In Depth

Team GB at the Winter Olympics: athletes, sports and medal hopes

Britain select a record number for the PyeongChang 2018 games in South Korea

The British Olympic Association has selected its largest ever delegation for a Winter Olympics with 59 athletes chosen to compete at PyeongChang 2018. However, on the eve of the games Team GB suffered a blow when snowboard star Katie Ormerod was ruled out following a severe fracture to her right heel bone.  

In Sochi four years ago Team GB had 56 athletes and this year Britain’s winter sports men and women will compete in 11 of the 15 disciplines: alpine skiing, biathlon, bobsleigh, cross-country skiing, curling, figure skating, freestyle skiing, luge, short track speed skating, skeleton and snowboarding. 

Mike Hay, Team GB chef de mission, said: “Not only is this the largest team we’ve ever taken to a Winter Olympics but I feel it is also the most talented. Given results over the last two years at elite level, there is potential for success across a broader range of sports than ever before and I’m confident that with this group of athletes we can make history once again.”

Snowboard cross athlete Zoe Gillings-Brier is competing in her fourth Winter Olympics while 31 members of the Team GB squad will be making their Olympic debuts.

We take a look at the Team GB athletes competing at PyeongChang 2018, the events and medal hopes.

Team GB at the 2018 Winter Olympics

Team GB facts and figures

  • Chef de mission: Mike Hay 
  • Number in squad: 58 (34 men and 24 women selected) 
  • Ice athletes: 33 
  • Snow athletes: 26 
  • Most popular sport: freestyle skiing, 11 athletes 
  • Most experienced athlete: Zoe Gillings-Brier, snowboard cross. The 32-year-old is competing in her fourth Winter Olympics 
  • Team GB’s oldest athlete: Kelly Schafer, 36, curling. This is Schafer’s third Games 
  • Team GB’s youngest athlete: Izzy Atkin, 19, freestyle skier
Who will be the Team GB flagbearer?

Olympic champion Lizzy Yarnold will lead Team GB into tomorrow night’s opening ceremony of the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games. The 29-year-old, who was chosen as flagbearer for the closing ceremony four years ago at Sochi 2014, will look to defend her skeleton title when the women’s event gets underway on Friday, 16 February.

She said: “My first reaction when I was asked to be flagbearer was complete excitement and I’m really proud to march in front of the whole team. There are so many talented athletes competing here for Team GB at this Olympic Games and hopefully this can be the start of our most successful ever Winter Olympics. Being Flagbearer at Sochi felt like a real celebration whereas this time around it’s a completely different responsibility. This could be the start of something really special and I hope the other athletes aren’t too far behind me as we’re very much one team going into these Games.”

Team GB’s family fortunes

It’s a special games for the Muirhead family with Sochi curling bronze medallist Eve joined by brothers Glen and Thomas, who are selected in the men’s curling rink. Kyle and Cammy Smith are also selected in curling while freestyle skiers Katie and Molly Summerhayes are the third set of siblings in the Team GB squad.

Team GB medal hopes at the 2018 Winter Olympics

After winning four medals at Sochi 2014 (one gold, one silver and two bronze), the Daily Mirror reports that UK Sport has set Team GB a target of five medals in South Korea.

According to the Mirror, Team GB’s best medal hopes for PyeongChang 2018 are:

  • Elise Christie - short track speed skating: the 27-year-old Scot won three golds and a bronze at the 2017 World Championships and has high hopes for this year’s winter games
  • Lizzy Yarnold - skeleton: Yarnold goes to PyeongChang as the defending champion after winning gold in Sochi
  • Dave Ryding - alpine skiing: the Mirror says that the 31-year-old “late bloomer” had a “breakthrough year” in 2017 and is ranked inside the world’s top ten
  • Men’s and women’s curling: the women’s team won bronze at the 2017 worlds and a bronze at Sochi. The men’s team won silver in Sochi, but this year will have a new line-up.

Speaking to Sky Sports News, Vancouver 2010 skeleton gold medal winner Amy Williams believes this year’s Team GB squad is the best ever for a Winter Olympics. She also tipped Elise Christie and Eve Muirhead to spearhead Team GB’s medal challenge. 

Williams said: “Elise Christie has been phenomenal in the short-track speed skating. She’s been winning medals all over the place for the last few years. She so narrowly missed out four years ago in Sochi. She’s really fighting to get at least one if not two medals.

“You’ve got Eve Muirhead and her curling team who won silver four years ago. She’s definitely wanting to up one and she has had the results.”

