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GB WINTER OLYMPIC MEDAL BOOST - Jane Peel, Chief Reporter
Friday June 30, 2017 - Email this article to a friend

Dave Ryding & Andrew Musgrave, Britain's top alpine & cross-country skiers, are to get UK Sport money.

The announcement follows huge success for both athletes last season.

UK Sport, which distributes money from the government and the National Lottery, has increased investment in British Ski and Snowboard overall ahead of the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in PyeongChang next February.

As well as providing funding for the alpine and cross-country disciplines for the first time, there's extra money for freestyle skier Izzy Atkin, a member of the GB Park and Pipe squad.

She is upgraded to "Podium" rather than "Podium Potential" in light of her world class results last season.

In March she became the first British woman to win a World Cup gold medal in the Ski Slopestyle event at Silvaplana in Switzerland.

Izzy AtkinWorld Cup winner Izzy Atkin - photo GB Park & Pipe






























Later that month, she won bronze at the World Championships.

It means British Ski and Snowboard now have 16 athletes across 3 snowsports disciplines funded by the National Lottery through UK Sport.

Up until now, all the money had been ringfenced for the GB Park & Pipe team.

UK Sport says the investment boost is made because the sport has demonstrated "clear medal potential".

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Dave Ryding won a silver medal at the World Cup slalom in Kitzbühel, which was the best result by a British Alpine skier since 1981.

UK Sport says Musgrave, who is supported by the Sport Scotland Institute of Sport, demonstrated Olympic medal potential at the Nordic World Ski Championship with a 4th place finish.

Andrew MusgraveAndrew Musgrave

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In addition, freestyle skier Izzy Atkin's funding is upgraded following her bronze medal at the World Championships.

The award increase for Ski and Snowboard is £211,567 and two new disciplines with medal potential - alpine and cross country - are now getting a share of the pot.

It takes the total for British Ski and Snowboard to £5,145,293.

"It's an honour to be recognised by UK Sport. I am delighted to receive their much valued support at a crucial time in the build up to PyeongChang 2018," Dave Ryding said.

"The hard work never stops, but having the extra funding and support will be invaluable."

Dave Ryding taking silver at Kitzbühel Dave Ryding taking silver at Kitzbühel - photo Agence Zoom






















 

Andrew Musgrave said: "It's great that UK Sport have seen the work we've done and the massive improvements we've made on the British Cross Country team over the last few years.

"Getting this funding shows that they believe we are now a force to be reckoned with, and a team with podium potential.

"For me personally, I think that this funding is really going to give me the boost I need to allow me to be fighting for a victory in PyeongChang."

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British Ski and Snowboard had hoped for a boost to funding after last season's strong results.

Performance Director, Dan Hunt, approached UK Sport the day after Ryding won his World Cup silver medal and said he would be making a strong case to UK Sport for money for the unfunded disciplines at the Annual Investment Review.

The review takes place at the end of each season.

It looks at the sport's performance against the targets set to determine whether the funding agreed for the four-year Olympic cycle should be increased or decreased.

BSS logoBritish Ski & Snowboard rewarded for success

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dan Hunt told PlanetSKI ahead of this year's Review that he was aware it was not the best time to be lobbying for extra money, with sales of lottery tickets falling and so many high-achieving Olympic sports competing for a limited pot of money.

But now he's got his hands on more of that pot.

"British Ski and Snowboard are delighted to learn of the new National Lottery investment ahead of the 2018 Winter Olympic Games," he said today.

"We have worked closely with UK Sport to get to this point and we are proud to now have 16 athletes from three snowsports disciplines receiving investment.

"The two new Podium places for Dave Ryding and Andrew Musgrave are testament to some solid world-class results from both of them, as well as years of hard work.

"Izzy Atkin also deserves her shift from Podium Potential to Podium place after a phenomenal season which included a World Championships bronze.

"We will work carefully to ensure this National Lottery investment is focused on maximising the performances of our world-class athletes ahead of and during PyeongChang 2018, and we are grateful to UK Sport for helping us on our way to Korea."

izzy AtkinIzzy Atkin - photo Matt Georges

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other winter sports to receive a boost are Wheelchair Curling, which took bronze at the 2017 World Championships, qualifying the team for PyeongChang, and Short Track Speed Skating, which had an exceptional season with Elise Christie becoming double world champion with historic victories in the 1000m and 1500m.

The investment review resulted in no changes to the funding for Para Alpine Ski and Snowboard, Curling and Skeleton.

"Winter sports have had a strong 2016/17 season and their performances mean we remain on track for another record breaking Games in PyeongChang," said UK Sport's Director of Performance Chelsea Warr.

"Through the annual investment review process, we have identified ways to protect and enhance medal potential at PyeongChang 2018 and adjusted our investment accordingly so that we can be confident of more medals and medallists in South Korea to inspire the nation."

MAIN PHOTO: Alexis Bouichard, Agence Zoom
 
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