UK Sport chief Liz Nicholl hails Great Britain's 'inspirational efforts' in Pyeongchang
Last Updated: 26/02/18 8:25am
UK Sport chief executive Liz Nicholl has defended the level of funding awarded to Great Britain's Winter Olympics athletes and insists Team GB's performance in Pyeongchang has been "inspirational" for the country.
Great Britain matched UK Sport's target of five medals in South Korea after achieving their highest ever haul of one gold and four bronze.
Nicholl insists the £28million investment in winter sport has been a success and congratulated Team GB's athletes for their efforts in Pyeongchang.
"This has been a hugely exciting Games for Team GB and the public at home, with more inspiring performances, podium places, near misses and top-10 finishes in a wide range of events," Nicholl said.
"National Lottery funding has enabled Britain to become more competitive across the spectrum of winter sports, with best ever results on snow and a first ever men's skeleton medal, as well as continuing our domination in the women's skeleton.
"I want to congratulate the British Olympic Association and all the athletes, coaches and support staff on their inspirational efforts, as well as everyone in the sports' governing bodies and home country sports institutes who work so hard behind the scene to provide expert advice.
"It is the combination of that expertise and National Lottery investment, as well as the skill, courage and dedication of the athletes, that allows for all the inspirational Olympic and Paralympic moments, encouraging people to get more active at home, achieve their dreams in any field and feel more proud as a nation."
Lizzy Yarnold became the first Briton to defend a Winter Olympics title when she won gold in the women's skeleton.
Dom Parsons (men's skeleton), Izzy Atkin (women's slopestyle), Laura Deas (women's skeleton) and Billy Morgan (men's snowboard Big Air) all collected bronze medals.
Great Britain's best Winter Olympics previously was the four medals won at Chamonix in 1924 and at Sochi in 2014.
Team GB also secured more fourth- and fifth-place finishes than ever before, with 10 top-five places overall in Pyeongchang, compared to six in Sochi.
"We were also agonisingly close in the men's slopestyle and women's curling, with more athletes than ever before in the medal zone or just outside of it," Nicholl added.
"It shows the expertise and competitiveness in winter sports that we have in our high performance system now and boding well for Beijing 2022."