Britain’s best team yet? The contenders most likely to strike gold in the snow


Men's curling: David Murdoch


Over the previous 20 Winter Games Britain have amassed the grand total of eight gold medals. Their first, in 1924, was in curling; their last, in 2002, was in curling; and their next, in 15 days' time.

David Murdoch's team are the reigning world champions, in the guise of Scotland, and now as Britain have a golden chance to add the Olympic title. Their main rivals to top the podium are the hosts, currently ranked No 1 in the world. After ice hockey, curling is Canada's sporting obsession, but Murdoch's men are more than capable of silencing the home crowd, given that they have beaten the Canadians the last three times they have faced off on the ice. The women's team, skipped by 19-year-old Eve Muirhead, a fledgling star of the sport, are among the contenders jostling behind Canada, the overwhelming favourites.

Ice skating: John & Sinead Kerr

The Scottish brother and sister – who number Christopher Dean among their former coaches – have been dancing together for a decade now. They won bronze at the European Championships last year and have an outside chance of doing likewise in Vancouver.

Women's bobsleigh: Nicola Minichiello and Gillian Cooke

Another world champion team, but this one enters the Games on less sure footing than the curlers. Since becoming the first British women to claim a world title last year, Minichiello has been beset with problems with her vision, at one stage there were fears she could lose the sight in her left eye. In December she underwent laser surgery and since returning to action the form of last year has proved elusive. But, with their second-hand sled and constant quest for funds, Minichiello and Cooke, a former international long jumper, are well practised in dealing with adversity. Gold may prove beyond them, but a medal certainly is not.

Men's speed skating: Jon Eley

A former European champion and World Championships bronze medallist, Eley has the CV to justify his belief that he can cause the Union flag to be raised in his honour come the end of the 500m. He was disappointed to finish fifth in Turin and is desperate to make amends.

Women's snowboarding: Zoe Gillings

The 24-year-old from the Isle of Man has overcome serious injury problems of her own. Five years ago she shattered her foot so badly she was advised to give up the sport. She ignored the medics, competed in Turin four years ago – reaching the quarter-finals – and is now ranked fifth in the world.

Women's skeleton: Shelley Rudman

Britain's flagbearer at last night's opening ceremony is another who will probably have to upset the Canadians to take gold. Mellisa Hollingsworth has dominated the World Cup this season and is a strong favourite, but Rudman is nothing if not confident. Her form this season has been good, she finished second to Hollingsworth, and going one better than her surprise silver four years ago is far from out of reach. Team-mate Amy Williams – or "Curly Wurly" as she's known – could provide the surprise British medal of the Games. She finished second in a World Cup event on the notoriously difficult Whistler run last year.

Men's skeleton: Kristan Bromley

If Rudman doesn't do it then there may still be a medal to place on the mantlepiece via her partner Bromley. Dr Ice, a former world champion, is in prime form. Robin Scott-Elliot

GB's gold medallists

Chamonix 1924 – Men's Curling, Garmisch-Partenkirchen 1936 – Men's Ice Hockey, Oslo 1952 – Women's Figure Skating (Jeanette Altwegg), Innsbruck 1964 – Men's Bobsleigh, Innsbruck 1976 – Men's Figure Skating (John Curry), Lake Placid 1980 – Men's Figure Skating (Robin Cousins), Sarajevo 1984 – Ice Dance (Torvill and Dean), Salt Lake City 2002 – Women's Curling

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own