Beijing 2022 dates, how to watch live on TV as Team GB target medals

BEIJING – Brad Hall has dragged British bobsleigh from “idiots abroad” to world-beaters and now wants an Olympic medal to show for it.

The obsessive pilot’s driving skill and technical knowledge has been the catalyst for a journey from unfunded outcasts to fourth in the world and rising still.

It has been a bumpy ride and Nick Gleeson, who partners Hall in both the 2-man and 4-man, remembers the barbs and uses them as fuel to fire the rocket sled.

“People called us the stupidest team one season,” said Gleeson, after Team GB finished second fastest in training this weekend. “Just a bunch of idiots really, because we were having a laugh on social media.

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“We don’t take ourselves too seriously when we don’t need to. When we’re at the track, we’re doing everything we need to do, but we can switch on and off and enjoy it.

“We’re not just hardcore athletes – we’re four regular guys, there’s nothing particularly special about us. If you take us and we push a bobsleigh, it works.

“Before the 2019 World Championships, someone commented saying, ‘idiots abroad – prove me wrong.’ We went out and finished fourth in the world behind three Olympic medallists.

“I spoke to the first person who made that comment and they said, ‘you proved me wrong’ and I’m incredibly proud of that.”

Crawley-born Hall, a former decathlete, drove Britain’s 4-man to 17th place in PyeongChang with a substandard sled.

The subsequent recriminations and loss of UK Sport funding would have broken some but you only need to listen to his push athletes to understand how Hall came back swinging.

Gleeson, Greg Cackett and Taylor Lawrence call their pilot “difficult”, “resilient”, “incredibly intelligent” and “uniquely pedantic”, among other things.

Men’s bobsleigh schedule

Monday 14 February

  • 12.05pm – 2-man bobsleigh heat 1
  • 1.40pm – 2-man bobsleigh heat 2

Tuesday 15 February

  • 12.05pm – 2-man bobsleigh heat 3
  • 1.50pm – 2-man bobsleigh heat 4 (medal event)

Saturday 19 February

  • 1.30am – 4-man bobsleigh heat 1
  • 3.05am – 4-man bobsleigh heat 2

Sunday 20 February

  • 1.30am – 4-man bobsleigh heat 3
  • 3.20am – 4-man bobsleigh heat 4 (medal event)

Cackett said: “I think Brad is probably like Lewis Hamilton – the attention to detail and the desire.

“We don’t have a multi-billion euro programme, whether it’s engineers poring over the data sheets and changing everything to get as much speed as you can.

“We’ve got Brad in the garage, loosening and tightening nuts and bolts, and he’s done a fantastic job with it.”

The result has been six World Cup medals this season, Britain’s most successful campaign this century.

The Beijing Winter Olympics track at the Yanqing, on which Hall and Cackett won 2-man silver at October’s Test Event, poses a unique challenge to pilots. It’s a good job Britain have the best.

“As a brakeman in the back, it’s not the most challenging track,” said Lawrence, a serving Commando. “There aren’t too many big pressures or too many times to get hurt in there.

“But as a pilot, because of the shape of the corners and how big they are, there are lots of different lines and ways to get around it. It’ll be about negotiating the slower parts with real precision.

Team GB carry hopes of a medal into the men’s bobsleigh this week (Photo: Getty)

How to watch Winter Olympics 2022

If you want to watch every moment live, you will need to have a Discovery+ subscription. You can sign up for Discovery+ here.

Discovery is promising subscribers access to up to 15 simultaneous events and special “pop-up channels” for the most popular sports such as ice hockey and curling.

As with last year’s Tokyo Summer Games, the BBC will be restricted to two live feeds at the Beijing Winter Olympics 2022.

The BBC will screen more than 300 hours of live coverage across BBC One and BBC Two, with additional coverage available on a second live digital stream on BBC iPlayer, the red button and the BBC Sport website.

Beijing is eight hours ahead of the UK, meaning many of the events will take place late at night in UK time.

Here’s the daily BBC schedule:

  • Midnight-6am – overnight action presented by Ayo Akinwolere, BBC One
  • 6am-9am – Jeanette Kwakye hosts live action, BBC Two
  • 9.15am-1pm – Hazel Irvine presents the main morning show, with live events and highlights, BBC One on weekdays, BBC Two on weekends
  • 3pm-6pm – JJ Chalmers presents extended replays, BBC Two
  • 7pm-8pm – Today at the Games with Clare Balding, BBC Two
  • 8pm-8.55pm – Aimee Fuller presents another extended highlights package, BBC Three

“Brad is a very, very good pilot in terms of adapting to different tracks. It’ll be about who can adapt and bring consistency over the four runs.”

Hall himself is consumed by chasing down Germany, who set a relentless gold standard. German pilot Francesco Friedrich is as dominant an athlete as you’ll find in any sport in Beijing.

He went unbeaten throughout 2021, won 21 World Cup races on the bounce until January and claimed the last four overall four-man titles.

Hall can see the whites of Friedrich’s eyes and reckons he’s got the Germans running scared.

“They’re nervous at the moment,” said Hall. “On some tracks, like in Sigulda which is quite new on the circuit, they’re nervous of us on tracks they don’t know well.

“You see a lot of yellow jackets from the German sleds, always watching us and what we’re doing that. They’re interested in what we’re doing and see us as a threat.”

Watch All the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 live on discovery+, Eurosport and Eurosport app

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