The Gangneung Oval will host the Speed Skating event as part of the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Games, with fourteen different events where medals will be up for grabs, including the newly introduced ‘mass start’ event.
After the Netherlands dominated in the 2014 Sochi Games with impressive performances from the likes of Kramer and Mulder, Team GB have a lot on their plate in order to catch up with the Dutch team who secured 8 out of 12 available gold medals.
Elise Christie is certainly the athlete to watch for Team GB, after taking home double gold in the Short Track Speed Skating World Cup in Shanghai and recently setting a new 500m personal best, she definitely seems to be on top form to chase at the heels of her fellow competitors.
Billy Morgan will take to Pyeongchang’s slopes with a reputation for mid-air gymnastics and groundbreaking tricks. Although he was unable to win a medal in Sochi he is a consistent performer at world championships and has been pushing the boundaries of what is possible on a snowboard.
Initially a gymnast, Morgan began snowboarding on the dry slop in his native Southampton as a teenager, but his gymnastic ability shines through his mid-air performances.
Further medal hopes are resting on the 20-year-old shoulders of Katie Ormerod. A string of podium finishes in international competitions has created a buzz around Ormerod, who started snowboarding at just five years old.
The Winter Olympics, which are just nine weeks away, make the British guess about the success of their skiers in the Games. The 2014 Winter Olympics were not successful for Britain’s skiers, therefore people are hoping for better performances this time. For the Games of 2018, the high hopes are placed for Billy Major – a 21-year-old current British mens’s alpine champion, who is very determined to get the high position in his sports category. Another prospective athlete is Dave Ryding, a 30-year-old alpine skier who managed to come in the top eight during various championships in 2017. The alpine skiers of the UK are ready to conquer the 2018 Olympics, and might bring home a medal or a few!
Every four years the UK becomes a nation of curling experts, as the likes of David Murdoch and Eve Muirhead become household names. The traditional Scottish sport is not unlike bowls, but features furious broom-sweeping by players wearing Teflon-soled shoes.
Muirhead’s team won bronze in Sochi and are one of the favourites this time round. Murdoch, however, as now retired, with the men’s team instead being lead by 25-year-old Kyle Smith, who has previously won medals at junior level. Two other members of the five-man team are Thomas and Glen Muirhead, hoping to emulate the success of their sister and add to their family’s medal collection.
With the women’s skeleton race only added into the Olympic frame when the sport was made a permanent fixture in the games back in 2002, there isn’t a great deal of recent history which we can draw on. What is evident, however, is that Great Britain has firmly cemented itself at the very top of this exhilarating sport, leading the women’s medal table with two golds. Sevenoaks-born Lizzie Yarnold is the reigning champion and, despite a recent break from the sport, intends to become the first Olympic champion to defend their skeleton title.