Scotland punching above its weight in Olympic medal push

The news that 18 Scots have been selected to represent Team GB in Sochi has been hailed as “Scotland punching above its weight” by the Sports Minister Shona Robison and sportscotland’s Director of High Performance Mike Whittingham.

Out of 56 athletes selected to represent Team GB at next month’s Winter Olympics, 18 are Scottish – just under one-third of the team.

In addition, a number of experts from the sportscotland institute of sport - including physiotherapist Fiona Mather, sports psychologist Misha Botting, and sports medicine doctors Niall Elliot and Derick McLeod – will be part of the support team of experts that will ensure our athletes are as well prepared as possible for competition at the highest level.

Welcoming the news, Shona Robison, Minister for Sport and Commonwealth Games, said:

“Once again, Scottish athletes are very well represented in Team GB at the Winter Olympic Games. Scotland continues to punch above its weight and the future of Scottish winter sports is in robust health. We have much to be proud of as a nation.

“The legacy of these Winter Games will inspire young people to take to the ice or snow, the first step to representing Scotland on the world stage. We must never miss an opportunity to increase participation and show young people that sporting success starts on their doorstep.

“While medal success is never guaranteed at the top level many of the athletes are coming into their events with a lot of momentum and a point to prove. Scots across the globe will be following their story and we are all eager for podium success in Sochi and will be cheering them on.

“The Winter Olympics marks the start of a busy year of sport, a busy year with Scotland at its centre. It provides but a glimpse of the fervour awaiting us when the Commonwealth Games and Ryder Cup arrive on our shores.

“I wish the Scottish athletes, the rest of Team GB and all involved the best of fortune in Sochi. We look forward to celebrating with all the athletes on their return home.”

Each of the ten athletes selected in curling for Sochi is a Scot. Curling is the only Olympic sport with a GB programme delivered entirely in Scotland, managed in-house at the sportscotland institute of sport, and benefiting from a close relationship with the Royal Caledonian Curling Club (RRRC). The curlers benefit from access to the wide range of services provided by the experts at the institute, based in Stirling.

The programme receives investment totaling £5.5 million over four years (the 2010-2014 funding cycle), half of which comes from sportscotland with the other half coming from UK Sport.

Director of High Performance at sportscotland Mike Whittingham said:

“I am immensely proud that so many Scots have been selected to represent Great Britain in Sochi. It is a significant achievement for a country with around one twelfth of the British population to provide one third of the GB Olympians.

“This hasn’t happened by accident but because of investment by government and sportscotland in the development of sport at all levels – from grass roots to high performance. The fruits of that targeted investment are borne in announcements such as this.

“The expertise that exists at the sportscotland institute of sport is recognised by the fact that many of our experts are in the support team for the athletes in Sochi, ensuring that the support available to our athletes over here, is available to them over there, in the white heat of competition.

“2014 is a specially targeted year for sportscotland, starting with the Winter Olympics and such a strong Scottish contingent represents a great boost.

“I congratulate all of the athletes selected for Team GB and I look forward to seeing them performing on the world stage.”

The Scots selected are:

Curling

  • Eve Muirhead
  • Anna Sloan
  • Claire Hamilton
  • Vicki Adams
  • Lauren Gray
  • David Murdoch
  • Tom Brewster
  • Scott Andrews
  • Greg Drummond
  • Michael Goodfellow 

Short track speed skating

  • Elise Christie

Cross country ski

  • Andrew Musgrave
  • Andrew Young
  • Callum Smith
  • Posy Musgrave

Snowboard

  • Ben Kilner

Freestyle ski

  • Murray Buchan

Bobsleigh

  • Stuart Benson

The Winter Olympics will be held in Sochi, Russia from 6-23 February.

The combined British and Scottish curling performance programme was established in 2011.

It is a unique agreement between British Curling, the Royal Caledonian Curling Club, and sportscotland.

  • Date published: 22 January 2014
  • Date updated: 04 May 2016
  • Published by: sportscotland