With the London 2012 Olympic Games almost upon us, are you ready for the biggest sporting event that the United Kingdom has ever seen? Did you know that at the 2008 Beijing Olympics Great Britain came 4th on the medal table bringing home a total of 47 medals including 19 Gold. This included Britain coming top of the table in track cycling winning 7 Gold, 3 Silver and 2 Bronze medals.
I personally remember Sebastian Coe & Steve Ovett standing next to each other on the podium in Moscow in 1980. Then there was Daley Thompson winning Gold in the 1984 Men’s Decathlon in Los Angeles. Of course who can fail to remember the British Men’s Coxless Four celebrating in the rowing and Kelly Holmes holding the Union Jack above her head after winning two Golds in Athens 2008?
But what is in store for Team GB in London this year? I know that the motivation of our athletes will be at an all-time high following all eyes on the United Kingdom during the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. Unlike most ‘team’ sports around the world, the Olympics teams are made up of members born in that region, although the Olympic committee assigned the United Kingdom to play under the GBR reference, hence Team GB and not Team UK.
So, what chances do Team GB have of winning medals at the London 2012 Olympics? It’s reported that we have the best team ever. This is of course is a mixture of previous Olympians, some of which have already won medals for the UK. Here are just some of the Olympic hopefuls;
Jessica Ennis (pictured) is Britain’s No 1 medal hope. The heptathlete is the current world and European champion and despite recent injury problems, she is looking good for the heptathlon gold.
Heather Fell competes in the modern pentathlon, which combines riding, fencing, shooting, swimming and running. Heather won a silver medal in Beijing in 2008 and was ranked world No 1.
Aaron Cook the taekwondo athlete who narrowly missed out on a bronze medal at the 2008 Beijing Games. He has since become the European champion in 2010 and is currently ranked world No 1.
Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson the sailing duo won a gold medal at the Beijing 2008 Olympics. They are Olympic, world and European champions and their record suggests they are high hopes for a gold medal.
Victoria Pendleton known for her sprinting speed, the cyclist will defend her women’s individual sprint title and compete in the Keirin event at London 2012. Victoria was made an MBE in 2009.
Lisa Dobriskey the middle distance athlete won silver at 2009′s World Championships. Lisa’s personal best in the 1500m ranks her second on the British all-time list, behind Kelly Holmes (pictured).
Rebecca Adlington the UK’s best freestyle swimmer, won two gold medals at Beijing 2008 (breaking a 19 year-old world record) and the first British swimmer to win two Olympic gold medals since 1908.
Daniel Keatings is a gold medal winner in multiple gymnast events, Daniel made history as the first Brit to win medals in his events at the Artistic World Championship and European Championship.
These are just some of the incredible British athletes hoping for a medal this summer.
If you are not one of the lucky ticket holders for an Olympic event, or if you were not able to see the Olympic Torch Relay near your town, you can always enjoy one of the 12,000 events and performances across the UK in celebration of the Games between 21st June and 9th September. This is the biggest festival the UK has ever seen. You can view or download the London 2012 Festival guide by visiting festival.london2012.com
Although many of us won’t necessarily be glued to the screen for every event, we probably will have our favourites. The BBC has promised viewers they will “never miss a moment” of the London Olympics when they unveiled the full details of its 2,500 hours of TV, radio and online coverage headed by Gary Lineker and Sue Barker. London Olympics coverage will be on 26 TV channels, three radio stations and online, including blanket coverage on BBC1 and BBC3. BBC1 will be devoted almost entirely to the Olympics for all 17 days of the games with regular BBC1 shows such as EastEnders switched to BBC2. Flagship events, including the men’s 100m final, will also be broadcast in 3D for the first time and in “super HD” at specific venues.
Finally, please don’t forget that the London 2012 Paralympic Games are on between 29th August and the 9 September. Although this is the first time that the Olympics have been held in the same city, this is London’s first Paralympic Games as it was first held partly in Stoke Mandeville together with New York during the 1984 Summer Olympics. The Paralympic Game has 499 Gold medals up for grabs in 20 different sports. This will be broadcasted by Channel 4, with over 150 hours of television coverage. These guys & girls put commitment to a totally new level.