Winter Olympics: Six Britons with medals in their sights

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The Independent Online

The Scotsman has a point to prove as he was forced to commentate for the BBC four years ago after missing qualification for the curling event in Nagano. McMillan, the 39-year-old from Stranraer, returned to win the world title with his team the following year. Then McMillan added the European title for good measure. The 1998 disappointment still forms a major motivation for McMillan, and recent preparations have gone ideally.

Coomber is Britain's strongest medal hope. The 28-year-old RAF Intelligence officer has the right stuff when it comes to top level competition, as she re-emphasised this year by claiming her third successive World Cup title. Although Coomber is unwilling to assume the position of favourite in a sport won and lost by hundredths, sometimes thousandths of a second, there are no limits for her if things go her way in the women's event making its Olympic debut

This energetic and effervescent Scot – whose cousin, Alain Baxter, has an outside chance of a medal in the men's slalom – has shown consistent form in the snowboarding half-pipe event this season, twice winning silver at World Cup events. And although she goes into the Salt Lake Games ranked ninth, she believes that she has a realistic medal chance. Others agree – McKenna was even tipped on Canadian television recently as a possible silver medallist.

This 20-year-old from Thunder Bay in Canada is competing for the country of his origin, having a Scottish mother and an English father. He knows he will struggle to match the popularity of his British predecessor in the event, Eddie "The Eagle" Edwards, but he has already performed with sufficient expertise on the circuit to be sure of making a respectable showing. "I want to show that people with British blood in their veins can fly in this event," he says. No offence, Eddie.

A team likely to include the former Commonwealth Games 200m champion Marcus Adam – who beat Michael Johnson an incredible five times in his days on the track – and driver Lee Johnston, from the Royal Marines, has a hard act to follow as it seeks to emulate the bronze-medallists of four years ago. The big question is, have they had enough time to tweak a bob which has been re-designed recently by the Formula One manufacturers Lola?

(Speed skating)
The performances of this 20-year-old short track speed skater at the recent European Championships, where she won two silvers and an overall bronze, have taken her into the top 10 of the world rankings and within range of an Olympic medal. In a notoriously precarious event, a few turns of fortune could see her sneak on to the rostrum, particularly over the longer distances. Williams is in no rush, however. She in young enough to have another two Olympics in her sights.