Team GB’s top 10 Winter Olympic moments, from the Bolero to THAT TV commentary on the BBC!


For a small island with very few mountain ranges or months of snow, Great Britain has still managed to enjoy some success at the Winter Olympics. 

In 23 Games, Team GB has won just 32 medals in total but, while that tally is not as impressive as other nations, the victories – and even the defeats – have been accompanied by some very memorable moments. 

The 1980s provided Britain with the bespectacled icon that is Eddie the Eagle and Torvill and Dean’s famous Bolero. 

Team GB have provided the nation with some memorable moments at the Winter Olympics, including Lizzy Yarnold’s (pictured) two gold medals

And 2002 saw the phenomenon of the curling craze sweep the nation as five women swept their way to gold.

While Aimee Fuller’s commentary made even more memorable her team-mate Jenny Jones’s win to provide Britain with its first ever Olympic medal in snowboarding.

As Britain’s athletes prepare to hit the slopes, rinks and courses at Beijing 2022, Sportsmail takes a look at Team GB’s Winter Olympics highlights. 

TORVILL AND DEAN, 1984

No Brit can hear the rippling opening notes of Ravel’s ‘Bolero’ without picturing Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean knelt on the ice. 

An incredible 24 million people in the UK alone tuned in to watch the pair skate their way to Olympic Gold in in Sarajevo in 1984. 

Not only that, but they also became the highest-scoring figure skaters of all time for a single programme, receiving 12 perfect 6.0s and six 5.9s, which included artistic impression scores of 6.0 from every judge.

After winning gold, they turned professional, meaning they were no longer eligible to compete at Olympic level. 

They made an amateur comeback a decade later to compete at the 1994 Games in Lillehammer, where they took a bronze medal home. 

But the flouncy purple costumes and iconic hairstyles of 1984 will forever be ingrained on the British national psyche. 

Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean's Gold medal-winning routine to Ravel's Bolero will forever be remembered by the British public, 24million of whom tuned in to watch the performance

Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean’s Gold medal-winning routine to Ravel’s Bolero will forever be remembered by the British public, 24million of whom tuned in to watch the performance

EDDIE THE EAGLE

Although not one of Team GB’s greatest success stories, Eddie the Eagle is certainly one of the most entertaining. 

Born Michael Edwards, Eddie the Eagle grew up in in Cheltenham in Gloucestershire, a place not often synonymous with ski jumping. 

But that did not deter Eddie, who forced his way into the public consciousness by qualifying for the 1988 Calgary Games. 

He ultimately finished last in both the 70 and 90 metre events but his sheer will and determination have made him an 80s icon.

The bespectacled Brit has become so beloved that his story was even made into a film, starring Hugh Jackman and Taron Egerton.

Bespectacled 1980s icon Eddie the Eagle somehow qualified for the 1988 Calgary Games

Bespectacled 1980s icon Eddie the Eagle somehow qualified for the 1988 Calgary Games

FIRST EVER GOLD, 1924 

Four Scottish curlers wrote their names into British Olympic history in Chamonix in late January 1924. 

But it would take 82 years for Willie Jackson and son Laurence, Robin Welsh and Tom Murray to be hailed as Britain’s first Winter Olympic champions.  

They cruised to victory in a curling competition featuring just three teams, beating Sweden 38-7, before an even more emphatic 46-4 victory over hosts France. 

But the Chamonix Games were only retroactively designated the first Winter Olympics in 1925. 

It took until 2006 that the Scots were officially recognised as Olympic champions and therefore Britain’s first ever.

Willie Jackson and son Laurence, Robin Welsh and Tom Murray won Great Britain's first gold at the Winter Games in Chamonix in 1924

Willie Jackson and son Laurence, Robin Welsh and Tom Murray won Great Britain’s first gold at the Winter Games in Chamonix in 1924

JOHN CURRY, 1976

Torvill and Dean may be the ones starring on Dancing on Ice, but Great Britain already had a skating hero before them. 

John Curry won the nation’s first Olympic gold in men’s figure skating at the 1976 Innsbruck Games.

Before the boy from Birmingham snatched the gold, Britain’s highest place in the men’s figure skating had been fourth.

Curry’s winning performance also ended Team GB’s medal drought at the Winter Olympics as he won the first medal for 12 years.

Overall the nine judges gave Curry 105.9 points out a possible 108 points, which was the highest point total in the history of men’s figure skating.  

Figure skater John Curry won Olympic Gold at the 1976 Winter Games in Innsbruck

Figure skater John Curry won Olympic Gold at the 1976 Winter Games in Innsbruck

ROBIN COUSINS, 1980

Four years after John Curry’s legendary win, Robin Cousins penned his own name into British figure skating folklore. 

Cousins won gold in figure skating at the 1980 Olympic Winter Games in Lake Placid to keep the men’s title in Britain for a second successive Games – and he did it in dramatic fashion. 

