Winning a total of 26 medals across 22 previous Winter Olympics, the British athletes really surpassed expectations at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, as they got four medals – matching the tally set by the British team back in 1924’s Chamonix Games.
Doubling its investment in Olympic Winter Sports from £13.5m to £27.9m, UK Sport will be hoping that the team will be able to build on their impressive performance in Sochi, and even potentially set a new national record at the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang.
So, who will Team GB be relying on? With around 60 athletes being sent to PyeongChang, we’ll give you a quick rundown of the main stars and their fierce competitors which will tussle with them for that chance to stand aloft on the podium.
Elise Christie (28) – Short Track Speed Skater [500m + 1000m]
The 2014 Winter Olympics was one to forget for Elise. Entering the 500m, 1000m and 1500m, she and the nation had high hopes of a medal but she ended up being disqualified in all 3 of her races. She was also harassed by South Koreans on Twitter after they accused her of causing their athlete, Park Seung-Hi, to crash. The abuse was so bad she decided to close her Twitter and Facebook accounts.
This should make her more determined this time around and she’s certainly got the capabilities to take home 2 potential medals. The hopes are for her to achieve a Bronze in the 500m and in the 1000m, an area in which she specialises in, the hope is that she’ll be able to obtain a Silver.
Elise comes into this Olympics with very good form. She took both the 2015 and 2016 European titles and she won back-to-back world titles at the 2017 World Championships in Rotterdam – becoming the first British and first European woman to do so.
Standing in her way – Choi Min-jeong (19) – South Korea
Despite just being 19 years old, Choi Min-jeong has taken the women’s speed-skating scene by storm. As of now, she’s officially ranked World Number 1 in the 500m, 1000m and 1500m. Performing at her home nation, Choi Min-jeong is certainly going to have the crowd behind her and she’ll be a tough match-up for Christie.
Lizzy Yarnold (29) – Skeleton
Winning Gold at Sochi 2014, the 29-year-old is looking to become the first British athlete to defend a Winter Olympic title. Grabbing European and World Titles in 2015, Lizzy decided to take a break during the 2015/2016 Skeleton season due to the risk of burnout. Upon returning her form hasn’t come back as she’d of hoped having failed to finish inside the top ten in her last 3 races. The Olympics is a whole different kettle of fish though, and she’ll be looking to show her experience next month as she aims to reclaim Gold.
Standing in her way – Jacqueline Loelling (22) – Germany
Jacqueline Loelling is an extremely talented competitor from Germany. Aged just 22, Jacqueline is currently ranked Number 1 in the World, playing a part in Germany’s gold-medal winning mixed team at the Championships. In the 2016-17 season, she showed her individual talent as she won the World Cup events in Altenberg, Konigssee and PyeongChang.
James Woods (25) – Freestyle Skiing
Entering the 2014 Sochi Olympic Winter Games with a hip injury, James Woods managed to impressively finish 5th in the slopestyle. This time around he’ll be hoping for better as he enters the Olympic Games in much better health and in extremely good form.
Winning his first ever Winter X Games Gold Medal in 2017, James went on to take a bronze in the Winter X Games Europe slopestyle and the World Championships – capping off a truly great 2017.
Standing in his way – Nick Goepper (24) – USA
Standing in the way of James Woods is USA’s Nick Goepper, who grabbed a Bronze medal at the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi. As well as that, Goepper has won 3 Gold medals and a Silver at the Winter X Games in the Slopestyle contests. He’ll be hoping for Gold this time around.
Isabel Atkin (19) – Freestyle Skiing
Aged just 19, Isabel Atkin showed her potential as she won a Bronze medal at the Freestyle Skiing World Championship in Sierra Nevada, Spain.
Two weeks prior to that, Atkin became the first British woman to win a World Cup Ski Slopestyle as she took Gold in Silvaplana, Switzerland.
Standing in her way – Tess Ledeux (16) – France
Tess Ledeux has seemingly come out of nowhere this year. Grabbing a pair of silver medals at the X Games Slopestyle competitions in Aspen and Norway, Ledeux also managed to secure Gold in the 2017 World Championships.
If Leduex was to win in PyeongChang, she’d become the youngest-ever Olympic Champion in Freestyle Skiing.