GB Olympic Champions 1896-2014 - Winter Sports
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GB WINTER SPORTS
GOLD MEDALLISTS

1908 Figure Skating
Madge Syers
1924 Curling
Laurence Jackson
Willie Jackson
Tom Murray
Robin Welsh
1936 Ice Hockey
Sandy Archer
Jimmy Borland
Chirp Brentchley
Jimmy Chappell
Johnny 'Red' Coward
Don Dailley
Gerry Davey
Carl Erhardt
Jimmy Foster
Jack Kilpatrick
Archie Stinchcombe
Bob Wyman
Arhur Child
1952 Figure Skating
Jeannette Altwegg
1964 Bobsleighing
Robin Dixon
Tony Nash
1976 Figure Skating
John Curry
1980 Figure Skating
Robin Cousins
1984 Ice Dancing
Christopher Dean
Jayne Torvill
2002 Curling
Debbie Knox
Fiona MacDonald
Rhona Martin
Margaret Morton
Janice Rankin
2010 Skeleton
Amy Williams
2014 Skeleton
Lizzy Yarnold

GB WINTER SPORTS
MEDAL TALLY
Year
G
S
B
Total
1908
1
2
3
6
1920 0 0 1 1
1924 1 1 2 4
1928 0 0 1 1
1936 1 1 1 3
1948 0 0 2 2
1952 1 0 0 1
1964 1 0 0 1
1976 1 0 0 1
1980 1 0 0 1
1984 1 0 0 1
1994 0 0 2 2
1998 0 0 1 1
2002 1 0 1 2
2006 0 1 0 1
2010 1 0 0 1
2014 1 1 2 4
Total
11
6
16
33
 

Apart from Jeanette Altwegg and Torvill and Dean (see biogs on right), the only other Briton to win two Winter Sports medals is Phyllis Johnson who won a silver and bronze medal in the Mixed Pairs skating in 1908 and 1920. She was also fourth in the singles in 1920.

Norway is both the leading Winter Olympics gold medal winnnig nation with 118 golds and the leading overall medal winning country with 329 - 48 more than the United States. Great Britain is ranked 19th in the all-time medal table. NB These figures are for Winter Olympics only and do not include the Winter sports that were inlcuded in the 1908 and 1920 Summer Olylpics.

The most successful Winter Olympian is Ole Einar BjŅorndalen of Norway who won 13 Biathlon medals (8 gold, 4 silver and 1 bronze) between 1998-2014.

Britain's most celebrated Winter Olympics athlete is probably one of the biggest failures the Olympics has seen. Twenty-four year old Cheltenham plasterer Eddie Edwards, known as “Eddie the Eagle” was the darling of the 1988 Winter Games in Calgary with his feats in the two ski jumping discplines. He came 58th and last in the 70 metre event and 55th and last in the 90 metre event.



Britain has competed in the WINTER OLYMPICS every year since they were launched at Chamonix in 1924 and that year, the men's curling team won Britain's first Winter Olympics gold medal.

Included in this list of British Winter Sports Gold Medallists is Madge Syers who won the gold medal in the women's figure skating competition at the 1908 Olympics in London, when it was part of the Summer Games, as it was again in 1920.

Great Britain and Switzerland are uniquely the only countries to have competed in every Summer and Winter Olympics, although Switzerland, unlike Great Britain, competed only in the equestrian events in Stockholm at the 1956 Olympics and not the main Games in Melbourne five months later.

Britain's tally of four medals in 2014 is the best haul since the Winter Olympics were launched in 1924. Their medals were won by the following: Gold - Lizzy Yarnold (Skeleton). Silver - David Murdoch, Greg Drummond, Scott Andrews, Michael Goodfellow and Tom Bewster (Men's Curling). Bronze - Eva Muirhead, Anna Sloan, Vicki Adams, Claire Hamilton and Lauren Gray (Women's Curling) and Jenny Jones (Snowboarding)


British gold medallists

1908 - FIGURE SKATING

SYERS, Florence Madeline 'Madge"
Born: 16 September 1881, Notting Hill, London
Died: 9 September 1917, Shaws, Weybridge, Surrey, England
Olympics competed in: 1 (1908)
Olympic medals:
1908 Gold – Figure Skating (Women's singles)
1908 Bronze – Figure Skating (Pairs)

One of 15 children, Madge Syers (née Cave) was Britain's first ever Olympic Games Winter sports gold medallist when she won the women's figure skating title in 1908 when the event was part of the Summer Olympics programme in London. She also won the bronze medal skating with her husband Edgar in the pairs event – but it must be said that only three pairs entered!

Six years earlier, in 1902, she was the first woman to compete in the World Figure Skating Championships which was male dominated. The governing body were happy the let her take part, thinking she would lose. But when she came second to the great Ulrich Salchow of Sweden they immediately banned women from competing the following year. Some say Syers should have beaten Salchow with her performance.

The governing body eventually changed their mind and created a separate championship for woman from 1906, which Syers won. She retained her world title in 1907.

Madge Syers was also the fist winner of the British championship in 1903, beating male opposition to the title and the following year she beat her husband Edgar.

It was reported that Syers was vastly superior to the opposition during the 1908 Olympic competition at Prince's Club that she was in a ‘league of her own'. She was placed first by all five judges in both disciplines; the compulsory figures and the free skating programme.

Ill-health forced her to retire shortly after her Olympic success and she died just before her 36th birthday at her Surrey home in 1917.

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1924 - MEN'S CURLING

The all-Scottish Great Britain team won the curling competition at the first Winter Olympics at Chamonix in 1924 – but it would be 82 years before they got their gold medal.

