Winter Olympics 2018: the cost of success

Team GB have high hopes to bring home gold from Pyeongchang after increased funding from UK Sport.

The 23rd Winter Olympics are underway in South Korea and Great Britain have a target of five medals this year, one more than the team’s winnings last time in Russia.

After 2014’s games, UK Sport announced an increase in their National Lottery-backed investment in winter sports, spending an extra £600,000 to push their total funding over £31m.

Bobsleigh, curling, figure skating, para ski and snowboard, and short track speed skating are the 5 disciplines to receive increased funding to “protect and enhance medal potential” according to UK Sport.

But how much exactly is being pumped in to the team’s hopes for success?

Curling accounted for half of Team GB’s medal total in Sochi, and there is hope they will repeat their victory after UK Sport devoted over £5 and a half million to the discipline.

It’s more than double what the team received in Russia, making curling the highest funded sport for this year’s games.

Team GB’s bobsleighers come second, securing just over £5m in funding for this year’s games. That’s almost £1.7m more than the discipline’s backing last games.

In Sochi, Great Britain were 0.11 seconds away from a medal in the four-man bobsleigh.

Short track speed skating has obtained almost £2m more since Sochi, putting their total funding at around £4 million.

Scotland’s Elise Christie is the current 500m world record holder and reigning world champion. There is high hopes for her to win a medal this year, although she was disqualified in all 3 of her events in the 2014 games.

Since London 2012, paralympic sports across the board have earned greater coverage.

Notably, for this year’s Winter Olympics, Paralympic skiing and snowboarding have received a whopping £2.3m increase in funding after Great Britain won their first ever Winter Paralympic gold medal in 2014.

Figure skating is the fifth discipline to have received extra funding for Pyeongchang’s games. Catapulting from just under £200,000 in 2014, to over £1.2m this year.

In Russia, pairing Nick Buckland and Penny Coomes finished in the top 10.

It will take five weeks to see if Team GB can smash their five medal target, with the last Paralympic events on 18th March.

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