Olympic Bronze medallist Georgie Harland is today announced as Team GB’s Chef de Mission for the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games.
In doing so, she becomes the first ever female Chef de Mission for Great Britain and Northern Ireland at an Olympic Games.
Harland, 42, will take charge of the planning, preparation and execution of Team GB’s participation in the XXIV Olympic Winter Games, taking place from 4-20 February 2022.
A former modern pentathlete, Harland won bronze for Team GB at the 2004 Athens Olympics in the women’s individual event and, following her successful career as an athlete, has been a Sport Engagement Manager at the British Olympic Association (BOA) for nearly ten years.
During her time at the BOA, Harland has acted as Chef de Mission at the 2020 Youth Olympic Winter Games in Lausanne earlier this year. She was a Deputy Chef de Mission for Team GB at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, a role which she will replicate for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, which has been moved to the summer of 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Reacting to her appointment, Harland said: “I am so honoured to have been asked to take the role of Chef de Mission for Beijing 2022. I have a deep passion for the Olympic Movement and all it encompasses, and so outside of representing your country as an athlete, which I have been fortunate enough to do, this is the next best thing. Being named as Chef de Mission is a privilege, and I will give everything I can to the role on behalf of all of our winter athletes and sports.”
“The growth and development of Team GB as a winter nation is incredibly exciting, and Team GB’s record-breaking performances in Sochi and PyeongChang are testament to this. I am very much looking forward to the journey to Beijing in 2022 and making it a memorable and successful experience for our athletes and the broader team.”
BOA Chairman, Sir Hugh Robertson said: “This is a very exciting appointment for Team GB. Georgie is a natural leader who brings the insight of an Olympic medallist and has allied it to over ten years’ experience at the BOA. She did a superb job as our Chief de Mission at the Youth Olympic Games in Lausanne earlier this year.
“I would also like to thank Mike Hay for his outstanding contribution as Chef de Mission for Team GB at the last two Olympic Winter Games. Mike made it known to us some time ago that his intention was that PyeongChang would be his last Winter Games for Team GB, and that he would seek to step down after acting as Deputy Chef de Mission at Tokyo 2020. We are indebted to him for his hard work and leadership.”
Andy Anson, CEO of the BOA, added: “Georgie is an outstanding member of the BOA’s team. She is vastly experienced, both as an athlete and a performance lead in the Olympic environment. She will bring a calm authority to the team and will create a relaxed and focussed environment in which the athletes will be able to perform to the best of their ability. I have seen her close-up in action in Lausanne and have been incredibly impressed with her approach.”
Mike Hay, Head of Sport Engagement and Chef de Mission for Team GB at Sochi 2014 and PyeongChang 2018, commented: “Having been involved in the long-term planning for Beijing for two years now I am confident it is going to be a special Games for Team GB’s athletes. It has been a long-term ambition for us to create a strong succession plan for future Games and I believe this appointment shows that intent, and that there is a depth of leadership talent at the BOA. I have loved my time working for the BOA on both summer and winter Games and would like to thank all of my colleagues and former colleagues for making my time here very special.”