Initially, the Games were not even recognised as the ‘first Winter Olympics' and were styled as the ‘International Winter Sports Week'. They were only recognised as the first Winter Olympics by the IOC in 1926. However, curling was deemed only to be a demonstration sport and consequently the British team were not credited with a gold medal.

However, more than 80 years later, and after a lot of campaigning by the Glasgow Herald, they received their gold medal retrospectively before the start of the 2006 Turin Winter Olympics.

Only three teams took part at Chamonix and Great Britain took the gold medal after two large wins over both Sweden and France.

The winning team consisted of Willie and Laurence Jackson (father and son), Tom Murray and Robin Welsh. Also listed in the squad, but as non-players were: William Brown, John McLeod, John Robertson-Aikman and Major Deleval Astley.

JACKSON, Laurence
Born: 16 September 1900, Carnwath, South Lanarkshire, Scotland
Died: 27 July 1984, Biggar, South Lanarkshire, Scotland
Olympics competed in: 1 (1924)
Olympic medals: 1924 Gold – Curling (Men's)

The son of Willie Jackson, Laurence was the lead and youngest member of the 1924 gold medal winning team, and was the youngest of all curling competitors at the Games. However, despite his age, just 23 at the time, he had a great deal of experience and had played alongisde his father and Tom Murray in the Strathcona Cup matches against Canada in 1921.

After World War Two he had his own rink whichß he skipped to many famous victories. He was President of the Edinburgh Ice Rink Curling Club in 1950-51.

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JACKSON, William Kilgour
Born: 14 March 1871, Lamington, South Lanarkshire, Scotland
Died: 26 January 1955, Symington, South Lanarkshire, Scotland
Olympics competed in: 1 (1924)
Olympic medals: 1924 Gold – Curling (Men's)

A Lanarkshiure cattle and sheep farmer, Willie Jackson was the outstanding curling exponent in the early part of the 20th century and was skip to the 1924 gold medal-winning team. He served as President of the Royal Caledonian Curling Club, the governing body of the sport in Scotland, on two oc asions before serving as Presdient in 1933-34.

He skipped his rink to 59 wins in competitions at the Edinburgh Uce Rink alone. Hos collection of medals totalled more than 130 and were offered to the Royal Caledonian Curling Club.

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MURRAY, Thomas Blackwood
Born: 3 October 1877, Biggar, South Lanarkshire, Scotland
Died: 3 June 1944, Biggar, South Lanarkshire, Scotland
Olympics competed in: 1 (1924)
Olympic medals:1924 Gold – Curling (Men's)

Like his fellow members of the 1924 winning curling team, Tom Murray, known by his initioals "TB" was a member of the Royal Caledonian Curling Club and he served them as President in 1936-37. Also like his fellow team members, he came from a farming background.

Murray started playing curiling at the Biggar Curling Club at the end of the 19th century and he toured Canada on two occasi0ns, in 1911-12 and again in 1932-33.

After retiring he was much sought after as an after dinner-speaking, hence the nickname: The Silver Tounged Tom Murray."

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WELSH, Robin
Born: 20 October 1869, Edinburgh, Scotland
Died: 21 October 1934, Edinburgh, Scotland
Olympics competed in: 1 (1924)
Olympic medals: 1924 Gold – Curling (Men's)

The son of a farmer, Robin Welsh was 54 when he won gold in 1924 and is the oldest man to win a Winter Olympics gold medal.

An all-round sportsman he represented Scotland at Curling, captaining the side at the age of 63, lawn tennis and rugby, playing for the national side in all three matches in the 1895 home nations championship, scoring one try against Ireland, and playing one game against Wales in 1896. He was later a rugby referee and was President of the Scottish RFU in 1925.

The season after the Olympic triumph Welsh served as vice-president to the Royal Caledonian Curling Club. He was also a director of Edinburgh Ice Rink Ltd and was secretary of the Edinburgh Curling and Ice Skating Club.

His son, Robin junior, became secretary of the Royal Caledonian club and was editor of the Scottish Curler magazine from 1954 to 1998.

Ronin Welsh senior died in 1934, the day after his 65th birthday.

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1936 - MEN'S ICE HOCKEY

The British men's Ice Hockey gold medal at Garmisch-Partenkirchen in 1936 was certainly a controversial one.

The Canadian's were favourites to win their fifth consecutive Olympic title but Great Britain captain Carl Erhardt and Bunny Aheare, general secretary of the British Ice Hockey Federation, had a plan the year before the 1936 Games.

He obtained a list of all British-born players who were playing in Canada and convinced them it would be a good idea to play for the home country. The following all agreed to do so: Sandy Archer, Chirp Brenchley, Jimmy Chappell, Gordon Dailley, Gerry Davey and Archie Stinchcombe.

The ‘Canadians' along with Jimmy Borland, Arthur Child, Johnny Coward, Carl Erhardt, Jimmy Foster, Jack Kilpatrick and Bob Wyman went on to beat the Canadians and become the surprise gold medallists. The one and only time Britain has won the Ice Hockey gold medal.

Great Britain opened their campaign with a 1-0 win over Sweden and then a 3-0 win over Japan guaranteed them top place in their three-team qualifying group.

In the second round they were in the four-team group which included the favourites Canada but Britain beat the Canadians 2-1 in the opening game thanks to a late goal from Chirp Brenchley 90 seconds from time. Following a 1-1 draw against Germany, Britain secured top place in the group after beating Hungary 5-1.

In the final pool, Britain's 2-1 semi-final win against Canada was carried forward, as was the USA's win in the other semi-final group against Czechoslovakia. Thus giving Britain and the USA a big advantage.

