British Ski & Snowboard most successful olympics

Fri 02 March 18

When performance director Dan Hunt set the target of Britain becoming a top five snowsports nation by 2030, he knew the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang would be the first major step towards keeping that vision on track.

British Ski & Snowboard most successful olympics

British Ski & Snowboard most successful olympics © Sky

Having now returned from Korea, Hunt has reflected on a Games which delivered historic results, more medals on snow than ever before and an eye to what future success could look like.

“If you’d have told me before the Games that we could walk away with a couple of medals and more than three-quarters of the team earning top 20 results, then I’d probably take that,” said Hunt. “The expectations we carry into Olympic Games now is far different than in the past and so we judge ourselves a lot more honestly as well, but I think on the whole the team performed strongly.”

A key element of Hunt’s 2030 vision is ensuring BSS programmes are focussed towards creating medal opportunities in more disciplines and more events, and the results in PyeongChang delivered an indication that things are pointing in the right direction.

“In Sochi we had one top 20 in alpine skiing, one top 30 in cross country and a handful of top tens in park and pipe including Jenny Jones’ bronze medal,” said Hunt.

“In PyeongChang we had a top five and two top tens in alpine skiing, a top ten and a twelfth in cross country, Izzy Atkin picked up a medal in freestyle skiing, Billy Morgan picked up another in snowboard and we also had a number of other top tens in park and pipe.

“From 2014 to 2018, those numbers say we’re trending towards where we need to be, and while we’ll go into far greater depth analysing PyeongChang over the coming weeks and months, there’s plenty of reasons to start thinking positively about Beijing.”

Hunt believes that while there will be members of the PyeongChang squad who will call time on their Olympic careers, there are plenty more ready to step up or look to make their mark in four yearstime.

“When you cast an eye towards Beijing, you start realising how many positives there are that we can take out of these Games,” said Hunt. “Izzy Atkin is only 19 and she’s already medalled, Katie Ormerod was unlucky to bow out before the Games started but she’s so young too.

“Laurie Taylor was a revelation at the World Championships last year and proved his ability again in the men’s slalom in Korea. Then you have guys like Dave Ryding and Andrew Musgrave who will still be in a peak age range for career-best performances in Beijing.

“Plus we’re unearthing great talent in our new ski/snowboard cross and moguls programmes which have only just got off the ground, and the prospects we have coming through the park and pipe pathway continues to be really exciting.

“There’s still a lot of work to be done to round out the season and we’ll be doing more this summer behind the scenes than we ever have before, but I’m really encouraged by what we delivered in PyeongChang and fans of British snowsport should be extremely proud of the team we sent to Korea.”

The 2017/18 season continues over the weekend with British skiers competing at World Cup events in alpine, cross country, ski cross and ski slopestyle.

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