Who are Team GB's Winter Olympics athletes? Meet Great Britain's medal favourites at PyeongChang 2018 Games

February 13, 2018
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Great Britain is taking its biggest ever team to a Winter Olympics with 59 athletes and UK Sport has challenged them to claim its biggest ever medal haul.

The funding agency which distributes money to elite Olympic and Paralympic sport is aiming for a return of five medals at Pyeongchang 2018 between February 9 and 25.

Britain won four medals at Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics, equalling the 1924 haul from Chamonix.

In contrast, Team GB won one medal at each of the 2006 and 2010 Games, both of them in skeleton.

The funding body expects two to three medals from skiing and snowboarding, one or two from the Scottish-dominated curling, one medal in bobsleigh and a minimum top-eight finish in figure skating.

Short-track speed-skating has been given a target of one to two medals, based on the talents of Elise Christie.

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Winter Olympics 2018

Here are the athletes who GB are counting on to deliver the goods.

Elise Christie trains in Pyeongchang ahead of her tilt at gold
(Image: Getty Images AsiaPac)

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Who are Team GB’s top athletes?

Elise Christie – Short track speed skater

Scottish 27-year-old Elise Christie could win multiple golds and make history if all goes to plan in South Korea.

She won three golds and a bronze at the World Championships last year and has a lot to prove after her nightmare in Sochi four years ago.

A medal favourite she was disqualified in all three of her events – 500m, 1000m and 1500m – and received vile threats from fans of the Korean athlete who blamed her for a mass crash.

She’s bounced back in style and will be keen to triumph over not only the competition but the fans of this supermad speed skating nation.

Elise Christie crashes in her 1000m Short Track Semi Final in Sochi 2014
(Image: PA)

Lizzy Yarnold – Skeleton

The defending Winter Olympics champion in the head-first sliding event after her victory in Sochi could become the first Brit to defend a Winter Olympics gold – she is in fact the first British woman to attempt the feat.

UK Sport isn’t expecting the world from her, with a top eight finish considered a met target for the British sliders, but this is an athlete who knows all about the big events.

Her victory at Sochi was by the biggest-ever margin – almost a whole second – and at one stage she held every major title in the sport.

Form hasn’t been on her side this season but she insists she’s a better athlete physically and mentally this time around.

Lizzy Yarnold is racing to be the first Brit to defend a Winter gold
(Image: PA)
(Image: Bongarts)

Dave Ryding – Alpine skiing

After a breakthrough year in 2017, the 31-year-old late bloomer is being tipped by experts as a roughie worth getting behind in the slalom.

Ryding won Britain’s first medal on the World Cup circuit in 36 years when he finished second in the famous Kitzbuhel event in Austria.

Ranked in the world top 10, Ryding has speed and technique for the tight-turning alpine event that is often won at the Olympics by an outsider.

Dave Ryding is a chance to win a slalom medal in Pyeongchang
(Image: AFP)
(Image: REUTERS)

GB men’s and women’s curling teams

Bronze medalists in the 2017 world championships, the Eve Muirhead -led women’s team – which looks a lot like the Scotland team that competes on the world stage between Games – is always threatening the podium in major events.

Eve Muirhead : Curling

(Image: REX/Shutterstock)

Curling is a family affair for the 27-year-old. Her dad Gordon competed in the 1992 Winter Olympics in Albertville, and her brothers Glen and Thomas are in the men’s curling squad in Pyeongchang.

Eve, from Blair Atholl, in Perthshire, captained the women’s team to bronze at the Winter Games four years ago.

But she is determined to do even better this time around at what will be her third Winter Olympics – even if it means putting the rest of her life on hold.

She says: “My whole life revolves around my sport, everything else takes a back seat. That might make me a bit boring but I’m doing everything I can to get that gold medal here.”

Going into her third Olympics, Muirhead is joined by Sochi team mates Anna Sloan and Vicki Adams, with Lauren Gray whose been with the group since the start of the 2016-17 season and alternate Kelly Schafer. GB will be keen to improve on their bronze medal from Sochi.

Scotland’s Eve Muirhead leads the British curling team
(Image: SNS Group)

GB men won silver in Sochi but this is a new line-up, led by skip Kyle Smith, making their Olympic debuts.

Smith his joined by his brother Cammy and Thomas Muirhead (Eve’s younger brother). Another of the Muirhead clan, Glen, is the alternate.


