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GB GETS SERIOUS ABOUT MORE WINTER MEDALS - James Cove, PlanetSKI Editor
Tuesday August 9, 2016 - Email this article to a friend

After more medals at Rio2016 PlanetSKI looks at efforts being made to improve our winter haul of skiing and snowboarding medals.

In the Sochi Winter Olympics in 2014 Team GB won 1 gold, 1 silver and 2 bronze medals. It was the best medal tally since the first Winter Games at Chamonix in 1924.

It included our first medal on snow as Jenny Jones took bronze in the women's snowboard slopestyle - see here for our story from the time.

Back in 2002 Alain Baxter won bronze in the men's slalom at Salt Lake City but it was taken away after he failed a drugs test after he inadvertently used a nasal spray - his name was later cleared, but his medal never restored.

Now British Ski & Snowboard is looking at improving things for the next Winter Olympics at Pyeonchang in 2018 - there are new initiatives and new channels for funding.

Traditionally GB wins its medals on ice - luge, skeleton, skating and curling.

Now we are aiming for snow.

The provisional target for British Ski & Snowboard in Pyeongchang is 1 silver and 1 bronze.

It is hoped they will come from the Park and Pipe Team where we have some of the best athletes in the world including James Woods, Katie Ormerod, Katie Summerhayes, Billy Morgan, Jamie Nicolls and Aimee Fuller.

Woodsy winsWoodsy wins Winter Games NZ, 2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For 2022 Winter Games the hoped-for target is 1 gold, 1 silver and 2 bronze medals.

Again the authorities are looking to the Park and Pipe team, but are after a bronze from the cross-country team - last winter GB's Andrew Young stood on the podium at a World Cup event.

For 2026 it is 2 gold and 3 bronzes.  It is hoped one of those bronze medals will come from an alpine skier.

The aims were revealed at a recent meeting of British Ski & Snowboard at the British Olympic Association that PlanetSKI was invited to.

Planning for future Olympic successPlanning for future Olympic success

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"In the Park and Pipe team we have the talent and we are showing good progress but without funding we will not get on the podium and we have to spend effectively and efficiently," said the chairman of BSS, Rory Tapner.

"We can look forward to British success in the Winter Olympics and we want to spread our efforts across many disciplines, not just Park and Pipe," Rory added.

Rory TapnerRory Tapner

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

See here for a PlanetSKI report from last winter as on one weekend GB had six podium finishes for GB Park and Pipe and a 15th place finish in World Cup finals for alpine skier, Dave Ryding.

Ryding is a slalom specialist who made several Top 15s and next winter is looking for Top 10 results - see here for our report on his progress last season.

Our real hope for medals though does lie in Park and Pipe - see here for an earlier PlanetSKI feature as we reported from the BRITS on the youngsters coming through.

And here is a recent video of the young guns in action:

One man getting closely involved is Sir Clive Woodward.

He coached the England Rugby Team to World Cup success in 2003 and was Deputy Chef de Mission for the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics.

He has recently undertaken a comprehensive review of the state of skiing and snowboarding at an elite level.

Sir Clive WoodwardSir Clive Woodward

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"The world of snowsports is quite old-school and traditional yet there is a massive opportunity here. Do we have the talent? Yes. Do we have the funding? No. Do we have the necessary coaching? No," Sir Clive told the audience.

"We need to be like British cycling where the team went from no-hopers to domination. We can do the same in snowsports and we have to believe we can win. There is some great talent out there on the international stage, but they are not that far ahead. We can get our athletes on the podium," Sir Clive added.

Meanwhile there is hope in other winter sports apart from curling, luge, skating and skeleton.

The GB 4-man bobsleigh team came a very creditable 5th place at Sochi and may yet be awarded a medal as Russia came 1st and 4th and could be disqualified following the recent doping revelations - see here for an earlier PlanetSKI story on the possibility.

Recently one the bobsledders, Joel Fearon, became the third fastest Briton ever over 100m - see here for our story.

Team GB 4-man bobTeam GB 4-man bob at Sochi

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Earlier this month there were trials for Pyeongchang 2018 at Lee Valley where bobsleigh talent is being sought from other sporting disciplines.

The bobsleigh team is looking to persuade elite athletes from other disciplines to join its ranks.

"We've got sprinters, multi-eventers, cyclists, long jumpers and the like and it's very exciting to see the kind of athletes who want to be associated with the programme. We've got over 20 people who will be testing, and we've been very selective in who we have put forward. It's an understatement to say we're very happy with both the quantity and the quality of the people trying out," said the Performance Coach, Michael Khmel.

And the same tactic of looking outside a single sport to others is being used by British Ski & Snowboard.

The sport of women's ski jumping is a new Olympic sport.

"We need to find an athlete perhaps from gymnastics or trampolining who wants to try ski jumping as it is a new sport and so athletes are starting from a level playing field. We have to be smarter in how we look for medals," said Rory Tapner from British Ski & Snowboard.

Next month two new initiatives will be launched to raise money for the GB skiers and snowboarders.

BSS hopes they will generate significant income.

The British Ski and Snowboard National Foundation is a new charity which will support talented young athletes and projects that increase grassroots participation in snowsports. 

The British Snowsports Fund, an initiative that will see BSS working with UK snowsports industry partners to generate donations from recreational skiers and snowboarders. 

Confirmed partners include major travel companies and retailers. 

Here at PlanetSKI we will bring you full details in September.

The next 2 weeks in Rio will see how Team GB does in the Summer Games.

In the meantime there is some realistic optimism that the future looks bright for more medals on snow in the winter.

Let's hope so.

More to come?More to come?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

See here for the main PlanetSKI news page with all the latest stories from the world of snowsports.

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