Winter Olympics – Team GB Prospects

Britain's curling team have genuine medal hopes in South Korea


Great Britain is sending its biggest-ever team to a Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang.

Almost 60 athletes have flown out to South Korea, headed by short track speedskating world champion Elise Christie who is one of several expected to be among medals contention. Team officials are targeting a haul of at least five medals, which would better Great Britain’s best-ever performance. British athletes won four medals in Chamonix in 1924 and also at Sochi in Russia four years ago, though that Sochi total could yet rise depending on doping investigations concerning the men’s bobsleigh. Britain are in line to collect another bronze medal if the Russian team is disqualified.

Christie has three World Championship gold medals and 10 European Championship gold medals and will be hoping for more luck than four years ago when she was disqualified from each of the three events she contested and was even the subject of death threats from South Koreans, who accused her of deliberately crashing into arch-rival Park Seung-Hi.

The 27-year-old from Edunburgh is certainly Team GB’s best hope of a gold medal but not the only one with hopes of making it onto the podium in Pyeongchang. Alpine skier Dave Ryding is competing in his third Olympics and has been going well in the slalom in the World Cup this winter, recording five top 10 finishes. He was 11th in last year’s World Championships in St Moritz.

Lizzy Yarnold will defend her Olympic title in the women’s skeleton and there are high hopes for snowboarders Jamie Nicholls, Rowan Coultas and Katie Ormerod.

The Great Britain men’s and woman’s curling teams also have realistic hopes of a medal with the men’s team current third favourites with Betfred at 14/1.

The British team is really the Scotland team with all members of both parties hailing from north of the border. The men’s team features two sets of brothers and all are based in Perth. Kyle Smith captains the team which features younger sibling Cammy and Thomas and Glenn Murihead as well as Kyle Waddell. Another of the Muirhead clan, sister Eve, captains the Team GB women’s curling team and they’ll be hoping to go one better than in last year’s European Championships in Switzerland when beaten in the final by Sweden.

Sweden have been the dominant force in European curling for many years but Canada are the team to beat on the world stage and are 8/11 with Betfred to win the men’s competition in Pyeongchang in the coming days and 11/10 to win the women’s gold medal. Great Britain’s women are 6/1 in the latter.