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UK Sport confirms medal ambition for Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games

on 16-01-2014 11:45

UK Sport confirms goal of winning at least three Olympic and at least two Paralympic medals at Sochi 2014.

• Based on insight from collective performance target range of three to seven medals across six Olympic sports (with five of those sports targeting medals) and two to six medals from two Paralympic sports (with both of these sports targeting medals)

• Mission 2014 Tracker Boards show sports and athletes are on track to deliver

UK Sport, the nation’s high performance sports agency, has today confirmed the agreed performance expectations with each Olympic and Paralympic sport at the Sochi Winter Olympic and Paralympic 2014 Games.

UK Sport has invested over £14 million in supporting Britain’s best winter athletes over the Sochi four year cycle. The target ranges agreed with sports have allowed UK Sport to confirm a goal of winning at least three Olympic and at least two Paralympic medals, which, if achieved, would represent Great Britain’s best combined Olympic and Paralympic performance in 20 years.

Liz Nicholl, CEO of UK Sport, said: “UK Sport has invested a record £14 million of National Lottery and Government funding in our best winter sport athletes for Sochi 2014, and, in aligning our investment approach for winter sports with that of summer sports at the start of the current cycle, our athletes head into Sochi better supported, prepared and equipped than ever before.”

“Realising our goal of winning at least three Olympic and at least two Paralympic medals would represent our best combined winter performance since Lillehammer 1994, and equal our best Olympic performance since 1936.

“If achieved, this would demonstrate the fantastic momentum created by London 2012, where additional investment and focus on developing our high performance system has benefited summer and winter sports alike.”

Simon Timson, Director of Performance at UK Sport, said: “These are challenging targets for the winter sports. UK Sport’s record investment of funds and expertise has enabled more sports to develop and deliver world class programmes to more athletes over the past four years.

“The outcome of this investment combined with the sports’ hard work has been evident in a growing group of winter athletes consistently competing for medals in World Cups and major Championships over the past 18 months. During my 24 years involved in winter sport, I cannot remember a time when Great Britain has had so many talented athletes so well prepared.

“The Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games represent the pinnacle of performance and the challenge is to deliver on the day. I feel confident our athletes, coaches and Performance Directors have left no stone unturned to put themselves in the best possible position to succeed in Sochi.”

Minister for Sport, Helen Grant, said: “We will have a very strong British team out in Sochi supported by record amounts of public funding. I know our winter sports athletes will be raring to go when they reach the start line and they have the potential to deliver our best medal tally in generations. The whole country is behind them.”

Mike Hay, Team GB Chef de Mission, said: "We view the target that has been announced by UK Sport as a vote of confidence in our winter-sport National Governing Bodies, the Home Country Sport Institutes and, most importantly, the athletes who are attempting to qualify for Team GB.

In many ways, the target is indicative of just how far winter sport has progressed in the UK. It is reflection of the growth we are seeing in competitive strength and depth across many of our winter sports."

Penny Briscoe, ParalympicsGB Chef de Mission for Sochi 2014, said: “We are also investing more than we have ever done in supporting our winter ParalympicsGB team, both through support on the ground at Games time but also through the preparation programmes we have run over the four years.

“This, combined with the increase in funding from UK Sport for the cycle, means that I’m confident that the athletes in our team will be better prepared than ever before. But there is no doubt that they will need to be, as the standards in Paralympic sport continue to rise and more nations invest heavily in their Paralympic athletes.

“To see a ParalympicsGB athlete on the podium at a winter games is something that we’d all love to see and we’ve been working hard to support the athletes to make that happen.”

Each funded sport has agreed a performance target range with UK Sport. The performance target range for each sport has been monitored over the past four years and finally confirmed with UK Sport based on current analysis of medal prospects. The low end of this range represents a performance below which the sport would judge itself to have underperformed, and the high end of the range represents what is judged to be possible.

The Mission 2014 Tracker Board shows winter sports in better shape than ever before, with four sports rated green overall.

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