By Tom Degun

Penny Briscoe 3March 7 - Penny Briscoe, the ParalympicsGB Chef de Mission for Sochi 2014, says that securing a medal at Sochi 2014 in exactly one years' time would be a successful outcome for Britain given that they are not a winter sport nation.

Despite Britain's huge success at the Summer Paralympics, where they secured top three finishes at the last three Games, they have struggled at the Winter Paralympics.

The ParalympicsGB failed to claim a single medal at the last Games in Vancouver in 2010 after winning just one silver medal at Turin 2006 in wheelchair curling four years earlier but Briscoe, who is also the British Paralympic Association (BPA) performance director, is hopeful the team can secure podium more spots in Russia.

"At best, we will have three sports competing at Sochi 2014 with ice sledge hockey, curling and skiing," Briscoe told insidethegames.

"Ice sledge hockey has their qualifying event coming up shortly and they have a big challenge ahead just to make it to the Games.

"The more likely contenders at the top end are wheelchair curling and skiing.

"But in both wheelchair curling and skiing, the margins are fine that the difference between a gold medal and fourth place is very small.

"So we are putting an awful lot of our medal hopes on a very small number of sports and a very small number of athletes and with the margins being so fine, it is difficult to make predictions.

"We do have some top athletes that can do it on the world stage and we saw that with Kelly Gallagher when she took four medals at the IPC Alpine Skiing World Championships in La Molina last month.

"For our part, we will ensure that every selected athlete will be best prepared and we will select world class athletes.

"So we do have the opportunity to medal in Sochi, and that would be a successful outcome."
Kelly Gallagher 1Kelly Gallagher is one of Britain’s biggest medal prospects for Sochi 2014 after she claimed four medals at the 2013 IPC Alpine Skiing World Championships last month

BPA chief executive Tim Hollingsworth is similarly hopeful the ParalympicsGB team can medal at Sochi 2014 but warned that expectations should not be set at the level they were at London 2012, when Britain claimed 120 medals, 34 of which were gold, to finish third on the overall medal table.

"We will certainly ensure our team are prepared for Sochi 2014 in the best possible way," Hollingsworth told insidethegames.

"But I think we should also reflect on where we are as a winter sport nation and realise that the medal numbers are not going to be anywhere near like they were at London 2012.

"Success would be every athlete coming out of the Games having performed to their personal best.

"That could certainly result in medals for us and we are obviously hopeful that it will.

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