SportsAid athletes ready for Winter Olympics action with Team GB in PyeongChang

Team GB are aiming to return from the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games with a record medal haul as SportsAid alumni Lizzy Yarnold and Elise Christie prepare to fly the flag for their country. The duo will be among a 58-strong squad heading out to South Korea. Lizzy and Elise, who both received support from the Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme, will lead a contingent of 38* previous SportsAid beneficiaries.
24 January, 2018

Team GB are aiming to return from the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games with a record medal haul as SportsAid alumni Lizzy Yarnold and Elise Christie prepare to fly the flag for their country. The duo will be among a 58-strong squad targeting a minimum of five medals set by UK Sport. Lizzy and Elise, who both received support from the Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme (TASS) earlier in their careers, will lead a contingent of 38* previous SportsAid beneficiaries in South Korea.

*The original squad size had been 59 with 39 previous SportsAid beneficiaries but Katie Ormerod sadly had to withdraw due to injury - the charity would like to wish her all the best for her recovery 

Four podium finishes is the best return Team GB has ever produced from a Winter Olympics. The record was set in 1924 before being matched four years ago in Sochi as Team GB claimed one gold – won by Lizzy in the skeleton – along with a silver and two bronze medals. 34 members of SportsAid’s alumni competed in Russia across a range of events including alpine skiing, cross-country skiing, figure skating, short-track speed skating, skeleton and snowboarding.

The Games, which take place from 9-25 February, will see a number of these athletes return while recent SportsAid recipients, such as skeleton team-mates Laura Deas and Jerry Rice, short-track speed skater Kathryn Thomson, and bobsleigh brakeman Nick Gleeson, get ready to make their debut appearances at the Olympics. Laura, who was provided with TASS and SportsAid support over a number of years, has been setting her sights on success in PyeongChang for a long time.

“My long term aims are to medal at the 2018 Winter Olympics and become one of the top athletes on the World Cup circuit, consistently vying for medals,” said Laura when she was helped through SportsAid by the Jaguar Academy of Sport in 2014. “Six thousand pounds is a conservative estimate of the annual cost of my day-to-day living and travel expenses. There’s maybe a misconception that athletes don’t need the help but speaking personally it’s been extremely important to me.”

Excellent performances throughout the winter sport season have led to UK Sport’s ambitious medal target. Elise has led the way after she won the 1,000m, 1,500m and overall titles at the World Short Track Speed Skating Championships in Rotterdam in March last year. Medal opportunities have been identified in skiing and snowboarding while Lizzy will be aiming to retain her title and bring home Team GB’s third consecutive gold in skeleton with Amy Williams winning the country’s first in 2010.

“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,” said Mike Hay - Team GB’s Chef de Mission. “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 is however, no guarantees in winter sport and the winning margin in fine.”

Here’s the current list of SportsAid athletes who will be competing at the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games....

Alpine skiing

Alex Tilley
Supported by SportsAid – Bank of Scotland (2009, 2010), Robertson Trust (2011, 2013)

Charlie Guest
Supported by SportsAid – ASDA (2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013), SportsAid (2011)

Dave Ryding
Supported by SportsAid – TASS (2004/05, 2005/06, 2006/07, 2007/08, 2010/11)

Laurie Taylor
Supported by SportsAid – Norfolk County Council (2011)

Bobsleigh

Bradley Hall
Supported by SportsAid – TASS (2012/12, 2013/14)

Nick Gleeson
Supported by SportsAid – GLL Sports Foundation (2017)

Mica McNeill
Supported by SportsAid – TASS (2010/11, 2011/12)

Mica Moore
Supported by SportsAid – SportsAid (2009, 2012)

Montell Douglas (RESERVE)
Supported by SportsAid – SportsAid (2001)

Cross-country skiing

Andrew Musgrave
Supported by SportsAid – SportsAid (2008), Jaguar (2011, 2012, 2013)

Andrew Young
Supported by SportsAid – SportsAid (2008), Robertson Trust (2012, 2013)

Callum Smith
Supported by SportsAid – ASDA (2008. 2009), Bank of Scotland (2012), SportsAid (2014)

Figure skating

Nick Buckland
Supported by SportsAid - Sport Industry Awards (2007), TASS (2007/08, 2008/09, 2009/10)

Penny Coomes
Supported by SportsAid - Sport Industry Awards (2007), TASS (2007/08, 2008/09, 2009/10)

Freestyle skiing

Emily Sarsfield
Supported by SportsAid – TASS (2004/05, 2010/11, 2011/12, 2013/14), SportsAid (2006)

James Woods
Supported by SportsAid – SportsAid (2008, 2009, 2010, 2012)

Katie Summerhayes
Supported by SportsAid – SportsAid (2009, 2010, 2011), TASS (2011/12)

Lloyd Wallace
Supported by SportsAid – Lloyds TSB (2014), SSE (2015), TASS (2013/14, 2015/16, 2016/17)

Molly Summerhayes
Supported by SportsAid – SportsAid (2012, 2013), Nottingham Building Society (2014), TASS (2014/15), myLotto24 (2016, 2017)

Murray Buchan
Supported by SportsAid – Bank of Scotland (2008, 2009, 2013), Robertson Trust (2011, 2012)

Peter Speight
Supported by SportsAid – SportsAid (2007, 2009, 2010, 2012), TASS (2012/13, 2013/14, 2014/15)

Rowan Cheshire
Supported by SportsAid – TASS (2011/12, 2012/13, 2013/14)

Tyler Harding
Supported by SportsAid - SportsAid (2011, 2012), TASS (2012/13, 2013/14)

Luge

Adam Rosen
Supported by SportsAid – TASS (2005/06, 2006/07, 2007/08, 2009/10)

Short-track speed skating

Elise Christie
Supported by SportsAid – TASS (2006/07, 2007/08, 2008/09, 2009/10, 2010/11)

Charlotte Gilmartin
Supported by SportsAid – TASS (2005/06, 2006/07, 2007/08, 2008/09, 2009/10, 2010/11)

Farrell Treacy
Supported by SportsAid – SportsAid (2009), TASS (2010/11, 2012/13), Lloyds TSB (2012)

Joshua Cheetham
Supported by SportsAid - TASS (2008/09, 2009/10)

Kathryn Thomson
Supported by SportsAid – Robertson Trust (2011), SportsAid (2012), TASS (2012/13), Bank of Scotland (2013)

Skeleton

Dom Parsons
Supported by SportsAid – TASS (2007/08, 2008/09, 2009/10, 2010/11, 2011/12, 2012/13)

Jerry Rice
Supported by SportsAid - SportsAid (2013, 2014)

Laura Deas
Supported by SportsAid - TASS (2010/11), Jaguar (2013), SportsAid (2014)

Lizzy Yarnold
Supported by SportsAid – TASS (2009/10, 2010/11, 2011/12)

Snowboarding

Aimee Fuller
Supported by SportsAid – ASDA (2008), TASS (2009/10, 2010/2011)

Jamie Nicholls
Supported by SportsAid – SportsAid (2009), TASS (2009/10, 2010/11), Bradford Active (2012)

*Katie Ormerod (withdrawn due to injury)
Supported by SportsAid – SportsAid (2011, 2012, 2013)

Matt McCormick (RESERVE)
Supported by SportsAid – ASDA (2011, 2012, 2013), Robertson Trust (2014, 2015, 2016, 2017)

Rowan Coultas
Supported by SportsAid – SportsAid (2011, 2014)

Zoe Gillings-Brier
Supported by SportsAid – H.C. Whitbread (2001, 2002, 2003), TASS (2010/11, 2011/12)