Beijing's golden horizon is focus for British snow stars

2021-02-04 12:06:48

Snowboarder Charlotte Bankes was born in Britain but has represented France at the last two Winter Olympics. [Photo provided to CHINA DAILY] As the last 12 months have shown, a lot can happen in the space of a year, but with exactly 365 days to go until the start of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic Games, the head of Britain's winter sports has said the team is well-placed to break its own record medal haul, achieved at the last two Games. Next year, Beijing will become the first city to host both the Winter and Summer Games, after its spectacular staging of the 2008 Summer Games. In 2018, the world's top winter-sports athletes gathered in the South Korean city of Pyeongchang, where Great Britain won five medals, a repeat of its haul in Sochi, Russia four years earlier. Vicky Gosling, CEO of GB Snowsport, said that despite the chaos of the last 12 months, the team hoped for more success next year in China. "Each games we get better and better, so we want to improve on our medals from last time and have more people on more podiums than ever before," she said. "Of course, it depends on factors like injury and the standard of the competition, but we're very hopeful that in Beijing we'll come back stronger than we have before. "The last year has been extremely complicated, obviously, with events being canceled, but in those that have gone ahead, we've had some great results and, if anything, we've overdelivered, so all in all we can't complain." COVID-19 travel exemptions have meant many British winter sports athletes have managed to spend as much time as possible abroad on the snow, something that is in short supply in the United Kingdom, which has kept them in competitive shape to take on their rivals, but the lack of test events at the Olympic facilities in Beijing could add an air of unpredictability next year. "Obviously, all the nations that have access to snow will have been out on it as much as possible, but the cancellation of the test events means that the first time anyone will see the conditions in Beijing will be when they get there," she said.