Alan Hubbard: Woodward promises no more Eddie the Eagles in Britain's new ice age

Inside Lines: There is no doubt Woodward will be the key backroom figure in Vancouver

By agreeing to be Britain's deputy chef de mission at next year's Winter Olympics, Sir Clive Woodward has finally put on ice speculation about his future.

With doubts over the programme funding in his role as performance director for the British Olympic Association, there had been rumours that he would be returning to rugby coaching or carving a new career in football management. But he assures us: "I intend to go all the way through to 2012."

It was expected that with the departure of Simon Clegg, Woodward would be given the top job for both Vancouver and London, but the new chief executive, Andy Hunt, has insisted on leading the team himself, despite his lack of high-level sports experience. Yet there is no doubt Woodward, 54, will be the key backroom figure in Vancouver, where he will supervise Team GB performances.

Luckily the slopes are familiar territory for keen snow sportsman Woodward – his eldest son, Joe, is a qualified ski instructor – and with Britain among the world's top bobbing nations, he anticipates the best Winter Games medal haul in over 70 years.

"We have put the Eddie the Eagle image behind us," he says. "To be brutally honest, it didn't do anything for sport in this country." Vancouver will see the 22nd anniversary of the famous slo-mo ski jumping exploits of Eddie Edwards, which also took place in Canada.

Poisoned chalice

Still on the cold front, it seems that Sochi, the Russian Black Sea resort which stages the Winter Games after Vancouver, in 2014, will not have the embarrassment of a mayor wanted for murder. As we reported last week, Andrei Lugovoi, sought in London in connection with the poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko, was in the running. But he has now been ruled out, apparently on orders from the Kremlin.



Blue is the colour

With the Tories looking increasingly likely to win the next election, their new sporting manifesto will be compelling reading for those quangos and World Cup bid bods who hitherto gave the author, the shadow sports minister Hugh Robertson, such short shrift.



Sky plunge for diver

Blake Aldridge, the adult half of Britain's estranged Little and Large synchro duo, is going solo for a dive in June. Not into the water, but from the sky. He is plunging 10,000 feet from a plane to raise money for the charity Brake (justgiving.com), who support families bereaved in road accidents. He wants to raise awareness following the hit-and-run death of Gavin Brown, his diving partner before Tom Daley, two years ago. It is his debut skydive. "I've only ever bungee jumped before, and that was hairy enough," he says. Aldridge, backed by sponsors Apogee, will be on more familiar territory this week when he competes in the European Championships in Turin – sans tiny Tom.



Ballet in boots

What do Roy of the Rovers and Spandau Ballet have in common? Both are old boys making a comeback, the former in a 64-page comic special on sale in W H Smith next month and the latter in a nationwide tour. Some coincidence, as older readers may recall Spandau's Martin Kemp and Steve Norman caricatured playing alongside Roy Race in Melchester's red-and-yellow strip in one of the less memorable chronicles. Hardly "Journeys to Glory".



insidelines@independent.co.uk

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
booksPhotographer Richard Young has been snapping celebrities at play for 40 years - but he says it wasn’t all fun and games...
News
i100
Sport
Aguero - who single-handedly has kept City's Champions League dreams alive - celebrates his dramatic late winner
footballManchester City 3 Bayern Munich 2: Argentine's late hat-rick sees home side snatch vital victory
News
Muhammad Ali pictured in better health in 2006
peopleBut he has enjoyed publicity from his alleged near-death experience
Arts and Entertainment
Tony breaks into Ian Garrett's yacht and makes a shocking discovery
TVReview: Revelations continue to make this drama a tough watch
News
news
News
peopleSinger tells The Independent what life is like in rehab in an exclusive video interview
News
The assumption that women are not as competent in leadership positions as men are leads to increased stress in the workplace
science... and it's down to gender stereotypes
Arts and Entertainment
Inner sanctum: Tove Jansson and friends in her studio in 1992
booksWhat was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Singer songwriter Bob Dylan performs on stage
films
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Austen Lloyd: Commercial Property Lawyer - Cheshire

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: CHESHIRE MARKET TOWN - An exciting and rare o...

Austen Lloyd: Residential Property Solicitor - Hampshire

Excellent Salary : Austen Lloyd: NORTH HAMPSHIRE - SENIOR POSITION - An exciti...

Recruitment Genius: Gas Installation Engineer

£29000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Gas Installation Engineer is required ...

Recruitment Genius: Domestic Gas Technical Surveyor

£28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Domestic Gas Technical Surveyor is req...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

Putin’s far-right ambition

Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

Escape to Moominland

What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?
Nightclubbing with Richard Young: The story behind his latest book of celebrity photographs

24-Hour party person

Photographer Richard Young has been snapping celebrities at play for 40 years. As his latest book is released, he reveals that it wasn’t all fun and games
Michelle Obama's school dinners: America’s children have a message for the First Lady

A taste for rebellion

US children have started an online protest against Michelle Obama’s drive for healthy school meals by posting photos of their lunches
Colouring books for adults: How the French are going crazy for Crayolas

Colouring books for adults

How the French are going crazy for Crayolas
Jack Thorne's play 'Hope': What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

Playwright Jack Thorne's latest work 'Hope' poses the question to audiences
Ed Harcourt on Romeo Beckham and life as a court composer at Burberry

Call me Ed Mozart

Paloma Faith, Lana del Ray... Romeo Beckham. Ed Harcourt has proved that he can write for them all. But it took a personal crisis to turn him from indie star to writer-for-hire
10 best stocking fillers for foodies

Festive treats: 10 best stocking fillers for foodies

From boozy milk to wasabi, give the food-lover in your life some extra-special, unusual treats to wake up to on Christmas morning
Phil Hughes head injury: He had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

Phil Hughes had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

Prolific opener had world at his feet until Harmison and Flintoff bounced him
'I have an age of attraction that starts as low as four': How do you deal with a paedophile who has never committed a crime?

'I am a paedophile'

Is our approach to sex offenders helping to create more victims?
How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

Serco given Yarl’s Wood immigration contract despite ‘vast failings’
Green Party on the march in Bristol: From a lost deposit to victory

From a lost deposit to victory

Green Party on the march in Bristol
Putting the grot right into Santa's grotto

Winter blunderlands

Putting the grot into grotto
'It just came to us, why not do it naked?' London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital

'It just came to us, why not do it naked?'

London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital