Sports

‘Magic Monday showed Team GB has role models to inspire next generation’

There is a generation out there that must think Great British gold comes as standard.

That there is a Super Saturday or a Magic Monday for Team GB at every Olympics.

There is a generation out there for whom 1996 is a mere historical quirk.

A quarter of a century on from the Games in Atlanta, when Steve Redgrave and Matthew Pinsent won Team GB’s ONLY gold medal, and the type of day enjoyed by the watching British public has become a familiar storyline to each passing Olympics.

Two decades after the Atlanta disaster, Team GB won TWENTY-SEVEN gold medals at Rio 2016 and their overall tally of 67 meant they became the first country to improve its performance after hosting the Games.

They will not beat or even match those numbers at Tokyo 2020 but the drive to succeed clearly runs deep in the Team GB psyche.

Team GB’s Adam Peaty poses with his gold medal

After Lauren Williams had suffered the same sort of painful taekwondo loss experienced by Bradly Sinden, she echoed her fellow silver medalist’s words.

“This is just the start of the journey – next stop, Paris.”

One of the reasons Williams and Sinden will be able to continue their journeys is because their sport will continue to enjoy public funding.

Taekwondo benefited from over £8million of Government money during the Tokyo Olympic cycle.

And, no doubt, the winners on Monday – Adam Peaty, Tom Daley, Matty Lee and Tom Pidcock – have been given more than a helping hand from the public purse (although Pidcock is a professional cyclist with Ineos Grenadiers).

Indeed, Peaty’s victory in the 100 metre breaststroke gave Team GB its 100th Olympic gold since it started benefiting from National Lottery cash in the wake of the calamitous showing in ’96.

That quickly became 102 golds.

Conservatively, over £220million of Lottery funding has gone into Team GB’s preparations for Tokyo.

But these dedicated athletes are not having medals bought for them.

Financing facilities only ALLOWS their astonishing dedication and determination to reap a just reward.

What about Daley’s journey? He was 14 when he went to his first Olympics, 15 when he became a world champion and 17 when he lost his father, mentor and best friend, Rob, to a brain tumour at the age of 40.

He won bronze in 2012 and in 2016 and has become a father with his husband, Lance.

Now, this. That journey is about an inner drive, a resilience, a spirit that is impossible to quantify.

And Daley will be an inspiration to others, that is how this Team GB success works.

Tom Daley and Matty Lee win Olympic diving gold
Tom Daley and Matty Lee win Olympic diving gold

The infrastructure, the technical assistance and the elite coaching costs National Lottery cash … the examples set by Daley, by Lee, by Pidcock and by the incomparable Peaty are priceless.

Just as we have seen examples set by Chris Hoy, by Kelly Holmes, by Mo Farah, by Laura Kenny, by too many over the past 25 years to mention.

It is good to have the resources to help go for Olympic gold.

It is even better to have role models to inspire a new generation.

And as Magic Monday showed so fantastically, Team GB has plenty.




Source link

Related Articles

Back to top button