With the closing ceremony marking the end of another Winter Olympics, 2018 in Pyeongchang, South Korea sees another record-breaking win for Great Britain. Ending with Billy Morgan seizing a bronze in the snowboarding event, Britain bought home a record haul of 5 medals; a bronze in freestyle skiing, a gold and 2 bronzes in the skeleton and Morgan’s final bronze in snowboarding. Accompanied by a number of close fourth places and a few top 10s, Britain greatly surpassed its efforts at the Sochi Winter Olympics in 2014.
Mike Hay, Great Britain’s ‘chef de mission’ said “as well as the medallist winners, British athletes have shown their potential to compete in four years’ time at the Beijing Games.” He continued to state “It’s not all about the medals. It’s about looking at people to do personal bests and youngsters to come through and see the potential for Beijing.” He added “To leave Pyeongchang with five medals shows that winter sport in the United Kingdom is going in the right direction.” Hay has already tipped both the men’s curling team and alpine skier Laurie Taylor as ‘ones for the future’ and looks forward to them competing at Beijing in 2022.
When asked, Chair of UK Sport Dame Katherine Grainger said “Team GB did a brilliant job! We have seen two weeks of phenomenal sports and there is a real interest from the British public.” When criticised over the £28.35m investment put into the games and our athletes she replied “There is an amazing reaction from people who see the Olympic Games. People get very engaged, united and inspired by it. Many go out and do activities because of it. When you try and put a number on ‘is it worth the values we see’, it’s so much more complicated than ‘that medal cost that much’. It’s buying into a huge system of sport across many countries and promoting a healthier, more active lifestyle.”
Britain’s outstanding performance at the Winter Olympics 2018 clearly demonstrates a steady improvement and focus on sports within the United Kingdom. With large investments and funding coming from UK Sport, Great Britain is set to continually develop its athletes and should be seen as an inspiration for all and any sports men and women. Be it amateur or professional, recreational or sponsored, sports is a great way to stay fit and healthy and to develop lifelong skills that can be applied to almost any profession. Sports unites us, excites and entertains us and rewards us – there really has never been a better time to get involved.
We, at EHHP, are immensely proud of our athletes and what they have achieved and are looking forward to supporting them at the 2022 games in Beijing. Mike Hay ended with “These athletes can rightly return home very proud of what they have accomplished here in South Korea” and we could not agree more.
Well done Team GB.