altMarch 27 - Andy Hunt, the new chief executive of the British Olympic Association (BOA), has named himself as the team's Chef de Mission for next year's Winter Olympics in Vancouver, ahead of Sir Clive Woodward (pictured).

Hunt will follow the highly-rated Simon Clegg, who he has also replaced as chief executive of the BOA, and will be assisted by Sir Clive, who will act as the Deputy Chef de Mission for performance and Mark England, who will be Deputy Chef de Mission for operations.

Hugh Chambers will be director of marketing and partnership and Mike Hay will be the director of the preparation camp in Calgary.

This structure will give an unprecedented level of support for our athletes, both before and during the Games, the BOA claimed.

Hunt, who has never attended an Olympic Games, said: “I feel these Games give us the chance to bring about a real step-change in the way we go about supporting Team GB.

"The values that I bring to my job as Chief Executive of the BOA are exactly the same ones I’m going to bring to this role – a focus on preparation, collaboration and continuous improvement in everything we do.

“British winter sport has had a great 2008/9 season with many podium finishes and we’re very optimistic that Team GB will produce outstanding performances at the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games.”

Britain's best medal haul at a Winter Olympics was a tally of three in 1936, including a gold in the ice hockey.

At the last Winter Games, in Turin, Shelley Rudman claimed silver in the skeleton, while four years earlier, Britain's women curlers won gold in Salt Lake City.

The outlook for Vancouver 2010 is positive.

Britain secured three medals at World Championships this season - a gold in the women's bobsleigh and silvers in both the men's and women's bob skeleton.

Short-track speed skater Jon Eley is ranked third in the world over 500 metres and last month clinched gold at a World Cup race in Holland.

altSnowboard-cross racer Zoe Gillings (pictured) also secured a podium finish in the World Cup finals, while ice dance duo John and Sinead Kerr won a bronze medal at the European Figure Skating Championships in Helsinki.

Hunt is confident 2010 can prove a hit for Team GB. 

He said: "Because it is the next Games before London 2012, there will be public interest. 

"A number of our winter athletes had some really good performances this season, which bodes well.

"We have got potential in bobsleigh, skeleton, luge, also in figure skating, short-track speed skating, snowboard cross and curling.

"Although we have not set any particular medal expectation or target, we could clearly have a better performance than Turin, which would be fantastic."

Colin Moynihan, the chairman of the BOA, said: “Under Andy's leadership, the BOA will travel to Vancouver with the strongest head office support staff we have ever taken to a Winter Games.

"Andy has selected a capable and motivated team and he is the right man to head it.

"As chief executive he has already delivered clear direction and a new level of professionalism to the BOA.

"Throughout this year we will continue to develop a modern, responsive and dynamic team whose overriding function will be support for our athletes.”

Sir Clive denied that he was disappointed at being overlooked for the role of Chef de Mission.

He said: “My remit for the BOA is performance and my position within this structure allows me to concentrate totally on that field. 

“At the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games, Team GB will boast a hugely talented group of athletes and coaches, who have shown that they have the attitude and desire to achieve great things. 

“It will be my job to focus on performance and to make sure that the BOA has given everything – absolutely everything - to deliver the best blueprint to allow our athletes and coaches to achieve their Olympic dreams.”

Hunt said: "We are looking at all of the work which has been done in the past in terms of how we prepare our athletes, coaches and team leaders before the Games, how we can give them the highest level of familiarisation of the environment they are going into to, to make them successful.

"We are building on what we have done in the past and also throwing the box open to say, 'If you were starting again, would you do it like this? What else can we deliver?'

"Clive is bringing some fantastic thinking about some of the areas we can continue to get that extra one, two or five per cent in terms of athlete performance."

England said: “Team GB has developed a world-wide reputation for running its operations like clockwork.

"We aim to excel and to make sure that no stone is left unturned when it comes to both the logistics and the operational planning to back up our athletes and support staff in Vancouver and Whistler in 2010.”