Canada and Britain both beat Czechoslovakia with ease and then Britain drew 0-0 with the USA after three extra periods. Going in to the last match between Canada and the USA, Britain would win the title if Canada won and they duly obliged with a 1-0 win over the Americans with the goal coming in the first period.

Britain became the first team in history to win European, World and Olympic Ice Hockey titles … and all thanks to the persuasive powers of Bunny Ahearne.

ARCHER, Alexander
Born: 1 May 1910, West Ham, London, England
Died: 29 July 1997, Exeter, Devon, England
Olympics competed in: 1 (1936)
Olympic medals:1936 Gold – Ice Hockey

Sandy Archer, like many of his fellow team-mates at the 1936 Olympics, emigrated the Canada with their family while young. In fact, Archer was just three when he moved with his Scottish parents.

He returned to England in the 1930s to play for Wembley Lions and played on the wing in all seven matches at the Olympics scoring twice. He also played in the British side that won the 1937 and 1938 European Championship.

After a fractured skull at Wembley in 1945 ended his career, he turned to coaching and was later the manager of the Murrayfield Ice Rink. He was inducted into the British Hall of Fame in 1993.

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BORLAND, James Andrew
Born: 25 March 1910, Stalybridge, Cheshire, England
Died: 31 January 1970, Montreal, Canada
Olympics competed in: 1 (1936)
Olympic medals:1936 Gold – Ice Hockey

An electrician by trade, Jimmy Borland first played his ice hockey in Canada before returning to England in 1933 to play for the Grosvenor House Canadiens and later as captain of the Brighton Tigers.

He played for Great Britain between 1934-36 and scored twice in the 1934 World Championship in Milan. He played as a defenceman in all three group matches at the 1936 Olympics

Borland played just one more season in Britain before returning to Canada.

He was inducted into the British Hall of Fame in 1993.

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BRENCHLEY, Edgar
Born: 10 February 1912, Sittingbourne. Kent. England
Died: 13 March 1975, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Olympics competed in: 1 (1936)
Olympic medals:1936 Gold – Ice Hockey

Like many of his 1936 Olympic team-mates, Chirp Brenchley emigrated to Canada as a youngster an then started playing ice hockey in his new home at Niagara Falls.

After one season with the Hershey B'ars (now the Hershey Bears) in the American Hockey League he returned to England to play with Richmond Hawks in 1934-35 and then for Harringay Greyhounds.

He played for Great Britain in 1936-37 and at the Olympics he played in all seven matches and scored four goals, including the goal 90 seconds from time in the crucial group match against Canada. When Britain retained the European Championship in 1937 Brenchley score eight goals.

At the beginning of the War he returned to North America and played for Washington Capitals and other teams before retiring in 1954 and then went into coaching and later scouting.

He was also inducted into the British Hall of Fame in 1993.

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CHAPPELL, James William
Born: 25 March 1915, Milnsbridge, Huddersfield, West Riding of Yorkshire, England
Died: 3 April 1973, Pinellas County, Florida, USA
Olympics competed in: 2 (1936, 1948)
Olympic medals: 1936 Gold – Ice Hockey

Jimmy Chappell emigrated with his family to Ontario in 1925 and played for Oshawa Collegiates for four years before he returned to Britain in 1935 and played for three years with the Earls Court Rangers before moving to Scotland to play for Fife Flyers and Dunfermline Vikings.

At the 1936 Olympics he appeared in six of Britain's games and score three goals. At the 1948 Olympics in St. Moritz, Jimmy scored three more goals as Britain finished fifth. Chappell played a total of 16 times for the British team, scoring 9 goals and having 7 assists.

He won World Championship silver medals with the British team in 1937 and 1938, and a European Championship gold in 1938.

During the War Chappell was on active service and was involved in the D-Day landings at Normandy. After the war he played for the Brighton Tigers team that won national titles in 1947 and 1948.

After he retired he refereed for a while before returning to live in Canada and became a successful businessman. Jimmy died suddenly while on holiday in Florida in 1973.

Jimmy also played cricket for Canada. He was another 1993 inductee into the British Hall of Fame.

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COWARD, Johnny “Red”
Born : 28 August 1907 , Ambleside, Westmorland, England
Died: 8 February 1989, Fort Frances, Ontario, Canada
Olympics competed in: 1 (1936)
Olympic medals:1936 Gold – Ice Hockey

Johnny Coward was born in the Lake District but grew up in Ontario where he learnt to play ice hockey.

He returned to Britain n 1935 and spent two seasons with the Richmond Hawks in the English National League. He played in six of the seven games at the 1936 Olympics, scoring one goal.

During the war Coward served as an instructor with the Miltary Police and after the war returned to Canada to work in a paper mill. He later ran a pro golf shop at the Rainy Lake Golf and Country Club. He also coached in minor league hockey.

Like most of his team-mates h e was inducted into the British Hall of Fame in 1993.

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DAILLEY, Gordon Debenham
Born: 24 July 1911, Winnipeg, Canada
Died: 3 May 1989, Cambridge, Ontario, Canada
Olympics competed in: 1 (1936)
Olympic medals:1936 Gold – Ice Hockey

Don Dailley graduated from the University of Manitoba and after starting playing ice hockey in the country of his birth he moved to England in 1935, working his passage on a cattle ship.

He played for the Grosvenor House Canadians, before joining the Wembley Lions who played at the new Wembley Arena, and latterly for the Wembley Monarchs, who he captained.

He played for Great Britain under residence rules between 1935-39 and played in all seven matches as a solid defenceman in the 1936 Olympic gold medal winning team. He represented his adopted country in five World Championships and also captained the side in 1938-39.

Dailley served with the Canadian Army, rising to the rank of Colonel, and served with the United Nations peacekeeping force in Korea in 1955. He retired from the Army in 1964 and in 1969 he founded the first Wild Life Park in Canada – the African Lion Safari, which is still run by Dailley's children.

