Consider this paradox. More than one million Britons go on skiing holidays every year. As a nation we are unquestionably au fait with frosty conditions. Our favourite band is the Arctic Monkeys, for heaven's sake. And yet when one of our compatriots displays an aptitude in freezing conditions we regard it as a marvel worthy of anything unveiled by P T Barnum.
Perhaps if we won a few more Winter Olympic medals this would change. But then again maybe we like it this way. A bit of cold comfort every four years is exactly what we want.