Sochi 2014 medallists in the Team GB squad

  • Lizzy Yarnold (skeleton gold) 
  • Eve Muirhead (curling bronze) 
  • Anna Sloan (curling bronze) 
  • Vicki Adams (curling bronze) 
  • Lauren Gray (curling bronze)

Team GB squad at PyeongChang 2018

Alpine skiing: four athletes

  • Alex Tilley, age 24, from Torphins, Scotland 
  • Charlie Guest, 24, from Perth, Scotland 
  • Dave Ryding, 31, from Chorley, Lancashire 
  • Laurie Taylor, 21, from Basingstoke, Hampshire

Biathlon: one athlete

  • Amanda Lightfoot, 30, from South Shields, Tyne and Wear

Bobsleigh: ten athletes

  • Andrew Matthews, 33, from Slough, Berkshire 
  • Ben Simons, 31, from Broseley, Shropshire 
  • Brad Hall, 27, from Crawley, Surrey 
  • Greg Cackett, 28, from Betchworth, Surrey 
  • Joel Fearon, 29, from Loughborough, Leicestershire 
  • Lamin Deen, 36, from Manchester 
  • Mica McNeil, 24, from Consett, Co Durham 
  • Mica Moore, 25, from Cardiff, Wales 
  • Nick Gleeson, 21, from Epsom, Surrey 
  • Toby Olubi, 30, from London

Cross-country skiing: four athletes

  • Andrew Musgrave, 27, from Oyne, Scotland 
  • Andrew Young, 25, from Huntly, Scotland 
  • Annika Taylor, 24, from Lillehammer, Norway 
  • Callum Smith, 25, from Inverurie, Scotland

Curling: ten athletes

  • Anna Sloan, 26, from Dumfries, Scotland 
  • Cammy Smith, 24, from Perth, Scotland 
  • Eve Muirhead, 27, from Perth, Scotland 
  • Glen Muirhead, 27, from Perth, Scotland 
  • Kelly Schafer, 36, from Dundee, Scotland 
  • Kyle Smith, 26, from Perth, Scotland 
  • Kyle Waddell, 23, from Bellshill, Scotland 
  • Lauren Gray, 26, Glasgow, Scotland 
  • Thomas Muirhead, 22, from Perth, Scotland 
  • Vicki Adams, 28, from Edinburgh, Scotland

Figure skating: two athletes

  • Nick Buckland, 28, from Nottingham 
  • Penny Coomes, 28, from Maidenhead, Kent

Freestyle skiing: 11 athletes

  • Alexander Glavatsky-Yeadon, 23, from Hong Kong 
  • Emily Sarsfield, 34, from Durham 
  • Izzy Atkin, 19, from Park City, USA 
  • James Woods, 26, from Sheffield, Yorkshire 
  • Katie Summerhayes, 22, from Sheffield, Yorkshire 
  • Lloyd Wallace, 22, from Shaftesbury, Wiltshire 
  • Molly Summerhayes, 20, from Sheffield, Yorkshire 
  • Murray Buchan, 26, from Edinburgh, Scotland 
  • Peter Speight, 25, from Sheffield, Yorkshire 
  • Rowan Cheshire, 22, from Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire 
  • Tyler Harding, 21, from Halifax, Yorkshire

Luge: two athletes

  • Adam Rosen, 33, from New Rochelle, New York 
  • Rupert Staudinger, 20, from Schoenau Am Koenigssee, Germany

Short track speed skating: five athletes

  • Charlotte Gilmartin, 27, from Redditch, Worcestershire 
  • Elise Christie, 27, from Livingston, Scotland
  • Farrell Treacy, 22, from Henley-In-Arden, Warwickshire 
  • Josh Cheetham, 25, from Nottingham 
  • Kathryn Thomson, 21, from Kilmarnock, Scotland

Skeleton: four athletes

  • Dominic Parsons, 30, from London 
  • Jerry Rice, 27, from Amersham, Buckinghamshire 
  • Laura Deas, 29, from Wrexham, Wales 
  • Lizzy Yarnold, 29, from Maidstone, Kent

Snowboarding: five athletes

  • Aimee Fuller, 26, from Bangor, Northern Ireland 
  • Billy Morgan, 28, from Southampton, Hampshire 
  • Jamie Nicholls, 24, from Queensbury, Yorkshire  
  • Rowan Coultas, 20, from Padstow, Cornwall 
  • Zoe Gillings-Brier, 32, from Douglas, Isle of Man

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