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CAN THIS MAN MAKE HISTORY? - Jane Peel, Chief Reporter
Tuesday October 3, 2017 - Email this article to a friend

With four months to go to the Winter Olympics, PlanetSKI speaks to the man hired to bring home snowsport medals for GB.

Dan Hunt is a man on a mission - to boldly go where no one has been before him.

And he's in confident mood.

The Performance Director of British Ski and Snowboard has achieved success in his previous roles in British Cycling and the Football Premier League.

But can he really take GB - a nation with hardly any natural snow - onto the podium in South Korea and into the world's top five snowsports nations by 2030?

PlanetSKI was invited along to meet him at a Path to PyeongChang event at the British Olympic Association offices in Central London.

Here, they're counting down the days, hours, minutes and seconds to the Games.

British Ski & SnowboardCountdown clock at the British Olympic Association









"I didn't pluck that out of thin air," Hunt says, referring to his target for 2030, telling the audience that he's studied the analytics to see what's required to make it into the top five.

To do it, he says, GB will need to pick up either 12 medals in total or four golds.

"It's achievable, realistic, measurable and there's a timeframe," he adds.

The more immediate concern is what Team GB can do in February and Hunt is heading to PyeongChang next week for a recce.

"We really do believe we have athletes capable of standing on the podium," he says.

"We really do think we can come back having been the most successful British Ski and Snowboard team that has ever been to the Olympic Games".

GB has only one Olympic medal on snow - a bronze won by snowboarder Jenny Jones at Sochi in 2014.

Watch the interview with Dan Hunt here:


Hunt refuses to put a number on the medals he hopes for or what colour he expects them to be, though he's previously said four or five medals are possible.

It's not difficult to hazard a guess who might get them.

Some of the top prospects include freestyle skiers James 'Woodsy' Woods and Izzy Atkin, snowboarder Katie Ormerod, cross country skier Andrew Musgrave and alpine's slalom racer, Dave Ryding.

All had spectacularly successful seasons last winter.

James Woods and Izzy AtkinJames Woods and Izzy Atkin




















But then there are snowboarders Jamie Nicholls and Billy Morgan and the very much back in form slopestyle skier Katie Summerhayes.

In fact, in the Park and Pipe disciplines medals could from almost anyone who makes it through the final team selection.

Hunt, who's been in post for a year, says he realised how exciting a project he'd got involved in when he witnessed the social media storm that greeted Dave Ryding's World Cup silver medal at Kitzbühel in January - the best result for a British alpine skier since 1981.

British Ski & SnowboardDan Hunt speaking at the BOA

Ryding and Andrew Musgrave, who achieved GB's best Nordic skiing result with fourth at the Cross Country World Championships, have both been rewarded with UK Sport funding as they're now considered Olympic medal prospects.

The new chair of UK Sport is Britain's most decorated female Olympian, the former rower Dame Katherine Grainger.

She was at the BOA for the Path to PyeongChang event.

British Ski & SnowboardDame Katherine Grainger at the BOA













She says she'd love to find the place where the magic money tree is planted so that every sport and every athlete could be supported but "no one can rely on money from UK Sport and the government".

British Ski and Snowboard launched two fund-raising schemes for athletes last autumn that Grainger praises as creative and innovative.

PlanetSKI understands that the money coming into the two funds has so far failed to meet expectations.

However, another big development on the fundraising front that could boost the coffers is expected to be announced soon.

We can't tell you more just yet, but watch this space!

Meanwhile, let's keep hoping that "events" don't scupper PyeongChang 2018 and GB's chances with it.

The elephant in the room at the BOA that no-one dared mention was the North Korean missile crisis.....

PyeongChang 2018 medalsReady and waiting - PyeongChang 2018 medals















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