- UK Sport Investment 2010-14 (Sochi) - £3,304,250
- UK Sport Investment 2006-10 (Vancouver) - £496,000
- Number of Podium Funded Athletes - 6: John Jackson*, Joel Fearon*, Stuart Benson*, Bruce Tasker*, Paula Walker*, Gillian Cooke,
- Number of Podium Potential Funded Athletes - 8: Craig Pickering*, Kelly Denyer, Victoria Olaoye, Rebekah Wilson*, Will Golder, Mica McNeil, Olly Biddulph, Nikki McSweeney,
- Sochi Performance Target - 0**-1 Medals
*Selected for Sochi
**1 x 4th - 6th (M) / 1 x 4th - 8th (W)
The Sochi Journey
Following disappointment at the Vancouver Winter Olympic Games in 2010, where GB achieved two top 20 finishes, but two sleds did not place, UK Sport opted to invest only in the women’s squad for the Sochi cycle.
With new Performance Director Gary Anderson at the helm with a plan to see British Bobsleigh return to the podium, confidence within the sport grew and results began to improve.
Pilot Paula Walker and brakeman Rebekah Wilson won the Junior World Championship in 2011 and results on the men’s side were getting more positive; John Jackson’s crew achieved a Europa Cup victory and a top ten World Cup finish.
"Our aim for Sochi is to be the best prepared physically, mentally, tactically as we can be and our performances have proved that we can get amongst the medals. What has been crucial to that success has been the investment we have seen from UK Sport over the past four years through National Lottery funding for the programme. It is also important to acknowledge the journey we have been on and the trajectory, not only are we aiming for Sochi but also sustainability towards Pyeongchang in 2018." – British Bobsleigh Performance Director Gary Anderson
In 2012 British Bobsleigh received an increase in funding from UK Sport and several male athletes joined the World Class Performance Programme at ‘Podium Potential’ level.
Crucially, the sport was also able to work with UK Sport’s Official Research and Innovation partner BAE Systems on sled and athlete aerodynamics, as part of their ‘Project 50’ plan to win the sport’s first Olympic gold medal in 50 years.
A breakthrough performance came at the 2012-13 World Championships in St Moritz, when pilot John Jackson guided his team to a fifth place finish, seeing them just 0.07 seconds off a podium spot and sending a signal of intent ahead of Sochi 2014. The result saw Jackson and his crew moved up to ‘Podium’ level UK Sport funding, allowing them an even more comprehensive level of support on their Road to Sochi.
However, the team suffered a setback in the summer of 2013 when Jackson ruptured his Achilles tendon in training, putting his and the team’s Sochi dream in jeopardy.
Working with experts from UK Sport’s science, medicine and technology arm, the English Institute of Sport, Jackson made a remarkable recovery and was able to return to the ice for the start of the 2013-14 World Cup season. The team quickly returned to form and claimed the first GB podium finish since 1997, winning silver in Lake Placid in December 2013 and finishing the 2014 FIBT season with a Silver Medal at the European Championships.
*British Bobsleigh has qualified four sleds for Sochi; two four-man, one men’s two-man and one women’s two-man. The men will be targeting one 4th-6th place finish and the women will be targeting a 4th-8th.