UK Sport targets best Paralympic Winter Games since National Lottery funding began
With two months to go until the Paralympic Winter Games UK Sport has announced its medal targets for PyeongChang 2018.
After numerous excellent performances from GB athletes across this winter sport season, the cumulative medal range for the Paralympic Winter 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.
Para Alpine Skiing and Para Snowboard have been set a target of between 6 And 11 medals while Wheelchair Curling must finish in the top five places to meet its minimum performance target with a medal at the top of its range. As Nordic Skiing is not currently funded by UK Sport they have not been set a performance target by the Government agency.
The past 12 months has seen Winter athletes produce a number of medal winning performances. Millie Knight won four medals at the 2017 World Championships, including Downhill gold, while Menna Fitzpatrick claimed a bronze there and has started the 2018 season in fine form. Owen Pick and Ben Moore also won medals at the 2017 World Championships in Para Snowboard while the wheelchair curlers claimed a bronze medal for Scotland at the 2017 World Championships.
Sochi 2014 was an historic games as ParalympicsGB won six medals including a first ever winter gold medal in the Women's Super-G from alpine skier Kelly Gallagher and guide Charlotte Evans.
ParalympicsGB Chef de Mission Penny Briscoe OBE said: “While this is a challenging target, there has been significant progress over this cycle for our winter sports and this has been reflected through medal success at World Championship and World Cup level. The team is an exciting blend of experienced athletes and debutants with significant medal potential across the sports.
“Thanks to the support of the National Lottery, UK Sport, Help for Heroes and Home Country Sports Institutes this will be the best ever prepared ParalympicsGB team and I look forward to seeing the athletes perform on snow and ice.”
UK Sport Director of Performance Chelsea Warr said:
“We know that our aspirations for any Games are always ambitious. However, this is a particularly ambitious target given the high risks, low margins for error across a range of events we have medal opportunities in, and more unpredictable outdoor terrains that our athletes will need to skilfully navigate. However, some fantastic work has gone on behind the scenes by all the teams working with our athletes to ensure they are the best prepared in the world”.
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.”