BC-OLY--Britain-Chef De Mission, OLY

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LONDON (AP) — The man who coached Britain's women to curling gold in the 2002 Winter Olympics has been appointed as Britain's chef de mission for the 2014 Games in Sochi.

Mike Hay will be in charge of about 50 athletes in Russia next year, when Britain aims to beat its best haul of four medals from the 1924 Games.

Hay says "we are not an alpine nation, but I am very excited by the performances that we have seen this past season from our winter athletes."

The 49-year-old Hay, who is head of sport engagement at the British Olympic Association, succeeds Andy Hunt. He stepped down from his double role as BOA chief executive and chef de mission in February.

The Winter Olympics start Feb. 7.

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