UK Sport chief executive Liz Nicholl has hailed Great Britain’s Winter Olympics performance after a record medal haul in Pyeongchang. Great Britain won five medals in South Korea – one gold and four bronze – to reach UK Sport’s Games target.
Nicholl’s comments come after critics claim the £28m investment in winter sport is too great, while sports such as basketball do not receive any financial assistance from UK Sport.
“This has been a hugely exciting Games for Team GB and the public at home, with more inspiring performances, podium places, near misses and top 10 finishes in a wide range of events,” Nicholl said.
“National Lottery funding has enabled Britain to become more competitive across the spectrum of winter sports, with best ever results on snow and a first ever men’s skeleton medal, as well as continuing our domination in the women’s skeleton.
“I want to congratulate the British Olympic Association and all the athletes, coaches and support staff on their inspirational efforts, as well as everyone in the sports’ governing bodies and home country sports institutes who work so hard behind the scene to provide expert advice.
“It is the combination of that expertise and National Lottery investment, as well as the skill, courage and dedication of the athletes, that allows for all the inspirational Olympic and Paralympic moments, encouraging people to get more active at home, achieve their dreams in any field and feel more proud as a nation.”
Lizzy Yarnold became the first Briton to defend a Winter Olympics title when she won gold in the women’s skeleton. Dom Parsons (men’s skeleton), Izzy Atkin (women’s slopestyle), Laura Deas (women’s skeleton) and Billy Morgan (men’s snowboard Big Air) all collected bronze medals.
Great Britain’s best Winter Olympics previously was the four medals won at Chamonix in 1924 and at Sochi in 2014. Team GB also secured more fourth and fifth-place finishes than ever before, with 10 top-five places overall in Pyeongchang, compared to six in Sochi.
“We were also agonisingly close in the men’s slopestyle and women’s curling, with more athletes than ever before in the medal zone or just outside of it,” Nicholl said. “It shows the expertise and competitiveness in winter sports that we have in our high performance system now and boding well for Beijing 2022.”
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