Jonathan Weaver says he is excited to be part of Great Britain’s latest Olympic journey, 80 years on from GB’s gold medal in Germany.
GB famously won gold at the 1936 Winter Olympics and will begin their quest to qualify for PyeongChang 2016 with a pre-qualification tournament in Cortina, in the heart of the Alps, from 11th to 14th February 2016.
Pete Russell’s side will come up against hosts Italy, along with Netherlands and Serbia, with the group winners progressing to a final qualifying tournament in September in either Belarus, Latvia or Norway.
Weaver, who will be playing in his third Olympic qualifying tournament, said: “Playing in Olympic tournaments is such an honour. We came close four years ago in the final qualifying and put in great games against Latvia, Kazakhstan and France.
“We would love another shot at reaching the Winter Olympics and it all starts next month. Serbia are very much unknown, but we know we will face a battle with Netherlands and hosts Italy will be a big challenge.
“But we know we can rise to that challenge and we are just excited to get under way now.”
After taking bronze in France in 1924, GB famously won the gold at the 1936 Garmisch-Partenkirchen Winter Olympics, but have not qualified since 1948 when they finished fifth in Switzerland.
“GB ice hockey has a famous tradition with the Winter Olympics and it is amazing to think that this nation won gold,” added the Telford Tigers blueliner.
“It does inspire you when you think what that group of players achieved all those years ago.”
(Image permission: IceHockeyMedia)