Curling - Hay wants to get best of Brits as he becomes Sochi Chef de Mission

Former European champion curler Mike Hay is vowing to get the best out of every British athlete selected for next year's Winter Olympics in Sochi after being named as Team GB's Chef de Mission for the Games.


Hay won a unanimous vote from the British Olympic Association's Board of Directors to lead the Team GB delegation of approximately 50 athletes and around 50 support staff for Sochi 2014.

Currently the BOA's Head of Sport Engagement, Hay won five European titles and two World Championship silver medals during his competitive career in curling before becoming a successful coach.

Hay acted as head coach of the British women's curling team, skipped by Rhona Martin, which won gold at the Salt Lake City 2002 Olympics, the first gold medal for Team GB since Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean at Sarajevo 1984.

Before joining the BOA as Head of Winter Sport Engagement in 2007, Hay was the GB Curling Performance Director and Head of High Performance Curling Programme at the Scottish Institute of Sport from 1998 to 2006.

Hay's appointment comes after one of the most successful season's for British winter sport athletes with five World Championship medals won, two in curling, one in freestyle skiing, one in short track speed skating and one in skeleton.

And, full of pride at the taking on the Chef de Mission role for next year's Olympics in Sochi, Hay is determined to ensure every athlete selected delivers their best performance on the day in Russia.

"It is an absolute honour to be asked to head up Team GB at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games," said Hay.

"As a former curler and coach, my passion is winter sport and my ambition is to make sure that every single member of Team GB in 2014 can perform to the best of his or her ability.

"We are not an alpine nation but I am very excited by the performances that we have seen this past season from our winter athletes.

"If everyone remains focused, fit and on form, we will be competitive in a number of disciplines with realistic medal opportunities.

"The Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics will be fabulous because everything is purpose built; the proximity of the costal and mountain clusters will make the Games feel much more compact than previous ones have.

"And the fact that we have an Olympic Park, a first for a Winter Olympics, will be great for both athletes and fans."

© Sportsbeat 2013

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