Sochi 2014: Team GB chief says winter sports not elitist

Mike Hay, Great Britain's chef de mission at the 2014 Winter Olympics, has rejected accusations that sports at the Games are elitist. 

We have some great role models now and we are going to take advantage of the upturn in participation

Mike Hay

He said that view was "narrow-minded", adding: "There are over 40,000 people who play curling in Scotland."

Britain won four medals in Sochi.

Lizzy Yarnold took gold in the skeleton, the men's and women's curlers claimed silver and bronze respectively, while snowboard slopestyler Jenny Jones pocketed a bronze.

"We have some great role models now and we are going to take advantage of the upturn in participation," said Hay.

He also highlighted the ease of access to curling facilities in Scotland, but conceded that is not matched in other parts of the United Kingdom.

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"There are 30 ice rinks in Scotland - 15 of them dedicated to curling and the rest being multi-sport - but we have a problem in England," Hay told BBC Radio 5 live.

"We have the ice rinks but we do need the facility there in terms of the stones and the ice-making equipment."

Jones, who became GB's first ever medal-winner on snow, insisted her sport was "more accessible than a lot of people think".

"There are a lot of folks up in Scotland that can go and ride up in the mountains and there are loads of indoor and dry slopes I would encourage people to go to," said Jones, who learnt to ski on a dry slope near Bristol and funded her early career by working as a chalet maid.