchang.

Skeleton exceeded all expectations with three medals.
Every other lottery-funded sport in which GB had competitors - curling, short-track speed skating, figure skating and bobsleigh came up short.

It'll be interesting to see what, if anything, that means when the next funding settlements are agreed.

More photos from behind the scenes at Heathrow Terminal 5

Gold medallist Lizzy Yarnold interviewed by Sky SportsGold medallist Lizzy Yarnold interviewed by Sky Sports

Short track speed skater Elise Christie in the BA arrivals loungeShort track speed skater Elise Christie in the BA arrivals lounge

Lizzy Yarnold & Billy MorganLizzy Yarnold & Billy Morgan having a natter

Laura DeasLaura Deas enjoying BA's hospitality

News conferenceNews conference

Waiting for Team GBGlamorous job? A lot of hanging around waiting....

Dan HuntBritish Ski & Snowboard Performance Director Dan Hunt sneaks though (almost) unnoticed

Welcome home Team GBWelcome home Team GB

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