Dailley was the only Canadian-born member of the 1936 gold medal-winning team.

He was also inducted into the British Hall of Fame in 1993.

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DAVEY, John Gerald
Born: 5 September 1914, Barking, London, England
Died: 12 February 1977, Orange County, Florida, USA
Olympics competed in: 2 (1936, 1948)
Olympic medals:1936 Gold – Ice Hockey

Like many of his 1936 Olympic team-mates, Gerry Davey was born in Britain but emigrated to Canada at a young age. However, when he was 16 he returned to England and continued his ice hockey progress by joining the Princes Club before moving to Streatham.

He established himself as aspeedy winger at the 1932 European Championships, scoring seven of Great Britain's 11 goals. He played for Britain until 1948 and scored a record 43 goals for the British team.

At the 1936 Olympics he came off his sick bed to play in the crucial 2-1 win over Canada, scoring the first goal after 40 seconds. He played in six of Great Britain's seven matches and was the top scorer with seven goals and two assists.

After leaving Streatham, Davey played for, and coached, Falkirk Lions before joining the Canadian Navy during the War. After the War he returned to Streatham, but moved from the wing to defence He then moved to Wembley Lions for the 1947-48 season and again represented Britain at the London Olympics in 1948,

After his playing days he turned to refereeing.

In 1949 he was the fourth person to be inducted into the British Hall of Fame.

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ERHARDT, Carl Alfred
Born: 15 February 1897, Beckenham, Kent, England
Died: 3 May 1988, Kingston-upon-Thames, Surrey, England
Olympics competed in: 1 (1936)
Olympic medals:1936 Gold – Ice Hockey

Carl Erhardt was born to German parents Carl Friedrich and Gertrud Erhardt. Carl senior had obtained British citizenship in 1891.

Unlike most of his team-mates,Erhardt did not learn his hockey in Canada, but whilst he was at school in Europe. Although some sources believe he was sent to the United States during world War One so he did not have to fight either for or against the Germans. Erhardt's entry on the incoming passenger list to Britain on the appropriately named White Star Line cruise ship Olympic in 1919 seems to confirm this latter story.

Erhardt played for Princes and Streatham and internationally for England and Great Britain between 1931-37 where he established himself as an outstanding defenceman.

He was the captain, and oldest member, of the 1936 Olympic squad and at the age of 39 is the oldest man to win an Olympic ice hockey gold medal.

An all-round sportsman, Ernhardt also excelled at tennis, skiing and water skiing and was a founder and the first President of the British Water Ski Federation. He won the men's singles at the Thames Ditton Lawn Tennis Club three years in succession, 1930-32.

After he retired from ice hockey he had a spell refereeing including at the 1950 World Championships. He was also coach to the 1948 Olympic team and between 1936-70 was a life vice-president of the British Ice Hockey Association.

Erhardt was inducted into the British Hall of Fame in 1950, and the International Ice Hockey Federation Hall of Fame in 1998.

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FOSTER, Jimmy
Born: 13 September 1905, Glasgow, Scotland
Died: 4 January 1969, Winnipeg, Canada
Olympics competed in: 1 (1936)
Olympic medals:1936 Gold – Ice Hockey

Jimmy went to Canada when he was six and learned his ice hockey in his new home town of Winnipeg.

He developed into one of the finest goaltenders the game has seen, first in the amateur game and then as a professional.

In 1932 he was the first man to have back-to-back shutouts in the Allan Cup and he also went a Canadian record 417 minutes without conceding a goal. He helped Moncton Hawks win the Allan Cup in 1933-34 and was the first goalie to register two shut-outs in consecutive Allan Cup finals.

At the 1936 Olympics he played in all seven matches, conceding just three goals.

Foster moved back to England in 1935 to first join Richmond Hawks and the following year he moved to Harringay Greyhounds. He returned to Canada in 1940 where he carried on playing.

Because he once contemplated joining the church he was nicknamed “The Parson”

Until the women's gold medal winning curling team in 2002, Foster was the only Scot to win a Winter Olympics gold medal.

He was inducted into the British Hall of Fame in 1950.

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KILPATRICK, John
Born: 7 July 1917, Bootle, Liverpool, Lancashire, England
Died: 18 December 1989, Nelson, British Columbia, Canada
Olympics competed in: 1 (1936)
Olympic medals:1936 Gold – Ice Hockey

Jack Kilkpatrick played only one game in the 1936 Olymics, against Sweden in the opening game, and at 18 he became the youngest Briton to win a Winter Olympics gold medal.

He started his hockey career in Canada before returning to England in 1935 to play two seasons with the Wembley Lions scoring just five goals and three assists.

He was inducted into the British Hall of Fame in 1993.

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STINCHCOMBE, Archibald
Born: 17 November 1912, Cudworth, Barnsley, West Riding of Yorkhire (now in South Yorkshire), England
Died: 3 November 1994, Nottingham, England
Olympics competed in: 2 (1936, 1948)
Olympic medals:1936 Gold – Ice Hockey

Archie Stinchcombe moved to Canada as a baby and, despite losing the sight of one eye as a youngster, he had a successful amateur hockey career lasting 17 years.

He moved to England in 1935 and the following year he played in six of the seven matches at the Winter Olympics. In 1948 he was captain of the British team when he was the oldest member of the team at 35. He played in six of the eight round robin matches.

His playing career in England saw him serve Streatham, Nottingham Panthers, Wembley Monarchs and Wembley Lions. He was one of the first British players to score 100 points after the War.

In 1948 he became coach to the Nottingham team and occasionally played when required. He led them to their first National title in 1951, and repeated the success three years later.

