Winter Olympics - Britain's Winter Olympic golds

Sat, 20 Feb 04:16:00 2010

Amy Williams won Britain's ninth gold medal in Winter Olympic history. We look back at the previous eight.

FIGURE SKATING Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean 1984 Olympics - 0


Great Britain won curling gold at the first ever Winter Olympics - although it wasn't formally recognised until 82 year later.

The 1924 Games in Chamonix were held as the International Winter Sports Week and were only recognised as the first Winter Olympics retrospectively, at the IOC's Session in Lisbon two years later.

Curling was originally thought to be a demonstration event in Chamonix but a campaign by The Herald in Glasgow, on behalf of the families of competitors, lead to an IOC decision to award a gold medal in the days before the 2006 Games in Turin.

Meaning the all-Scottish team of father and son Willie and Laurence Jackson, Robin Welsh and Tom Murray became Britain's eighth gold medallists at the Olympic Winter Games, with Madge Syers ice dance triumph in 1908 counting towards the Summer Games medal tally.


The majority of the team that shocked the ice hockey world by winning gold in 1936 were Canadians of British heritage.

However, captain Carl Erhardt was one of the most notable exceptions. He played in six of the seven games, becoming the oldest ice hockey gold medallist aged 39.

It was London-born, Ontario-raised John Davey who was the star of the 1936 team - finishing top scorer with seven goals, including a hat-trick against Czechoslovakia and a goal after just 20 seconds in the semi-final against Canada.

The other members of the victorious 1936 team were: Alexander Archer, James Borland, Edgar Brenchley, James Chappell, John Coward, Gordon Dailley, James Foster, John Kilpatrick, Archie Stinchcombe and James Wyman.


Jeannette Altwegg reached the junior finals at Wimbledon in 1947 but one year later took a figure skating bronze at the 1948 Winter Olympics.

She went on to win the world title in 1951 and within 12 months claimed gold in Oslo with a narrow victory over American Tenley Albright, who went on to succeed Altwegg as Olympic champion in 1956.

Her triumph in Oslo secured a clean sweep of Olympic, European and world titles and she immediately retired from the sport, aged just 22.

Altwegg turned down offers to turn professional, in favour of her work with a children's orphanage in Switzerland.


Robin Dixon, later Lord Glentoran, and engineering director Tony Nash arrived in Innsbruck among the favourites for the two-man bobsleigh event, following their third place at the previous years world championships in Igls.

After the first run the pair, coached by Tony Brooks, were second behind Canada.

They moved into second after the second run but a disappointing third seemed to have given the gold medal to the fast-improving Italians.

However, driver Nash produced a brilliant final run, snatching gold by just 12/100ths of a second. One year later they added the world title, but finished a disappointing fifth at the 1968 Olympics.


John Curry took up skating aged 12 and, under the guidance of Ken Vickers in Birmingham and later leading London-based coaches Arnold Gerschwiler and Alison Smith, rose to threaten the top 10 in the world rankings.

After he finished 11th at the 1972 Olympics, Curry's potential was spotted by American millionaire and skating enthusiast Ed Moseler, who helped him move to Denver, where he received tuition from the renowned Carlo Fassi.

The work soon reaped dividends and he arrived at Innsbruck as a double European champion.

His graceful, athletic and perfectly executed programme ensured gold - and Curry added the world title in Gothenburg later in the year.


Robin Cousins, now a judge in the popular Saturday night TV show, collected gold at the 1980 Games in Lake Placid.

Cousins' father found sporting fame with the hardest of English football teams - playing as a goalkeeper with Millwall at their notorious Den ground.

But he excelled in the more graceful sport of ice skating, finishing 10th when John Curry took men's ice gold in Innsbruck.

Within two years found himself among the medals at the World Championships and he edged East German favourite Jan Hoffman to win gold at Lake Placid.


Christopher Dean, a policeman from Nottingham, and Jayne Torvill, an office clerk from the same city, formed the most famous double act in British sporting history.

In 1981 they were European and world champions, defending that title in 1982 and 1983 but it's the 1984 Sarajevo Games - and their routine to Ravel's Bolero - for which they'll forever be remembered.

More than 24 million television viewers tuned in as the nation stopped to watch.

Torvill and Dean turned professional after adding a fourth world title to their resume. They returned to the Olympics after rules regarding professionals were relaxed in 1994 - taking bronze with another ground-breaking routine that was marked down by some judges for its innovative nature.


After a fourth place finish at the 2000 World Championship, Rhona Martin earned the right to skip her team at the Olympics two years later. Martin fell ill on the plane and nearly didn't start Britain's opener but recovered to help her team win five of their first seven matches.

However, defeats to the USA - when Britain held a commanding lead - and Germany left Britain hoping Switzerland defeated Germany to reach the semi-final play-offs. Wins over world champions Sweden and Germany booked Martin - and team-mates Debbie Knox, Fiona MacDonald and Janice Rankin - a final four place and a date with Canada, skipped by Kelley Law.

Britain duly gained revenge for the defeat at the World Championships to guarantee a medal and set up a final against Switzerland, when Martin delivered the final stone to secure Britain's first Olympic Winter Games gold since Torvill and Dean's ice dancing triumph in Sarajevo.

The match, which concluded in the early hours of the morning, was watched by over one million television viewers in the UK.


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