UK Sport chair Katherine Grainger has paid tribute to Team GB’s record-breaking achievements at the Winter Olympics, which finished yesterday, calling their performances “an inspiration”.
Snowboarder Billy Morgan’s bronze in the men’s big air competition on Saturday ensured that British athletes met their target of five medals for the Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
Lizzy Yarnold’s gold was one of three medals in the skeleton, where Laura Deas and Dom Parsons both took bronze, while skier Izzy Atkin finished third in the women’s slopestyle event.
“To attend my first Games in the capacity as chair of UK Sport and witness at first hand the inspirational impact that our National Lottery funded athletes have delivered for the nation has been an immense privilege and humbling experience,” said Grainger, who won rowing gold at the London 2012 Olympics.
“This has not only been a record breaking Games but an impactful one for so many reasons, with the theatre of jeopardy played out in full with the high and lows of emotion that makes high performance so incredibly exciting. A huge well done to all our athletes who have performed with such passion and professionalism, you are all an inspiration.”
Team GB not only exceeded their previous best tally of medals, gained at Sochi in 2014 and Chamonix in 1924, but also registered more fourth and fifth-place finishes than ever before.
Their results followed £28m of investment during the last four-year cycle and saw them finish 19th in a medal table topped by Norway, who won 39. Morgan was given flag-bearing honours for yesterday’s closing ceremony.
“These athletes can rightly return home very proud of what they accomplished here in South Korea,” said Team GB chef de mission Mike Hay.
“To leave Pyeongchang with five medals – our best ever Games in that respect – and a host of fourth-place finishes and top 10s across the sports shows that winter sport in the United Kingdom is going in the right direction.”