He was inducted into the British Hall of Fame in 1951.

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WYMAN, James Robert
Born: 27 April 1909, West Ham, London, England
Died: 1978, Surrey, England
Olympics competed in: 1 (1936)
Olympic medals:1936 Gold – Ice Hockey

Bob Wyman was one of only two members of the team (Carl Erhardt being the other) not to learn their ice hockey in Canada.

A champion speed skater he used that to his full advantage when he turned to ice hockey when he played for Grosvenor House Canadians, Wembley Canadians, Richmond Hawks, Princes, Harringay Greyhounds, Wembley Monarchs and Sussex in a 17 year career from 1933-1950.

At the 1936 Olympics Wyman played just one game, against Japan, before joining the BBC radio commentary team.

Wyman was a schoolboy long jump champion, and during the War served with the British Navy rising to the rank of Lieutenant Commander.

He was inducted into the British Hall of Fame in 1993.

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CHILD, Arthur

There was a thirteenth member of the squad, Arthur ‘Art' Child, the backup goaltender but, due to the brilliance of first choice goalie Jimmy Foster, he sat on the bench throughout the tournament. Consequently he never received a gold medal.

Born in East Ham in 1916 the family emigrated to Canada when he was three or four. He returned to England in 1935 and played for Wembley Lions. He returned to Canada and died whilst playing golf at the age of 80 in 1996.

Like many others in the 1936 squad, Child was elected to the British Hall of Fame in 1993.

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1952 - FIGURE SKATING

ALTWEGG, Jeannette Eleanor
Born: 8 September 1930, Bombay (now Mumbai), India
Olympics competed in: 2 (1948, 1952)
Olympic medals:
1952 Gold – Figure Skating (Women's singles)
1948 Bronze – Figure Skating (Women's singles)

Born in India, Altwegg moved to Britain when she was a youngster where her Swiss-born father, a textile entrepreneur, worked at the Liverpool Cotton Exchange. At the age of six she got her first pair of ice skates and spent her time at the Liverpool Palace Ice Rink. But she had two sporting loves; figure skating and lawn tennis.

In 1947 she had to chose between skating or tennis. She was the reigning British figure skating champion and was fifth in that year's world championship. The same year she was proving herself as a prominent junior tennis player and reached the final of the 1947 British Junior Championships held at Wimbledon. She lost in straight sets to the reigning Scottish junior champion Norma Seacy from Dunblane.

However, she chose skating and in 1948 she made her Olympic debut and won the bronze medal at the age of 18. Four years later she went to the 1952 Olympics in Oslo as the reigning European and World champion.

She established an unbeatable lead after the compulsory figures and, despite finishing only fourth in the free skating programme, she still managed to take gold to became the first and only British woman to win an individual figure skating gold at the Winter Olympics.

After the Olympics she was offered the chance to earn around £2,000 a week as a professional skater but rejected all the offers to return to her ‘native' Switzerland to work with orphaned war children at the famous Pestolozzi village, where she mended clothes and scrubbed floors all for the equivalent of £3 a week.

In 1953 was awarded the CBE and that same year she married Swiss engineer Marc Wirz, whose sister Susi has finished 15th to Jeanette in the 1952 Olympics.

Jeanette's daughter Cristina was the lead of the Swiss team that beat Norway 18-3 in the final to win the 1983 women's world curling championship in Canada.

It was not until 2010 when Amy Williams won the skeleton gold medal that another British woman won an individual Winter Olympics gold. But Jeanette Altwegg, with her gold and bronze, remains the only British woman with two Winter Olympic medals.

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BOBSLEIGH – 2-MAN BOB (1964)

The British team would probably not have won the two-man bobsleigh event at the 1964 Innsbruck Olympics had it not been for the generosity of Italian rival Eugenio Monti.

After the first run on the Igls track, the British pair of Robin Nixon and Tony Nash were lying second behind the Canadian pair but a bolt on the British bob was seriously damaged and Monti generously gave them a spare.

The new bolt helped Nash and Dixon to take the lead after the second run ahead of Monti's Italian team and the Italian second team.

After the third run Italy 2 were in the lead ahead of GB with Monti's team close on their heels.

The Britons went out before the Italians but an error on one of the curves was to cost them the chance of gold, or so they thought.

Italy 2 made a mistake at the same curve and Nash and Dixon were sat listening to the on-course commentary and heard that the Italians had slipped to second place behind them. But Monti was still to go.

But, remarkably, he made a mistake at the same curve and Nash and Dixon held on for Britain's one and only Olympic bobsleigh gold medal. Monti could only take bronze but was presented with the Pierre de Coubertin medal, awarded for the true spirit of sportsmanship. Only 16 athletes have received the award. Monti was also rewarded with the two- and four-man bob gold medal at Grenoble in 1968, to go alongside his nine world titles.

Nash and Dixon won the 1965 world two-man bob championship and competed at the 1968 Winter Olympics but could only finish fifth.

DIXON, Thomas Robin Valerian
Born: 21 April 1935, London, England
Olympics competed in: 2 (1964, 1968)
Olympic medals:
1964 Gold – Bobsleighing (two-man)

Major Thomas Valerian, 3rd Baron Glentoran, but better known as Robin Dixon, was one half of the only British pair to win an Olympic bobsleighing gold medal when he captured the title with Tony Nash at the 1964 Innsbruck Games.

Educated at Eton, Dixon served with Grenadier Guards, rising to the rank of Major. He was serving with Guards at the time of his Olympic success. After the army he became a very successful businessman in Northern Ireland and in 1983 he was appointed the High Sheriff of Antrim. He was also a Conservative MP and shadow Cabinet Minister.

