5 best bets for podium places as Team GB target record Winter Olympics haul

·2 min read
From Pendle to Beijing, Dave Ryding is one of Britain’s best Winter Olympic medal hopes (Danny Lawson/PA) (PA Archive)
From Pendle to Beijing, Dave Ryding is one of Britain’s best Winter Olympic medal hopes (Danny Lawson/PA) (PA Archive)

Team GB will take a squad of 50 athletes to the Winter Olympics in Beijing with an expected medal range of between three and seven which could conceivably deliver the country’s best winter haul in history.

Here the PA news agency picks out the five best bets for podium places at the Games, which officially open on February 4 in the Chinese capital.

Bruce Mouat/Jennifer Dodds

Bruce Mouat and Jennifer Dodds each have two medal chances in curling (Jane Barlow/PA) (PA Wire)
Bruce Mouat and Jennifer Dodds each have two medal chances in curling (Jane Barlow/PA) (PA Wire)

Mouat and Dodds head into the mixed doubles event as the reigning world champions and also have strong chances of success in the respective team events. Mouat’s men’s rink snared World Championship silver in 2021, while Dodds is an integral part of Eve Muirhead’s women’s team, giving both a fair shot at returning from Beijing with two medals apiece.

Kirsty Muir

Kirsty Muir won silver at the Winter Youth Olympics (PA) (PA Media)
Kirsty Muir won silver at the Winter Youth Olympics (PA) (PA Media)

The Scottish freestyle skiing star enjoyed a glittering junior career, picking up two medals at the 2019 World Championships in Sweden before also winning silver at the 2020 Winter Youth Olympics in Lausanne. Muir won a slopestyle World Cup silver in Colorado March and also stands a chance in the Big Air event.

Charlotte Bankes

Charlotte Bankes, top, crashed out in Sochi, but has since been crowned world champion (Mike Egerton/PA) (PA Archive)
Charlotte Bankes, top, crashed out in Sochi, but has since been crowned world champion (Mike Egerton/PA) (PA Archive)

British-born Bankes represented France at both the Sochi and Pyeongchang Olympics before opting to switch to the country of her birth. Bankes, who competes in the high-octane discipline of snowboard-cross, marked the occasion by surging to World Championship gold earlier this year, instantly raising hopes of a repeat performance in Beijing.

Brad Hall

Brad Hall has a medal shot after a remarkable World Cup season (David Davies/PA) (PA Archive)
Brad Hall has a medal shot after a remarkable World Cup season (David Davies/PA) (PA Archive)

Shrugging off the absence of significant UK Sport funding, Hall enjoyed a near-miraculous World Cup bobsleigh campaign, claiming a total of six podium places across two and four-man disciplines. Against all the odds, Hall finds himself in a strong position to emulate the retrospective bronze awarded to John Jackson’s four-man squad from Sochi in 2014.

Dave Ryding

Dave Ryding beat the odds to triumph in Kitzbuhel (Mike Egerton/PA) (PA Archive)
Dave Ryding beat the odds to triumph in Kitzbuhel (Mike Egerton/PA) (PA Archive)

Ryding completed his remarkable journey from a dry slope in Pendle to the top of the skiing world in January when he claimed victory at the famous Kitzbuhel World Cup slalom. Landing Britain’s first ever alpine World Cup gold medal in the process, the 35-year-old emerged as a bona-fide medal contender for Beijing.

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