UNLIKE previous Winter Olympics when British hopes have been skating on very thin ice from day one, hopes for the Games now underway in PyeongChang have never been higher in spite of Brighouse freestyle skier Katie Ormerod being ruled out because of a cruelly timed injury.
Nevertheless, the Yorkshire contingent is still six strong – further testament to this region’s strength in depth when it comes to Olympic disciplines – and the white rose county will be flying the flag for Team GB.
Yet, while Britain’s ambitious medal target reflects the increased investment in winter sports, these Games will be defined by international events. Not only must the IOC demonstrate that there’s no place for drug cheats following industrial-scale cheating by Russia in Sochi four years ago, but sport’s role as a force for good in a troubled world could be re-enforced if there’s a thawing of relations between South and North Korea. The stakes – or should that be skates? – are that high.