In 1969 he was awarded the MBE in recognition of his bobsleigh and Olympic achievements and in 1992 he was awarded the CBE for his services to Northern Ireland and Industry.

Dixon became the 3rd Baron Glentoran following the death of his father in 1995.

His daughter-in-law, Karen Straker-Dixon was a member of the British three-day event team that won silver at the 1988 Seoul Olympics. Dixon had the honour of carrying the British flag at the opening ceremoney for the 1968 Gamed.

NASH, Anthony James Dillon
Born: 18 March 1936, Amersham, Buckinghamshire, England
Olympics competed in: 2 (1964, 1968)
Olympic medals: 1964 Gold – Bobsleighing (two-man)

Tony Nash teamed up with Robin Dixon in 1960 when Dixon's former partner Henry Taylor, a Formula Two racing driver, got the chance to move up to Formula One.

Taylor had been Dixon's driver and Nash had been recruited by the pair a couple of years earlier to be part of the ‘team' and Nash got his regular chance when Taylor moved to car racing.

The new pairing won the bronze medal over the Igls course at Innsbruck at the 1963 world championship and a year later won Olympic gold over the same course.

The Olympic title also carried that of World Champions and they retained that world title in 1965.

Like Dixon, Nash was awarded the MBE in 1969 in recognition of his sporting achievements.

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1976 - FIGURE SKATING

CURRY, John Anthony
Born: 9 September 1949, Acocks Green, Birmingham, England
Died: 15 April 1994, Binton, Warwickshire, England
Olympics competed in: 2 (1972, 1976)
Olympic medals: 1976 Gold – Figure Skating (Men's singles)

John Curry took up skating in Birmingham at the age of seven at the old Summerhill rink and within seconds of first walking onto the ice he needed no support from either his teacher or side rail. That was an immediate indication to what talent lay ahead. He won his first competition at the age of eight.

When he was 16 Curry moved to London to skate at the Richmond ice rink where his talent was developed further. He became junior British champion in 1967 and four years later won the first of his five senior titles. At the 1972 Olympics Curry finished tenth and a year later he got the much needed sponsorship following the 1973 World Championships in Bratislava when wealthy American Ed Moser offered to sponsor him, and Curry moved to Colorado to train.

Moser's backing enabled Curry to progress to the next level and in 1974 he won the bronze medal at the European Championships in Zagreb, and the following year he won silver and bronze medals at the European and World Championships respectively, all under the guidance of the top coach Carlo Fassi.

In his second Olympics Curry went to Innsbruck in 1976 as the new European Champion. He was also honoured to be the Great Britain flag-bearer at the opening ceremony. However, his style of skating did not please the Soviets and Eastern Europeans, saying his style of skating was too ‘feminine' because it lacked a lot of jumps, and was too artistic.

Curry proved them wrong and gave an outstanding performance which many regard as the greatest ever seen. In the free skating programme, eight of the nine judges put Curry in first place and he went on to win gold.

He immediately followed up his Olympic success with another gold at the World Championships. The triple gold medal winner was rewarded with an OBE but he decided to end his competitive career by turning professional, and his London ice show was truly spectacular.

Sadly, John Curry died in 1994 after being diagnosed as having AIDS three years earlier. Curry is reported to have died in the arms of actor Alan Bates, with whom Curry once had an affair.

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1980 - FIGURE SKATING

COUSINS, Robin John
Born: 17 August 1957, Bristol, Gloucestershire, England
Olympics competed in: 2 (1976, 1980)
Olympic medals: 1980 Gold – Figure Skating (Men's singles)

Tenth to team-mate John Curry at the 1976 Olympics Robin Cousins faced a tough task in emulating Curry at Lake Placid in 1980.

The field contained the best skaters of the day; Jan Hoffmann (East Germany), Vladimir Kovalyev (USSR) and Charlie Tickner (USA), who lived only a few blocks away from Cousins in Denver.

Hoffmann took the lead after the figures, with Cousins laying fourth. Kovalyev then withdrew due to illness and Cousins moved into second place after an outstanding short programme that saw him placed first by all nine judges. Another outstanding performance in the free skating saw eight out of the nine judges putting him in number one place, and it elevated him to first place and thus become Britain's second consecutive men's figure skating Olympic champion.

Jan Hoffmann gained revenge for his silver medal a month later by beating Cousins into second place in the world championships.

After his competitive days, Cousins turned to professional ice shows and later a career in acting and as a judge on the top TV programme Dancing on Ice.

Cousins' father Fred was an apprentice goalkeeper with Millwall football club but his career was ended when he contracted Tuberculosis in Mombassa while serving with the Fleet Air Arm during World War Two.

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1984 - ICE DANCING

Torvill and Dean went into the 1984 Olympics at Sarajevo as clear favourites to win the Ice Dance gold medal. After all, they had won the world title in 1981, 1982 and 1983, thus ending Soviet dominance of the event.

Just as the women's curling team did in 2002, Torvill and Dean also captured the hearts of the British public who sat glued to their television sets in their millions to watch the British couple from Nottingham win gold.

Having won the European Championship shortly before the Olympics with Ravel's Bolero and receiving 18 perfect sixes, they opted for the same piece again in the free dance element in Sarajevo. This time they received 12 perfect sixes.

They first achieved perfection at the 1983 World Championship when they broke all records when all nine judges gave then a maximum six for their performance to Barnum.

Like John Curry eight years earlier, they brought a new dimension to the sport and their routine was nothing short of outstanding. Christopher Dean did reveal on television 29 years later that when he fell onto the ice as part of the closing routine he made an error – but thankfully the judges never noticed!

