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Summer Vs Winter Olympics: Charting Great Britain’s Success

The Olympics are one of the most beloved events to mark sports excellence in the whole world.

After the Grand Finale of the Tokyo Summer Olympics on 8th August 2021, we didn’t have long until the Beijing Winter Olympics got underway – which we’re all enjoying coverage of now!

The Summer Olympics may be more popular than the winter games, but one thing is certain: Team GB have been on a winning streak since the very first games. During that time, some truly astonishing athletes have brought pride to the nation.

Nevertheless, we are dying to know whether Great Britain’s sports astuteness is manifested more in the summer sports disciplines or in the snow-accompanied athletics.

With some help from Basecamp, a snowboard instructor course company, let’s find out.

Summer Olympics

The Tokyo Summer Olympics followed quite an interesting unfolding of events. Originally, the games were supposed to take place in 2020, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, they were postponed to 2021.

Regardless of the delay, the athletes representing Great Britain didn’t lose their team spirit and came back to their homeland with an impressive total of 65 medals.

22 bronze, 21 silver, and 22 gold medals ranked Great Britain fourth out of 205 competing nations in the final table, right after the US, Republic of China, and Japan.

The result is way beyond the pre-games medal target and is also only two medals fewer than the total achieved at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

Great Britain has seen continuous success at the Olympics. Between 1896 and 2020 it ranks 5th in the total Summer Olympics chart. That’s 916 medals in total since the very first games.

One of the greatest achievements at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics came from Jason Kenny – an English track cyclist, specialising in individual and team sprints.

He grabbed seven gold medals, thus becoming Britain’s most successful Olympian ever, overtaking the previous holder of this title – Sir Chris Hoy.

Right on the final line, he won a gold medal in the men’s keirin cycling race, making Olympic history.

There were many other notable accomplishments, including Hannah Mills and Eilidh McIntyre’s gold medal in the Women’s Sailing 470 at the Tokyo Olympics.

Sky Brown won bronze in Women’s Park Skateboarding at the astonishing age of 13, thus becoming Britain’s youngest ever Olympic medallist.

Intriguingly, the most followed Summer Olympic sport amongst fans in the United Kingdom as of March 2021 is athletics (45%), according to Statista.

It’s followed by swimming and artistic gymnastics. Clearly, Tom Dean grabbed viewers’ attention by becoming the first athlete for Great Britain to win a gold medal in Olympic freestyle swimming in 113 years. Not only that but he beat off COVID-19 twice. Now, that’s athletic persistence!

Winter Olympics

One might say that Great Britain isn’t performing so well on the Winter Olympics front.

Four bronze and one gold medal ranked Great Britain 17th out of 92 competing countries in the final chart during the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics.

Overall, Great Britain takes 19th place in the medal tally since 1924 with a total of 31 medals.

But that’s not to say that the athletes’ game hasn’t been up to par. The limiting 58 competitors in 11 disciplines marked a few notable firsts for Great Britain at the Winter Olympics.

Lizzy Yarnold became Great Britain’s most successful Winter Olympic athlete by retaining her title. 

Moreover, Izzy Atkin won Great Britain’s first-ever medal in freestyle skiing at the age of 20. She serves as an inspiration for young skiing enthusiasts.

The pathway to the Olympics isn’t an easy one and a lot of dedication and preparation is required. If snowboarding is your ambition, perhaps you can start with a Level 1 ski instructor course and progress to a Level 5.

This will equip you with the right skills and experience to compete at an Olympic level. It’s about the journey, not the destination.

The most successful day of the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics was Day 8 (17 February) when three medals were won for Great Britain – what a strike!

Although the facts don’t lie, and Great Britain is definitely leading the way in sports excellence at the Summer Olympics since the start, its performance in the Winter Olympics is not to be undermined!

With the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics now underway, we can’t wait to see how all our athletes represent the nation to their best ability. Because the small wins count too!

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