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Page last updated at 17:32 GMT, Friday, 10 December 2010

Zoe Gillings to miss out after funding withdrawal

Zoe Gillings
Gillings is currently training in France with Australia's Stephanie Hickey

Zoe Gillings has suffered a major setback to her Olympic ambitions after UK Sport announced all funding for snowboarding is to be withdrawn.

Some sports will receive budget increases ahead of London 2012 but some winter sports will lose out.

Despite the cutbacks, Isle of Man's Gillings remains positive about her Olympic ambitions.

The 25-year-old British number one said: "I'm still determined, I haven't got my Olympic medal yet."

She added: "I will just have to find alternative methods to fund my training but I am absolutely committed to reaching the Sochi Games in 2014."

Changes in Olympic funding announced by UK Sport on Thursday
Women's bobsleigh - £2.4m, up £1.9m
Short-track skating - £2.8m, up £1.8m
Skeleton - £3.4m, up £1.3m
Curling - £2.1m, up £900,000
Figure skating - no funding, down from £496,000
Skiing - no funding, down from £372,000
Snowboarding - no funding, down from £248,000

Gillings finished eighth in the Olympic snowboard cross event in Vancouver.

She was hampered at the Games by a knee injury which has kept her out of competition since, though she hopes to return in early 2011.

British Ski and Snowboard (BSS) were notified on Thursday of their funding for the four years building up to the next Winter Olympics.

Whilst figure skating and skiing have also lost out, curling, women's bobsleigh and skeleton will all receive increased funding.

Speaking about the cuts, BSS chief executive Dave Edwards told the BBC: "I hope Zoe can prove UK Sport wrong and, in all honesty, I think UK Sport would be delighted if they are on podiums at World Cup events and I'm knocking on their door saying: 'Where's the money?"

A UK Sport Spokesperson said: "The Sochi 2014 investment decisions made for winter sports were taken as part of a comprehensive annual review process in which we assess medal potential for future Olympic and Paralympic Games.

"Whilst results in Vancouver were of course taken into account, it was decided that, at present, there was not enough evidence to suggest that British Ski and Snowboard would have the programme or athletes capable of reaching the podium in Sochi in four years time or at the Winter Games in 2018.

"Whilst we appreciate this decision is of course disappointing for the sports and athletes affected, if the sports' potential for medal success in 2014 and/or 2018 were to improve, we would of course consider them for investment under our funding criteria.

"Winning as many Olympic and Paralympic medals in future Games is a priority for UK Sport and that is why we continually review our investment and never close the door on any sport if they can show us they have the potential to succeed."

Two-time Winter Olympian Gillings took the snow for the first time since Vancouver this week in Portes du Soleil, France.

She is targeting the FIS World Championships in La Molina, Spain as her first competitive outing since the Winter Olympics.

"My sponsors have been brilliant in the Isle of Man and they will stick with me as well as Sports Aid and hopefully that will continue over the next few years as well," she said.

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see also
'Spend in UK,' unfunded stars beg
10 Dec 10 |  Winter Sports
Gillings eyes World Championships
19 Nov 10 |  Winter Sports
Gillings returns to full training
01 Sep 10 |  Other sport...
Gillings happy with eighth place
19 Feb 10 |  Vancouver 2010
Ricker cruises to snowboard gold
16 Feb 10 |  Snowboarding
Wescott retains snowboard title
16 Feb 10 |  Vancouver 2010
Weather forces fans to stay home
15 Feb 10 |  Snowboarding
Gillings hungry for Olympic medal
04 Feb 10 |  People and Places

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