The 2018 Winter Olympics are underway, and Britain are hoping to build on the four medals that they won in Sochi four years ago. The Great Britain team is 59 athletes strong, and within that team are some very promising competitors. After matching the medal haul from the 1924 Chamonix Winter Olympic games in 2014, Great Britain have been challenged to do better than the four medals taken from Sochi. The aim this year is five medals, and with some of the athletes on the team, that challenge may be easy to complete.
Great Britain have at least 4-7 medal hopes and are looking to finish in the top-eight in the figure skating. The main hopes lie with skiing, snowboarding, curling, and bobsleigh. However, we shouldn’t rule out the short-track speed-skating as we look to Elise Christie to bring home some medals for the team. The curling teams, both men and women, are also looking to dominate in their sport after claiming a silver and bronze respectively in the 2014 Winter Olympics. Women’s curling team captain Eve Muirhead is looking to bring home the gold at the end of what will be her third Winter Olympics, and her brothers Glen and Thomas Muirhead are in the men’s curling team. Hopefully the family medal cabinet will have a gold medal shining alongside the silver and bronze medals from Sochi by the time the Olympics are over.
There’s also excitement building around Lizzie Yarnold, who is looking to defend the gold medal in the skeleton and could potentially be the first British athlete to ever defend a gold at the Winter Games. Then we have Dave Ryding, a slalom skier, who is ranked 10th in the world going into the games. 2017 was his breakthrough year, as he won silver in the World Cup and is looking to be a strong challenger.
Other competitors are looking confident during the build up to their events, such as bobsleigh pilot Lamin Deen, who is eager to make a statement in this Olympics. There are also sisters Molly and Katie Summerhayes, who are both looking to make an impression on the freestyle skiing discipline. According to The Mirror, Molly works in McDonalds to help fund her Olympic dream as she is only partially funded, while sister Katie is fully funded as “one of GB’s best contenders.”
Then there is James Woods, another freestyle skier, looking to make his mark on the slopes. He was unable to get on the podium at Sochi in 2014, but won a gold medal in the X Games last year. Hopefully it will be another gold, but an Olympic one this time. Cross-country skier Andrew Musgrave is hoping to make amends after his not-so-brilliant performance at Sochi in 2014, having gone downhill after winning the National Championships just before the 2014 Winter Olympics.
With the 59 British athletes that have been taken to Pyeongchang, hopefully we will be able to see Great Britain finish high on the medal table and provide a strong and healthy challenge to the other countries competing.
The 2018 Winter Olympics begin 9th February and close on the 25th February.