UK Sport reveals medal hopes for Winter Olympics

Beijing 2022

UK Sport believes Great Britain can win between three to seven medals at the Winter Olympics and five to nine medals at the Winter Paralympics.

Both teams are yet to be finalised but more than 70 Team GB and ParalympicsGB athletes are set to compete in China.

The Winter Olympics will take place from 4-20 February, while the Winter Paralympics will be from 4-13 March.

“This is a Games of great opportunity,” said UK Sport chief executive Sally Munday.

“We acknowledge that getting to Beijing has been extraordinarily challenging. British winter athletes have had to adapt and show great resilience and dedication to get to the Games and we are immensely proud of them.

“I would also like to commend the fantastic work that the British Olympic Association and British Paralympic Association have done in getting their teams ready for Beijing as well as the coaches and support staff at the winter sports.”

Funding from the Government and National Lottery has seen £27m invested into the world class programmes for Olympic and Paralympic winter sports for the Beijing cycle, while a further £5m from the National Lottery has been provided to support athletes directly.

Meanwhile, an international athlete-led movement has said the International Olympic Committee (IOC) is “placing the safety and wellbeing of every athlete at risk” through its staging of the Winter Olympics and Winter Paralympics in China.

The US, UK, Australia and Canada will not send government representatives to the Games because of concerns over China’s human rights record.

“Over the past two years, Covid-19 has taken lives, disrupted sport, sidelined athletes, and made the playing field unequal,” said Global Athlete.

“This unpredictability has strained athletes, and the new Omicron variant has made the situation worse. Athletes who continue to compete and travel are at a higher risk of infection than ever before.

“In addition to the stress of Covid-19, the IOC awarded the Games to China, a country recognised internationally for its human rights violations.

“This unfairly makes athletes pawns in a geopolitical fight. The IOC is to blame for putting athletes in this position; no athlete can be faulted for their choice to attend or not attend the Games.”

The BBC has approached the IOC for comment regarding the statement from Global Athlete.

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