Shortly after the Olympics the pair turned professional but when the rules were changed to allow professionals to compete in major championships, they returned to win the 1994 European Championship and then tried to win a second Olympic gold medal but could only finish third in Lillehammer in 1994.

TORVILL, Jayne
Born: 7 October 1957, Nottingham, England
Olympics competed in: 3 (1980, 1984, 1994)
Olympic medals:
1984 Gold – Figure Skating (Ice dancing)
1994 Bronze – Figure Skating (Ice dancing)

Jayne Torvill was a clerk for Norwich Union Insurance when she started skating seriously and with her partner Michael Hutchison she won both the junior and senior British pairs title. However, in 1975, the greatest partnership in ice dance history was created when she teamed up with Christopher Dean.

They won their first title, the Northern Championship in 1976, and in 1978 they won their first British title.

Their career took off further after teaming up with the legendary coach Betty Calloway.

They finished fifth at the Lake Placed Olympics in 1980 but the couple won both European and World titles in 1981 and 1982. They won their third successive world title in 1983 before going on to Olympic glory. A fourth world title followed, and they went one better than at the Olympics with 13 perfect sixes.

Jayne and Chris retired after the 1984 World Championships, before a comeback in the 1990s. They finally retired from competitive skating in 1998 and ran their own Ice Adventures show.

Between 1984 and 1996 they won the World Professional Championship five times. They were both awarded the MBE in the 1981 Birthday Honours list, and the OBE in the 1999 New Year's Honours list. In 1990 Jayne married Phil Christensen in Sacramento. Phil was a sound engineer and the two met in the 1980s when Jayne was touring the States with a Russian skating company. They met up again a few years later when Phil was touring the UK with the Phil Collins band.

Jayne and Chris have found a new audience in recent years as they are involved with the popular TV programme Dancing on Ice.

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DEAN, Christopher
Born: 27 July 1958, Calverton, Nottinghamshire, England
Olympics competed in: 3 (1980, 1984, 1994)
Olympic medals:
1984 Gold – Figure Skating (Ice dancing)
1994 Bronze – Figure Skating (Ice dancing)

Christopher Dean started dancing at the Nottingham Ice Rink at the age of 10 and his early partner was Sandra Elson, with whom he won the British Junior title in 1974. But the following year, the Nottingham police constable's life changed when he teamed up with Jayne Torvill after a split from Elson as the pair did not get on.

Dean and Torvill believed that had what it took to rise to the top but having full time jobs meant that training was restricted to the early hours of the morning or late at night. That was until the Nottingham City Council stepped in with a £42,000 sponsorship deal, which was equivalent to around three years wages for the pair of them combined.

What happened after that is well documented in Jayne Torvill's biography (above). But to summarise - the pair of them won: One Olympic title, four World Championships, three European Championships, seven British titles and five World Professional titles.

Both of Dean's first two wives were both Olympic figure skaters. Isabelle Duchesnay won a silver medal in the Ice Dance at the 1992 Olympics and American Jill Trenary came fourth in the women's singles event in 1988.

The British flag bearer at the 1984 Olympics, Christophaer later became a skating coach and choreographer. Along with Jayne, Chris was made an MBE and OBE.

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2002 - WOMEN'S CURLING

The whole of Britain was gripped with curling fever in 2002. But such was the popularity of the four Scottish girls representing Great Britain that people just couldn't stop watching them, no matter what time of the morning their matches finished at.

The British girls were not favourites for the gold medal, that honour fell to the Swiss and Canadians. And the two favourites lived up to that billing by topping the 10 teams at the end of the round robin matches. Britain were looking good for an automatic semi-final place but lost their last two matches and had to share fourth place with Sweden and Germany.

The three teams the had to engage in another round robin series and Britain won their first two matches to book themselves a semi-final match against the favourites Canada.

Britain led 5-3 after seven ends but Canada pulled back to level it at 5-all with one end to play and it went down to the last stone of the tenth and final end. And it was delivered with precision by skip Rhona Martin and Britain were in the final, against Switzerland.

The British girls were again the underdogs in the final, but Rhona Martin and the girls had all of Britain behind them.

Britain came from an early setback to lead by three after the seventh end. But two ends later they were level. And so to the tenth and final deciding end yet again, and yet again the last stone was delivered to perfection by Skip Martin as she produced the all-important gold medal-winning stone.

At the end of the competition, the British girls had played 13 games in 11 days – approximately 40 hours to win a gold medal. It took Usain Bolt four races and less than 40 seconds to win his 100 metres gold medal at Beijing two years earlier.

The British girls were all members of the Greenacres Curling Club, Howwood, Renfrewshire, Scotland and the four who played were: Deborah Knox, Fiona MacDonald, Rhona Martin, Janice Rankin plus the alternative member of the squad, Margaret Morton.

They were hailed as the “Housewife Superstars” on their return to Britain and all members of the team were awarded the MBE in honour of their achievement.

KNOX, Deborah
Born: 26 September 1968, Dunfermline, Fife, Scotland
Olympics competed in: 2 (2002, 2006)
Olympic medals: 2002 Gold – Curling (Women's)

Debbie Knox was originally selected as an alternative for the 2002 Olympic gold medal-winning team but was switched to play third shortly before the Games.

She had previously played in the Olympics, as part of the Glenfarg Curling Club at the 1992 Albertville Games, when curling was a demonstration sport.

Debbie also appeared at the Toronto Games in 2006 as an alternative. She played in just one match, the round-robin defeat by Japan, but her team failed to emulate her 2002 counterparts finishing joint fifth.

Debbie later became a development coach for the Royal Caledonian Curling Club.

