Credit: Nottingham Panthers

After the euphoric victory of Thorvil and Dean captured the imagination of Nottingham and the British public in Sarajevo, almost four decades on, it seems the passion for the Winter Olympics has waned. 

Strutting around Nottingham’s famous Market Square, the wind was soon knocked out of my sails when I discovered people really didn’t want to – or care enough – to spare two minutes of their time to discuss the games.

But why has one of sports biggest quadrennial competitions failed to resonate with the people at the heart of Nottingham’s bustling city centre?

Bulwell local, Keith Smith, 59, claimed that he believed it was down to the nation’s climate, and lack of success at previous games.

Mr Smith said: “The Winter Olympics will never compete with the Summer – simply put, we don’t have the climate for it.”

“Some countries are just born on skis, you look at Austria and other countries with a colder climate, we just aren’t.”

The 59-year-old clarified that he was a big sports fan, and would be tuning in regardless anyway, but stopped short of saying he could even name an athlete competing.

“I can’t name anyone competing now that I think about it, obviously I’ll get more involved as the pundits point me in the right direction but that’s not the case in the summer games.”

“Back in the day I could name Eddie The Eagle, the Jamaican Bobsleigh team, but they’re more stories than just athletes,” said Mr Smith.

The trouble, according to many, falls to the lack of accessibility of winter sports – anyone with a set of trainers could go run around a track – financially the ramifications are much higher if one just wanted to try out Skiing.

Jumping over a high bar is simply far less expensive than launching down a ski slope.

This seems to be an issue that is particularly prudent to young students, with Kensey James of Nottingham Trent University claiming as much.

Miss James said: “I’d rather be out in Switzerland learning to ski myself, but that’s not really very accessible.”

However, for Nottingham locals there are plenty of weird and wonderful ways they can connect with Beijing 2022.

Nottingham is home to the National Ice Centre, it is also a city which hosts beloved Ice Hockey side, the Nottingham Panthers.

Could going down to the Motorpoint Arena for a low price inspire members of the city to connect with the games.

Even more so, Robin Hood Curling Club, based in West Bridgford, offers members of the city a chance to dabble into one of the wackier sports that we see at the games – in a more practical position.

That itself is an opportunity only present to members of this county, as Nottingham Curling Club claims that they’re the only club of its kind for a three-hour radius.

There are athletes from this city too, that will be dying out for local support, Nottingham-based Niall Treacy will attempt to win gold for Team GB in Beijing – as the 21-year-old looks to find his inner Lewis Hamilton – and race to victory in Beijing in the speed skating.

The games also feature a Nottinghamshire coach who will be looking on with bated breath as he sees his athlete, Olivia Smart, compete for Spain in the Ice Dancing event.

So perhaps if your concern is the lack of British success, like Grace Taylor, 20, then maybe you have more faith in a sensational Spanish victory.

Miss Taylor said: “It’s hard to get interested in a competition that we don’t see much success in, we saw so much success at London 2012, which shows why everyone loves the summer Olympics.

“Maybe we just need that breakthrough in Beijing to inspire a nation.”

But 2022 could be the time for that, overall, the trend has been rising, with five medals claimed in PyeongChang 2018, compared to only one solitary medal at Vancouver in 2010, for Amy Williams in the Skeleton.

The trend is even more positive if you go back to 2006, when Team GB only left with a silver medal, and it’s only 30 years since the nation came home empty handed – with nothing to bring home other than the memories of the French Alps.

So, people of Nottingham, get involved and support the city’s stars, the National Lottery has already injected £27million into the Beijing Olympic cycle – the least you can do is inject your support.