59 British athletes are now in Pyeongchang, South Korea, each dreaming of becoming an Olympic champion. So how many events will be taking place at the 2018 Winter Olympic Games and which Brits could be title contenders?
The Winter Olympics – How Many Medals are on Offer?
The 2018 Winter Olympics is set to feature fifteen sporting disciplines, each including various events. The skeleton, for example, will consist of just two events: the men’s and women’s competitions. The freestyle skiing category, on the other hand, includes ten different events: the men’s aerials; the women’s aerials; the men’s halfpipe; the women’s halfpipe; the men’s moguls; the women’s moguls; the men’s slopestyle; the women’s slopestyle; the men’s ski cross; and the women’s ski cross.
With gold, silver and bronze awards available in each event, that means that there are 306 medals up for grabs in the 102 events – more than ever before.
Team GB – Athletes to Keep an Eye On
While Great Britain tends to lag behind nations like the USA, Canada, Switzerland, Austria, Norway, Sweden and Germany when it comes to success in the Winter Olympics, we have had some success. Team GB’s most recent triumphs have been in the women’s skeleton, with Amy Williams winning the gold in Vancouver in 2010 and Lizzie Yarnold following suit at Sochi 2014.
Yarnold will be defending her title in Pyeongchang and, if she succeeds, will become the first British sportsperson to win back-to-back golds in their event. Teammate Laura Deas, who finished sixth in the 2017 World Cup, could also be a contender for a podium place.
British sports fans had high hopes for speed skater Elise Christie when she took part in the 2014 Games but, unfortunately, three race disqualifications ensured her trip to Sochi ended without success. Christie is back this year, however, and ready to fight for golds in the women’s 500m, 1000m and 1500m events.
The British women’s curling team won the gold in Salt Lake City in 2002 and secured the silver in Sochi in 2014. The men’s team also secured a bronze four years ago. Both teams have the potential to do well in Pyeongchang and could be our best prospects when it comes to topping podiums.
Three of Team GB’s previous golds have come in the figure skating. John Curry and Robin Cousins triumphed in the men’s singles event in 1976 and 1980 respectively, while Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean won the ice dancing in 1984. This year, Nick Buckland and Penny Coomes, who are competing in their third Games, are hoping to emulate Torvill and Dean’s success, despite Coomes having shattered her kneecap just eighteen months ago.
Katie Ormerod has also fought back from injury to make the British team. She broke her back last year and recently fractured her wrist. However, she will be hoping to go further than fellow snowboarder Jenny Jones, who seized the bronze in the women’s slopestyle event in Sochi. Katie will be competing in the slopestyle and big air events.
The British team’s medal target for the 2018 is five. That’s one more than their highest ever haul. However, the nation’s winter sports stars are improving all the time, so they could well achieve this or even take home more.
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