UK Sport targets medals for curlers at Winter Games
One month out from the start of the Olympics, the UK government agency for high performance sport has announced its targets for the winter sports competing in Pyeongchang. Curling will be played at the Olympics and Paralympics in 2018 and UK Sport’s medal target range is 1-2 medals for the Olympics where we have two teams competing under skips Eve Muirhead and Kyle Smith. The Paralympics target range is top 5 to 1 medal for the team led by skip Aileen Neilson.
Across all of the winter sports, UK Sport targets a cumulative medal range of 4-10 medals, with the target set by UK Sport of at least 5 medals which if achieved would mark the best ever performance in a Winter Olympics for Great Britain. The cumulative medal range for the Winter Paralympics Games is 6-12 medals with an ambition of at least 7 medals which if achieved would mark the best performance in 30 years, and best since National Lottery funding came on stream in 1997.
UK Sport have invested £5,655,150 in the Olympic Curling Programme and £1,137,767 in the Paralympic Curling Programme as part of their £32 million of National Lottery and Government funding across eight winter Olympic and Paralympic sports in the PyeongChang 2018 cycle in a bid to achieve these ambitious targets. This is more than double the investment of the Sochi cycle, which was just over £14 million.
The increased investment comes following a breakthrough performance at the Sochi Games in 2014, where all 3 of the curling teams came home with medals.
GB’s Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls are heading to PyeongChang 2018 with real confidence following a number of fantastic results. The women’s curling team won bronze as Scotland at the 2017 World Championships and took Gold at the European Championships in November 2017, with Scotland’s men claiming European silver. Scotland’s wheelchair curlers claimed a bronze medal at the 2017 World Championships, a test event in the Pyeongchang curling venue.
Minister for Sport Tracey Crouch said: “After some fantastic results over the past 12 months our Olympians and Paralympians will be giving everything to win medals in PyeongChang and build on the success of Sochi in 2014. Our country’s fantastic success at recent Olympic and Paralympic Games would not have been possible without the generosity of National Lottery players and funding from the government. I know the country will be right behind our athletes when they take to the snow and ice in South Korea in a few weeks’ time.”
Team GB Chef de Mission Mike Hay said: “The target of a best ever Olympic Winter Games is indicative of just how far the athletes and their National Governing Bodies have progressed over the past four years. It is a reflection of the growth we have seen across many of our winter sports that they have medal potential on the world stage and that Great Britain is a now viewed as a credible winter nation. There are however, no guarantees in winter sport and the winning margin is fine. For Team GB it is about more than just the medals, our best ever Games will also be determined by those athletes who record personal best performances in their sports.”
RCCC Chief Executive Bruce Crawford said: “The pinnacle for our curlers is the winter Olympic and Paralympic Games in one and two months’ time. The preparation of the athletes has been going well and we are all getting excited to support the teams as they prepare to head off to South Korea. The teams have benefitted from the exceptional partnerships and support from the National Lottery, UK Sport, SportScotland, SportScotland Institute of Sport, British Olympic Association, British Paralympic Association, British Curling and the Royal Caledonian Curling Club.
We now wish the teams good luck and hope that the final preparations go to plan and they play to the best of their abilities.