It's arguable that in the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, no team had a more exciting showing than Great Britain, and they look to add to that at the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea. That's not to say that they necessarily had the best results in snowboarding, but they were virtual unknowns and Team GB emerged as underdog heroes coming out of Russia and they were officially an international force to be reckoned with. In slopestyle, Jenny Jones took home bronze and became a newfound celebrity in England while Billy Morgan and Jamie Nicholls stepped up and made finals, though they didn't make the podium. Since then, they've been adding resources to the program to ensure that the future looks bright for Team Great Britain, and it's working.
Great Britain had quite the showing in 2014, will they kick it up a notch in 2018? PHOTO: Chris Wellhausen
To qualify for the National Team in Great Britain, a rider has to have two top 20 finishes in World Cup events and remain in the top 40 in the world rankings. Great Britain has a small team so the selection process is minimal in order to make the process simple for selection.
Favorites in Slope and Big Air
Jamie Nicholls spends a decent amount of time snowboarding indoors. Do you ever think Olympic snowboarding will be held indoors? PHOTO: Chris Wellhausen
Jamie has to be the favorite in slopestyle for Great Britain, as his counterpart Billy Morgan is considered more of a big air rider and Jamie is a bit more well-rounded, and he had an incredible showing in Sochi, so he's more than used to the world stage. With an equal aptitude on both the jumps and the rails, Jamie is GB's biggest weapon to medal in slopestyle.
Just based on the fact that Billy Morgan is the first snowboarder in history to land a quadruple cork should be enough evidence to convince you that he is a real threat in big air, but don't count him out for slopestyle, either. Billy finished in 10th place at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics but we see his formal training as a gymnast to benefit him when it comes to learning a new trick that's never been done right before the Games (yes, we're talking about a quintuple cork).
Jenny Jones taking bronze at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. PHOTO: Chris Wellhausen
Word hasn't come out yet that Jenny Jones is attempting to make the team, but she definitely could if she wanted to, and seeing as she's the reigning Olympic slopestyle bronze medalist, she's a definitive threat for the other women looking to get up on that podium and drape their country's flag around their shoulders.
Jenny Jones set the bar high in Sochi. PHOTO: Chris Wellhausen
Katie Ormerod has shown the entire snowboard world that she can hang with the likes of Anna Gasser, Hailey Langland and Jamie Anderson when it comes to both slopestyle and big air at some of the world's biggest events. Factor in that she's Jamie Nicholls' cousin and you realize that she comes from good stock and also that she could make a serious splash in either event in Korea.
Rookie Rowan Coultas could potentially make his mark at the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea.
Rowan Coultas had a hell of a season this past year and he's the proverbial rookie on Team Great Britain, but you wouldn't be able to tell by his riding. The kid's got undeniably insane tricks in big air but he's got some serious catching up to do in slopestyle. However, he could use the 2018 Games as his formal introduction to the world by way of big air's inaugural debut.
Odds-On Chances to Medal
We would not at all be surprised to see the Union Jack flying from the podium at some point in slopestyle or big air at the Games, and if we were the bettin' kind, we would probably steer more toward the big air venue, but Team Great Britain shocked the world in Sochi and they are looking poised to do it again next February.