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Last Updated: Thursday, 27 July 2006, 16:12 GMT 17:12 UK
GB winter sports given cash boost
Shelley Rudman
Rudman won Britain's only medal at the 2006 Winter Olympics - a silver
Winter sports athletes have received a boost with UK Sport announcing a 20% increase in their funding for the next four years.

UK Sport has revealed a 6m package for the cycle up to the next Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Canada, in 2010.

Bob skeleton and curling, which have been Britain's most successful winter sports at the last two Olympics, will receive the bulk of the cash.

But alpine skiing has been cut by almost 50% from 1.7m to 922,000.

We have to allocate this to those sports that have shown they can deliver and have the future potential to win medals on the world stage

Liz Nicholl, UK Sport

Skeleton, which has won two medals at the last two Olympics, with Shelley Rudman claiming silver in Turin this year, sees its funding rise from 815,000 to almost 2m.

Curling, which won gold at the Salt Lake City Olympics in 2002, will have a three-fold increase from 372,000 to 1.1m.

Figure skating is being funded for the first time in recent years after the success of the Kerr siblings and they will receive 496,000, although the overall budget for skating as a sport has been reduced from 1.43m to 1.15m.

Winter Paralympic athletes will see support for them doubled to 350,000.

Liz Nicholl, UK Sport's director of performance, said: "The good news is we have been able to increase the overall funding for winter sports by 20% compared with the previous four year cycle.

"But we have to allocate this to those sports that have shown they can deliver and have the future potential to win medals on the world stage.

"We have to be realistic, Great Britain will never be a top winter sports nation but we can achieve success if we target our investment effectively at the right athletes."



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