British Olympic success lifts winter blues | @guardianletters

Letters: Of course, £13.5m is a lot of money to support our Winter athletes. It might also buy you a moderately decent Premier League footballer

Following Britain's first ever snow sports medal at a Winter Olympics, Sean Ingle (Sport, 10 February) questions whether the funding of our winter sports provides the public with a return that offers value for money. It is only right that expenditure from the public purse (in this case the National Lottery) is open to scrutiny, and that is why UK Sport and the British Olympic Association have set rigorous Olympic qualification standards for both Summer and Winter Games. While there will inevitably be Team GB athletes who finish in the lower half of their events, the vast majority attain highly credible levels of performance which can also – as in case of Jenny Jones – result in a medal.

When the news has been dominated by storms, the smiles and sunshine from Sochi have surely raised our collective spirit. But this on its own is not enough. Dry ski slopes, indoor snow domes and skateboard parks across the country will no doubt see an influx of young people keen to try a new sport. As the Games progress, Team GB will almost certainly win more medals, and we'll find increasing numbers of people inspired to try something new. Surely we should not return to the "amateur" days, when we just turned up and hoped for the best, but instead take a professional, targeted approach, where athletes' funding is based on performance, and the results inspire a nation.

Of course, £13.5m is a lot of money to support our Winter athletes. It might also buy you a moderately decent Premier League footballer. Personally, I know which one provides better value.
Professor John Brewer
Chair, British Ski and Snowboard

• We feel privileged to have been included in the remaining 2,999,697 viewers who enjoyed the coverage of Jenny Jones's epic success, as opposed to the 303 viewers who complained (BBC chides 'over-excited' Sochi commentators, 11 February). We watched the final, nervously, with her family and friends in Downend, Bristol – not a complaint between us. What fun that trio were.
Jenny Hime
Clevedon, Somerset

The GuardianTramp

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