Celebrating Winter Olympic Success
We never turn down an opportunity to hang out with some top athletes and chat about sport, so when we were invited by We Are Disrupt to an evening celebrating Team GB's success at the Winter Olympics we, obviously, said yes.
After some mingling and sporty small talk, we took our seats for a panel hosted by BBC broadcasting ledge Elly Oldroyd who was speaking to the nations favourite curler Eve Muirhead, speed track skater Charlotte Gilmartin, and snowboarder Aimee Fuller, as well as British Olympic Association CEO Bill Sweeney [basically the Team GB boss].
The panel discussed the pressure to perform every four years, in part accentuated by winter sports not getting a huge amount of coverage in between the Winter Games. They were also frank about what it's like to live year to year, hoping you medal enough to get funding as the cycle comes around every two years – something that isn't discussed much in an industry with huge pay disparity. It was a key reminder that, for these athletes, their jobs don't start and end at the Olympics and they work incredibly hard all year round to maintain their status.
It's easy to criticise what isn't broadcast or areas that are underfunded – curling is particularly difficult to get into with a lack of resources nationwide – and those things should be called out where we can. But for us, the event was an opportunity to celebrate how far we have come, and where we're headed, an equally important step for progression.