UK Sport plays both Santa and Scrooge
It is still a remarkable statistic that more of us tuned in to watch Jayne Torville and Christopher Dean's Winter Olympic bronze medal comeback performance in 1994 (23.95m), than saw David Beckham get sent off in St Etienne four years later at the World Cup in France when England crashed out on penalties to Argentina (23.78m).
It has been on the slide (ahem) ever since and, to be honest, it is now properly on the skids. Ice dance will no longer receive any funding.
Its modest £100,000-a-year budget has been cut off by UK Sport which has played both the unexpected Santa Claus and miserable Mr Scrooge with their annual funding review.
Applying its long established "no compromise" Summer Olympic sport funding principles to winter sports for the first time has been painful for some, a cause for celebration for others.
Amy Williams won Britain's solitary gold medal at the Vancouver Winter Olympics in the skeleton. (Getty images)
Along with ice dance, skiing and snowboarding get nothing but bob skeleton, an event in which Amy Williams won gold in Vancouver earlier this year, gets £3.5m to spend up to the Sochi Games in 2014.
The women's bobsleigh team have a huge increase of £2m, curling gets almost another £1m, while speedskating picks up a big bonus, too.
Take away the emotion. Funding based on realistic expectations of medal success. That's how British winter olympic sport sits, for the next few years at any rate.
Overall, it is an increase of approximately £5m and will surely be welcomed in this current economic climate.
Being the bearer of good news is generally preferable to the alternatives, so it must have been a pleasant task for UK Sport's senior managers to "do the ring round", as they describe it, and call the individual sports to let them know what their funding numbers would look like for the next 12 months.
Increasing lottery revenues have compensated for falling exchequer funding, so, overall, the feared funding cliff-edge has not been tumbled over.
Only badminton and the Paralympic sport goalball have really disappointed this year and felt the impact in their pockets accordingly.
Others, notably hockey and gymnastics but also boxing, taekwondo, rowing and canoeing, have been rewarded for exceeding expectations.
Comparisons with the position 18 months out from Beijing are favourable.
Results in major championships suggest that British sport is in a better place than it was in 2006 and that the 47-medal haul in Beijing - 19 of them gold - can, and probably should, be surpassed.
As we know, there are lies, damn lies and statistics. As the 2018 World Cup bid team will tell you, sometimes you can misjudge your chances of success.
So let us not get carried away. Fourth place in the medals table will not be there for the taking, it will have to be earned. In this tough, results-based environment, for every gymnast turning hoops celebrating a funding boost, there is an athlete in a tutu and skates whose dreams have been shattered.