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Page last updated at 15:29 GMT, Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Olympics boss focused on Winters

Chemmy Alcott
Skiier Chemmy Alcott has her sights on an Olympic medal

British Olympic Association boss Andy Hunt says preparations for the London 2012 event must not overshadow the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver.

Speaking 100 days before the start of the Games, Hunt said he hoped more than 45 Team GB athletes would be competing.

"There's no way that I want winter athletes to ever feel like second-class citizens," said Hunt.

"They are absolutely fundamental to the Olympic movement, both in Britain and around the world."

Hunt highlighted that funding given to GB teams and individuals in winter sports is roughly 1.5% of that available to the summer sports, which will receive around £235m between 2008 and 2012.

Most winter athletes also rely on significant support from their families and friends

Andy Hunt

"Many of our athletes clearly have to train abroad for much of the time," he said.

"This challenges the sports and athletes to be ingenious, entrepreneurial and frugal to make the most of limited resources.

"Most winter athletes also rely on significant support from their families and friends, without whom their journeys to achieve their ultimate goal would have ceased a long time ago."

With Winter Olympics beginning on 12 February, many of Great Britain's Olympic hopefuls are currently engaged in events that will secure qualification for Vancouver.

Team GB has secured places for the men's and women's curling teams and a men's biathlon place and five places for figure skaters - a ladies single place, a pairs spot and also an ice dance qualification.

The ice dance place is almost certain to go to Sinead and John Kerr, who took bronze in the European Figure Skating Championships last January.

World bobsleigh champions Nicola Minichiello and Gillian Cooke have still to confirm their places, as must skeleton competitors Kristan Bromley, Shelley Rudman, Amy Williams and Adam Pengilly, all of whom are potential Olympic medallists.

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see also
British skiing hit by cash crisis
13 Aug 09 |  Winter Sports
Kerr siblings dance way to bronze
23 Jan 09 |  Winter Sports
GB sliders prepare for Winter Olympics 2010
29 Oct 09 |  Winter Sports

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