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Lamin Deen – Bobsleigh

(Image: Getty)

Bobsleigh pilot Deen, 37, reckons his Army background helps him hurtle down the track at breakneck speed.

He says: “It sets you up nicely, the military, for bobsleigh because you have to be very, very robust.

“You go off the top of a mountain, you crash at 80mph, you have to pick yourself up, go back to the top and run off again.”

After leaving school he joined the Grenadier Guards and has served in Northern Ireland, Bosnia and Kosovo. He represented the Army at athletics, boxing and basketball before taking up bobsleigh.

He pilots a men’s four-man crew. Born in London, Deen, who is 36, moved to Manchester aged nine. He grew up in the Moss Side area of the city.

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Meet the Winter Olympics athletes

Katie Ormerod – snowboard slopestyle and big air

Snowboarder regarded among the top British medal hopes for South Korea in slopestyle and big air events.

The Yorkshire rider has already tamed the Pyeongchang slopestyle course, winning bronze in the test event and finishing fourth in the World Cup event.

She was the first Briton to win a World Cup Big Air competition when she triumphed in Moscow.

Molly Summerhayes – Freestyle skiing

(Image: Getty)

When she isn’t flipping herself over a half-pipe in this amazing event, Molly is flipping burgers in McDonald’s in Sheffield to help fund her Olympic dream.

She is a former World junior champion and sister of another Olympic freestyle skiing hopeful, Katie Summerhayes.

Katie, 22, is fully-funded as one of Team GB’s best contenders so she doesn’t need to work, whereas Molly, 20, only gets partial funding – hence the zero hours contract at McDonald’s.

(Image: Getty)

She says: “I couldn’t ask for a better job. If I ever need time off, I can have it. If there is a shift I need to get covered for, they help.”

Molly and Katie are so competitive they still race each other up the stairs, so they will be pushing each other all the way at the Games.

James Woods – Freestyle skiing

(Image: Getty)

Slopestyle skier and Yorkshireman James Woods learnt his trade on an artificial piste in Sheffield.

He will take on a course featuring rails and jumps, while pulling off a series of spins and flips in the hope of securing a medal for Team GB.

James, 26, explains: “I see what I do as an art. Competing against myself is the big thing, and winning medals is a by-product almost.”

James hurt his hip just before the slopestyle at the Sochi Olympics and finished fifth, but he won a gold medal at the X Games last year.

He said: “I know I’m the best in the world at this… so I’ll be disappointed if I don’t win, but I won’t let it define me.”

Rowan Cheshire – Freestyle skiing

(Image: Getty)

Rowan Cheshire, 22, is back after suffering a head injury at Sochi four years ago, followed by a second accident that left her with anxiety and depression.

“People don’t realise there is an emotional and mental side to post-concussion trauma.

(Image: Getty Images Europe)

“I wouldn’t go out on my own. Situations that I would normally deal with quite easily, I would end up having a breakdown over,” says Rowan, from Stoke-on-Trent.

With the help of a sports psychologist, she is back on form and ready for the women’s halfpipe event. Rowan started skiing at 10. By 18, she was the first female British skier to win a World Cup competition since Jilly Curry in 1992.

Andrew Musgrave – Cross-country skiing

(Image: Getty)

He is the Brit who can take on the Norwegians at their own sport.

Born in Dorset, he lived around the world because of his dad’s job in the oil industry.

Musgrave, 27, began as a downhill skier but switched to cross-country when he moved to Aberdeenshire aged 11.

(Image: Getty)

In 2014 he shocked the Norwegians by winning at their national championships weeks before the Sochi Olympics. But his form went out of the window at Sochi.

He admits his earlier success went to his head but is confident of doing himself justice this time. Musgrave says: “I feel I’m a better skier this year than last year. It is realistic of me to be fighting for a medal in the 30km and 15km.”

Ones to watch

Isabel Atkin – Won slopestyle silver at the 2018 Winter X Games in Aspen putting her firmly in the reckoning up against the world’s best.

Ski slopestyle athlete Isabel Atkin
(Image: Getty Images North America)

Andrew Musgrave – The cross country skier from Aberdeenshire is a strong medal hope keen to learn from his experience in Sochi, where he finished a disappointing 29th after peaking too early by winning the prestigious Norwegian Championships in the lead-up.

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