What's The Story discuss funding for Team GB at Winter Olympics

Last Updated: 27/02/14 1:12pm

Is the the funding for Team GB at the Winter Olympics money well spent?

That was one of the topics debated on the latest edition of What's The Story as Sarah-Jane Mee was joined by Dean Macey, Sean Ingle, Tim Stimpson and Anna Mayes.

The funding for Sochi 2014 has been doubled to £13.5 million and with only one medal so far - Jenny Jones won a bronze medal in the snowboarding slopestyle event - our panel look at whether the return will be worth it.

"UK sport have set a target between three and seven [medals] for these games, explained Guardian sports journalist Sean Ingle.

"If you look at the last seven Winter Olympics we have only won an average of one so this is a significant rise in expectations.

"The question I have asked is given that we are a nation who do not play a lot of winter sports and given that you are not likely to take up slope skiing after watching her [Jenny Jones] is it a good investment in what we are doing?"

Former GB decathlete Dean Macey knows a thing or two about funding and argues that the very fact that Great Britain may not have the right conditions to develop potential medal winners for the winter games, means that the funding should be increased.

"It is one of those sports that needs more funding because we can't just step outside our door and go skiing," explained Macey.

"It is a sport where you have to go abroad. Or if you have indoor facilities which I do believe we have, then they are not the sort of thing where you can throw a few quid at it - it is a very expensive thing to do.

"I think that amount of money goes a long way in a sport that we can't really do in this country. The only push track we have got is in Bath for the skeleton and bobsleigh and it is literally a black piece of tar that goes on for about 30 metres. It is far from ideal when you are looking at the Germans and the Swiss who to a degree have it all on their doorstep.

"If you look from four years ago in Vancouver to now, okay we have won one medal which is exactly the same and it is not gold like we had them with Amy Williams. But you would have to say that we have more potential medal winners now."

The What's the Story panel, which also included former England fullback Tim Stimpson and England netball head coach Anna Mayes, also discussed whether a sport can survive if its funding is cut. Check out the full video above.