As the Vancouver Winter Olympic Games have now drawn to a close, John Steele gives his verdict on the 21st Winter Games.
The abiding memory for me of the 2010 Vancouver Olympics was the gold medal won by Amy Williams. It was an incredible achievement by an outstanding British athlete and will go down in history as one of the most memorable moments for British Winter Sport. Whilst missing the medal target is disappointing, I believe that the results in Vancouver have shown that the level of our funding in the winter sports is both right and proportionate in terms of opportunity and outcome.
Our experience as lead agency for strategic investment in Olympic sport tells us that it is not just about the money - but where and in who you invest it. We have always been true to our ‘no compromise’ principle in investing only in athletes and sports who we believe have a genuine opportunity of winning medals. The fantastic performances by the members of the British Bob Skeleton team shows this strategy does work and medals can be won if the right programmes and athletes are in place to benefit from our support and investment.
As is normal, we will now conduct our investment review. The margins between success and failure at the top of Olympic sport can be very small and while success at the Games is a vital component it is not the only consideration when making funding decisions.