Winter Olympics: Hay named Team GB Sochi chief

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Mike Hay, who coached Rhona Martin’s curling team to their famous Winter Olympic gold medal in 2002, has been named Team GB Chef de Mission for the Sochi 2014 Games.

Hay, from Perthshire, was the unanimous choice of the British Olympic Association board of directors to assume the role from Andy Hunt, who led Team GB to the Vancouver Games and recently stepped down as BOA chief executive.

Hay, currently the BOA’s head of sport engagement, believes Martin’s last-stone triumph still stands as an inspiration to new generations of British athletes of what can be achieved at a Winter Games. He said: “It was a great thrill for us at the time and it shows other sports that it is possible – we didn’t have a lot of funding but what we did have was a lot of talent.”

Hay takes over at the end of an unprecedented season of success for Britain’s winter sports athletes, with world-level 
podiums in curling, short-track, freestyle skiing and snowboard.

Hay added: “Sochi will be a difficult environment and the Russian team will be resurgent. But I am optimistic that we can do as well as we have done in the past, and our target is to move up the medal table.”