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MACDONALD, Fiona
Born: 9 December 1974, Paisley, Renfrewshire, Scotland
Olympics competed in: 1 (2002)
Olympic medals: 2002 Gold – Curling (Women's)

Fiona MacDonald, who played second, was the youngest member of the 2002 Olympic team, but she still remained calm under pressure. She is a former Scottish Junior and Ladies champion and won the World Junior Championship in 1993 aged 19.

She retired from curling just three months after the Olympic triumph to concentrate on her profession as an account manager with a Bank of Scotland subsidiary. Her former husband Ewan was a member of the 2002, 2006 and 2010 British Olympic curling teams and was also in the Scottish team that won the world championship in 2009.

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MARTIN, Rhona
Born: 12 October 1966, Dunlop, Ayrshire, Scotland
Olympics competed in: 2 (2002, 2006)
Olympic medals: 2002 Gold – Curling (Women's)

The skip of the 2002 team, it was Rhona Martin that delivered the “Stone of Destiny” that captured the gold medal for Great Britain. But in the week's leading up to the Games her participation was in doubt.

Firstly, she had a knee injury which threatened her chances of playing, and the week before the competition she was hospitalised with a stomach bug. Fortunately both cleared up and Rhona and her team became national heroes.

Rhona was also the skip of the 2006 Olympic team but they could not emulate the performance of the 2002 team. Rhona also had the honour of being the British flag bearer at the Games opening ceremony in 2006.

She retired shortly after the 2006 Olympics and became coach to the junior Scottish curling team as well as being part of UK Sport's elite coaching programme. One of her protégé's, 19-year-old Eve Muirhead was skip of the British team at the 2010 Vancouver Games.

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MORTON, Margaret
Born: 29 January 1968, Ayrshire, Scotland
Olympics competed in: 1 (2002)
Olympic medals: 2002 Gold – Curling (Women's)

Margaret Morton started curling at the age of 15 but only emerged on the international scene in 1999 as part of the team finishing fourth in the European Championships that year and also in the World Championships the following year.

She was vice-captain to Rhona Martin at the 2002 Olympics and scheduled to throw third but was replaced shortly before the Games and became the alternate player, appearing in just one match in the round robin series.

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RANKIN
, Janice

Born: 8 February 1972, Inverness, Scotland
Olympics competed in: 1 (2002)
Olympic medals: 2002 Gold – Curling (Women's)

Janice Rankin played lead in the 2002 team and was the only left-hander in the team. A very experienced curler, she has curled since the age of 10. She is a former World Junior, Scottish Junior and Scottish Ladies champion. She also won the silver medal in 1994 World Championship and the 1998 European Championship.

Janice graduated from Strathclyde University where she studied Sport in the Community. In 2001 she married top curler Tom Rankin and in 2008 she gave birth to twin boys, as brothers to their two other children.

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2010 - SKELETON

WILLIAMS, Amy Joy
Born: 29 September 1982, Cambridge, England
Olympics competed in: 1 (2010)
Olympic medals: 2010 – Skeleton (Women)

At Vancouver in 2010, 27-year-old skeleton racer Amy Williams became the first British woman to win an individual Winter Olympic gold medal since figure skater Jeanette Altwegg in 1952, and the first individual champion since Robin Cousins in 1980 .

Williams faced stiff opposition from the Germans Kerstin Szymkowiak and Anja Huber, as well as from Canadian Melissa Hollingsworth-Richards, and her own team-mate Shelley Rudman.

Rudman, who was the British flag-bearer in 2010, had gone into the Vancouver Olympics lying second in the overall World Cup standings and had been the 2006 Olympic silver-medallist.

However, Amy won the first run by 0.31 seconds. She finished second but kept the overall lead after run number two and increased her lead to 0.52 seconds by winning the third run.

She finished fourth on the final run to Rudman, but still had a big enough lead to win by more than half a second and take the gold medal.

Amy studied at Bath University, as did Rudman, and only turned to skeleton after failing to make the British athletics team after showing early promise as a 400 metres runner.

Amy quit skeleton in 2012 after a series of injuries and in 2013 joined the BBC television programme Ski Sunday as a presenter.

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2014 - SKELETON

YAROLD, Elizabeth
Born: 31 October 1988, Sevenoaks, Kent, England
Olympics competed in: 1 (2014)
Olympic medals: 2014 – Skeleton (Women)

As a youngster Lizzy Yarnold enjoyed most sports including high board diving, horse riding, netball and many more.

But, following the achievements of Denise Lewis at the 2000 Sydney Olympics she thought the pentathlon was for her but, in 2008, thanks to UK Sport's Girls4Gold talent search scheme she was convinced that the winter sport of Skeleton was for her.

In 2010 she achieved a degree from the University of Gloucestershire and the same year made her Skeleton debut for Great Britain.

Her first win was in the Europa Cup at Igls, Austria, in December 2010. She was second in the Junior World Championships in the USA in 2011 and a year later she captured the Junior World title, again at Igls. A month after that triumph she won a bronze medal in the senior World Championships at Lake Placid.

She went into her first Olympics at Sochi in 2014 as the reigning Skeleton World Cup champion having won four of the eight races in the 2013-24 season.

At Sochi she had the fastest time on each of the four runs to beat the American Noelle Pikus-Pace by nearly a second to take gold.

Skeleton has been part of the Winter Olympic programme six times since 1928 and for two consecutive Games British girls have won gold, as Lizzy followed Amy Williams onto the winners' podium in 2014.

Lizzy calls her 29 kilogram sled “Mervyn” and named it after Mervyn Sugden, a man she admired when she worked at Hardy Underwriting, a Lloyd's of London insurance syndicate. Because as she says: “Mervyn my sled, and the real Mervyn (Sugden), have both helped me a lot on my journey in this high adrenaline sport”.

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