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GB WINTER ATHLETES GET BOOST
Sunday June 30, 2019 - Email this article to a friend

UK Sport has boosted funding by £2.978m ahead of the 2022 Winter Olympics as British Skeleton appoints new boss.






The funding body, UK Sport, has made the increase as preparations intensify for the Beijing Games.
  • GB Ski and Snowboard has been awarded an extra £1.293m
  • Wheelchair curling receives £937,000
  • GB Para-ski and Snowboard has been awarded £748,000.
The extra money for skiing and snowboarding will be spent on Ski Big Air, Half Pipe and Snowboard Cross.

The team won two medals at Pyeongchang in 2018.

Izzy Atkin took bronze in freeetyle skiing and Billy Morgan bronze in snowboard big air.
At the 2018 Winter Paralympics, Menna Fitzpatrick and Jennifer Kehoe won four medals in visually impaired skiing.

The extra money will target alpine, snowboard and nordic skiing programmes.

Chelsea Warr, director of performance at UK Sport, said recent successes had demonstrated "increasing potential as we move towards Beijing" and that there were "some compelling cases for
additional investment".

Meanwhile British Skeleton has a new boss.

Mareks Mezencevs, the former coach of the Dukurs brothers, has been appointed as performance coach.

Skeleton has been one of GB's most successful winter sports with multiple medals.

The coach for 17 years was Andi Schmid and he masterminded the medals.
The British invented the sport in the Swiss resort of St Moritz in the late 19th Century.

Britain won bronze medals at the 1924 and 1948 Olympics, but the sport was then dropped from the Winter Olympics until 2002.

In 2002 Alex Coomber won bronze for Great Britain at the Olympics in Salt Lake City.

It was the first Winter Olympic success for Andi Schmid who joined the team the previous year.

In his time the sport has gone from strength to strength with 7 recent Olympic medals.

• Salt Lake City, 2002: Alex Coomber, bronze

• Turin, 2006: Shelley Rudman, silver

• Vancouver, 2010: Amy Williams, gold

• Sochi, 2014: Lizzy Yarnold, gold.

• Pyeongchang, 2018: Lizzy Yarnold, gold and Laura Deas, bronze. Dom Parsons, bronze.

Not bad for a nation that doesn't even have a full skeleton track.

"We are delighted to have secured the services of such a well respected and highly thought of coach," said Natalie Dunman, British Skeleton's interim performance director.

"Mareks comes to us with a vast amount of experience and that will be invaluable to our athletes as they aim to keep winning medals on the world stage.

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