In one of the most exciting Olympic men’s figure skating competitions of all time, Cousins clinched victory. 

In a tense final, he sat behind Germany’s Jan Hoffman, but a memorable long program with particularly high scoring artistic elements saw him clinch eventual victory. 

In 1980, Robin Cousins kept the men’s figure skating title in Britain for successive Games

In 1980, Robin Cousins kept the men’s figure skating title in Britain for successive Games

AMY WILLIAMS, 2010

Amy Williams did not earn her gold medal on the ice rink, like all of her poredecessors going way back to 1964.

Instead she won it on the frozen track performing in the hitherto little-known sport of skeleton – essentially hurtling head first down an ice slide at 90mph on a tiny bobsled with very little protection. It sounds crazy, it sounds very dangerous, and it is both of those, and then some.

Williams had unsuccessfully attempted to make the Summer Games as a 400 metre runner but a switch to skeleton incredibly struck gold. 

Her tenacity was rewarded in 2010 as she broke the course record at Vancouver’s 2010 Olympics twice on her way to a gold medal. 

Amy Williams broke the course record twice on her way to skeleton gold in Vancouver

Amy Williams broke the course record twice on her way to skeleton gold in Vancouver

LIZZY YARNOLD, 2014 AND 2018

Team GB’s golden age of skeleton continued with Britain’s most successful Winter Olympian of all time.

Similarly to Williams, Lizzy Yarnold tried to make it in athletics but, after taking part in a scheme looking for talented athletes who could have an impact in sports they hadn’t previously considered, she discovered skeleton. 

Two years later, she won her first official race and the rest is history. 

She won her first gold in Sochi in 2014 before successfully defending her title at PyeongChang 2018. 

Yarnold successfully defended her Gold medal in PyeongChang to become Britain’s most successful Winter Olympian of all time

Yarnold successfully defended her Gold medal in PyeongChang to become Britain’s most successful Winter Olympian of all time

JENNY JONES, 2014

The British Isles may not boast the Alps of France, Switzerland, Austria or Italy but that has not impeded the recent success of British snowboarders in the last two editions of the Games.

And Jenny Jones was the one to kickstart Britain’s snowboarding success. 

Jones became the first Briton to win an Olympic medal in snowboarding by securing a bronze at Sochi 2014.

She set Britain alight with slopestyle fever with her final run but the moment was added to by team-mate Aimee Fuller’s commentary. 

Fuller was heard cheering when the final competitor, Austria’s Anna Gasser, fell, meaning that Jones would clinch the bronze medal, which led to 300 complaints to the BBC. 

Jenny Jones (pictured) became the first Brit to win an Olympic medal in snowboarding in 2014

Jenny Jones (pictured) became the first Brit to win an Olympic medal in snowboarding in 2014

Her team-mate Aimee Fuller (centre) joined the commentary box for Jones's winning run

Her team-mate Aimee Fuller (centre) joined the commentary box for Jones’s winning run

CURLING CRAZE, 2012 

If someone had told you that 5.7 million people would be on the edge of their seats watching five women sweep brushes across ice, you would have thought them mad. But in 2002 the curling craze was sweeping the nation. 

Great Britain’s women curlers secured the country’s first Winter Olympics gold medal for 18 years with victory in an incredibly tense final in Salt Lake City. 

The British team, led by skipper Rhona Martin, clinched the title and a place in history with the last stone of the final end. 

Martin, backed by Fiona MacDonald, Margaret Morton, Janice Rankin and Debbie Knox, are the first British Winter Games gold medallists since Torvill and Dean back in 1984.

Great Britain's women curlers (left-right: Margaret Morton, Janice Rankin, Fiona MacDonald, Debbie Knox and Rhona Martin) won gold in 2002 to spark a curling craze

Great Britain’s women curlers (left-right: Margaret Morton, Janice Rankin, Fiona MacDonald, Debbie Knox and Rhona Martin) won gold in 2002 to spark a curling craze

EVE MUIRHEAD

The curling craze swept the nation once again as one woman became synonymous with the sport. 

Eve Muirhead has been to three Olympic Games and has been through a rollercoaster of emotions. 

2010 was a frustrating experience for Muirhead as Team GB finished seventh but she returned with a memorable bronze medal-winning performance in 2014. 

In guiding Britain to Bronze in Sochi, Muirhead became the youngest ever skip to win a Winter Olympic medal.

It was heartbreak in 2018 when the team agonisingly lost out on the bronze medal to Japan. 

But she will pen the latest chapter in a glittering Games career as she leads a rink of debutants to Beijing 2022. 

Eve Muirhead skipped Team GB to Bronze in Sochi in 2014 before agonisingly missing out to Japan in 2018

Eve Muirhead skipped Team GB to Bronze in Sochi in 2014 before agonisingly missing out to Japan in 2018



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