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SBD Global/February 25, 2014/Olympics

Team Great Britain Winter Olympics Teams Set To Receive Funding Boost

Great Britain's Elizabeth Yarnold carries the flag during the Closing Ceremony Sunday.
UK Sport said that it "expects to increase funding for winter sports" following Great Britain's record-equaling Winter Olympic performance in Sochi, according to Nick Hope of the BBC. Team GB won four medals in Sochi, which "matched their total from the inaugural Winter Olympics in 1924 in France." Six sports shared a fund of £13.4M ($22.3M) over the past four years, but that pot "could now be boosted" for the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics. UK Sport Chief Liz Nicholl: "It's been an outstanding Games and the athletes need and deserve the support" (BBC, 2/24). The six sports that shared the fund were bobsleigh, curling, figure skating, short track speed skating, skeleton and ski and snowboard (UK Sport). In London, Owen Gibson reported the current cycle was the first where UK Sport's "no compromise" principles have been "rigorously applied to winter sports in the same way as summer ones." It was "targeted at six sports." Of those, all but the women's bobsleigh team "managed to hit their targets." Final decisions on funding for the next four years "will be made in July" (GUARDIAN, 2/24). In London, Robin Scott-Elliot reported Great Britain's "Fridge Kids" are "set to benefit" from an increase in funding. The skeleton and curling teams "are also likely to receive more money" toward the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics after their "medal-winning successes." UK Sport, which oversees the spending of lottery and public money for Olympic sports, "has faced criticism over its decision to withdraw funding from basketball while spending on minority sports like skeleton and curling." Nicholl "defended the approach," one of “no compromise” that is strictly designed to win medals. It leaves Sport England "to deal separately with funding grass-roots sport and increasing participation" (INDEPENDENT, 2/24).
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