Team GB will take a squad of 50 athletes to the Winter Olympics in Beijing, with an expected medal range of between three and seven which could conceivably deliver the country’s best winter haul in history.
Here the PA news agency picks out the five best bets for podium places at the Games, which officially open on February 4 in the Chinese capital.
Bruce Mouat/Jennifer Dodds
Mouat and Dodds head into the mixed doubles event as the reigning world champions and also have strong chances of success in the respective team events. Mouat’s men’s rink snared World Championship silver in 2021, while Dodds is an integral part of Eve Muirhead’s women’s team, giving both a fair shot at returning from Beijing with two medals apiece.
The Scottish freestyle skiing star enjoyed a glittering junior career, picking up two medals at the 2019 World Championships in Sweden, before also winning silver at the 2020 Winter Youth Olympics in Lausanne. Muir won a slopestyle World Cup silver in Colorado March and also stands a chance in the Big Air event.
British-born Bankes represented France at both the Sochi and Pyeongchang Olympics before opting to switch to the country of her birth. Bankes, who competes in the high-octane discipline of snowboard-cross, marked the occasion by surging to World Championship gold earlier this year, instantly raising hopes of a repeat performance in Beijing.
Shrugging off the absence of significant UK Sport funding, Hall enjoyed a near-miraculous World Cup bobsleigh campaign, claiming a total of six podium places across two and four-man disciplines. Against all the odds, Hall finds himself in a strong position to emulate the retrospective bronze awarded to John Jackson’s four-man squad from Sochi in 2014.
Ryding completed his remarkable journey from a dry slope in Pendle to the top of the skiing world in January when he claimed victory at the famous Kitzbuhel World Cup slalom. Landing Britain’s first ever alpine World Cup gold medal in the process, the 35-year-old emerged as a bona-fide medal contender for Beijing.