The British Paralympic Association has announced that Performance Director Penny Briscoe will be Chef de Mission for the British team for the 2014 Paralympic Winter Games.
For Briscoe, who was a Deputy Chef de Mission for ParalympicsGB at London 2012, Sochi will be her sixth Paralympic Games. She has been Director of Performance for the BPA since 2002 and has been one of the main architects of the British team’s performances at the Paralympic Games, where the team has maintained a top three position for four consecutive Summer Games despite increasing international competition.
She was a Deputy Chef de Mission in Vancouver in 2010 and was also part of the team delegation at Turin in 2006.
Congratulating her on her appointment, Tim Hollingsworth, Chief Executive of the BPA, said: “Separating the Chef de Mission and CEO functions worked extremely well in London and we were keen to replicate the model for Sochi. While a much smaller team than in London we are committed to providing the same world class support.
“Penny is one of the most experienced people working in Paralympic sport in the UK and knows the environment incredibly well, so I’m delighted she has taken on the role. As a former athlete herself, she understands all the stresses and strains that the Games can pose, and she epitomises the athlete-centred focus of the work that the BPA does. She has also been at the heart of all our Sochi planning and is passionate about leaving no stone unturned in our performance preparations.”
ParalympicsGB will be hoping to have a team competing in the three sports of wheelchair curling, alpine skiing and ice sledge hockey at Sochi, depending on qualification. Briscoe’s first task therefore will be to monitor performances of all winter sports at their upcoming World Championships events.
Penny Briscoe commented: “I was absolutely delighted to have been asked to take on this position. It is an honour and a privilege to be a Chef de Mission and I’m looking forward to bringing all my experience to this new challenge of leading a ParalympicsGB team at a Games.
“We know that working in Russia will be challenging, potentially more so than at either London or Vancouver, but this is where I believe the skills and experience I have developed over seven Paralympic and Olympic cycles will prove beneficial to the team.
“My ambition is that at Sochi, every athlete and staff member in ParalympicsGB will have the mental and physical toolkit and the support framework to thrive in the Games environment. That is much bigger ambition than it may sound, because the Paralympics is so much more complicated an environment than a World Championships. We already have detailed plans in place to develop those skills and that support.”
The appointment is made with just over one year to go to the 2014 Winter Paralympic Games and in advance of the Chef De Mission seminar being held in Sochi in March 2013.