A group of 27 of Britain’s most inspirational and accomplished Olympians from previous Games have today been unveiled as Team GB 2012 Ambassadors by the British Olympic Association at Tate Modern in London. Between them, the Team GB 2012 Ambassadors can draw upon experience of winning 51 Olympic medals, including 27 gold medals.
The Ambassadors will be an integral part of Team GB prior to and during London 2012. They will help British athletes and the wider Team GB to achieve their Olympic ambitions, and in doing so, serve as a source of inspiration and motivation for the 60 million Team GB fans across the UK.
The Ambassadors, who have committed their time voluntarily, will support Team GB in a variety of ways; including helping with a programme to support the friends and family of athletes in the lead-up to and during the Games; motivational speaking and answering questions from groups of athletes and sports; involvement at London 2012 Test Events; visiting the Team GB Preparation Camp in Loughborough and helping to create that ‘special moment’ when athletes receive their kit and truly feel like they are going to the Olympic Games; and through their attendance at Team GB fundraising events.
British Olympic Association Chairman Colin Moynihan said:
“The Team GB 2012 Ambassadors will create an important connection between our Olympic heroes of yesterday, who have provided us with so many unforgettable moments of great achievement and British pride, with the stars of today and tomorrow, who will be inspired through their engagement with the Ambassadors to make the most of the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity presented by competing at a home Olympic Games.”
“It is not just the athletes we have to think about; the support behind Team GB is just as important, the coaches, the support staff, the sports, the friends and families who have supported athletes throughout their careers. Helping the wider ‘Team GB family’ deal with the unique Olympic environment – and the specific pressure of being at home will also be a key part of the Ambassadors role.”
Team GB 2012 Chef de Mission Andy Hunt said:
“The announcement of the Team GB 2012 Ambassadors is an exciting moment in the development of Team GB – Our Greatest Team - at the London 2012 Olympic Games. Team GB will be the largest single team to represent the nation in any sporting event for over 100 years, consisting of over 500 athletes and with the support of the whole of the UK, Our Greatest Team is 60 million strong.
“The Ambassadors will play a vital role at the heart of Team GB, inspiring the athletes, coaches, their families and everyone involved in Team GB’s quest to make the nation proud with our performances at London 2012.”
Rowing five-time Olympic Champion Steve Redgrave said:
“I would have loved to have been able to compete at a home Olympics myself, but unfortunately this is not going to happen. I am absolutely delighted to be an Ambassador for Team GB in 2012 and can’t think of any better way to support the team. I hope I can use my vast experience of competing in the Olympic environment to help prepare members of the team to deal with the pressure, the scrutiny, the highs and the lows. But also to make the most of one of the most special moments in their lives; being an Olympian, in front of a home crowd. Hopefully I can help enable them to achieve their dreams, like I did mine.”
Athletics double Olympic gold medallist Kelly Holmes said:
“I am delighted to be able to play my part in supporting British athletes at London 2012 as a Team GB Ambassador. Having the Olympics on home soil in London is a once in a lifetime opportunity and I hope the advice and support that I can offer from my Olympic experiences will help our athletes deal with the intense spotlight they will be under. Winning double gold in Athens was an incredible feeling and I am relishing the chance to give something back to Team GB and help our athletes make the country proud in 2012.”
Swimming Olympic silver medallist Sharron Davies said:
“London will be my tenth Olympic Games, and the one that I am most excited about. The Olympics are without doubt the greatest show on earth and it's been a real life changing honour to be involved as both a competitor and presenter over the years. I hope to help Team GB in 2012 by playing my part as a Team GB Ambassador and passing on my experience and advice to the next generation of British Olympic hopefuls. Team GB is more than just the athletes; it is the coaches, physios, support staff and everyone in Britain who loves sport.”
Heptathlon Olympic gold medallist Denise Lewis said:
"I'm delighted to be a Team GB Ambassador and look forward to working to help energise the British public to get behind our athletes. We all have experience to pass on to both the team and the public of just how exciting and inspiring the Olympic Games can be. I think if you ask any Olympian they would tell you that they would have loved to have competed in a home Olympics, it’s going to be a very special time."
Boxing Olympic gold medallist James DeGale said:
“Competing at the Olympic Games is a unique experience in world sport. I can offer the members of Team GB, athletes and coaches alike my advice from my knowledge and experience of competing in the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games to help prepare them to deal with and thrive on, the serious spotlight they will be under in the lead up to and during London 2012.”
Athletics Olympic gold medallist Sally Gunnell said:
““Hopefully all the little things we do to support the athletes and the wider team will accumulate to make a big difference on their big day next year in London. I know how much of a major part the support of the public can play to spur on an athlete to achieve their goals. As a Team GB 2012 Ambassador, I believe I can use my Olympic experience to help Team GB be the best that it can be in 2012.”
Skeleton 2010 Olympic Champion Amy Williams said:
“There has never been a more exciting time to be involved in British Olympic sport. Hosting the Olympics in London in 2012 is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. It’s a chance for everyone in the UK to get involved and play their part to support our Olympic team. I believe the Ambassador role will allow me to be a very effective supporter of Team GB.”