The British Olympic Association has today announced Goldie Sayers as Team GB’s Deputy Chef de Mission for the Gyor 2017 European Youth Olympic Festival as the former javelin thrower retires from athletics.
Sayers ends a 20-year career in the sport which saw her compete at three Olympic Games, including in front of the home crowds at London 2012, five world championships and three Commonwealth Games.
The 34-year-old, who sits on the British Olympic Association’s Athletes’ Commission, is still the British record holder having broken it at Beijing 2008, and is an 11-time national champion.
Sayers is also one of nine British athletes awaiting further news regarding the reallocation of medals from the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games following retrospective testing by the International Olympic Committee.
With retirement confirmed, Sayers will join up with Team GB’s squad of future Olympic stars in Gyor, Hungary this summer for the European Youth Olympic Festival. Her role will be to lead on athlete engagement during the event and ensure Britain’s young competitors make the most of their first multi-sport event experience.
Gyor 2017 will see around 50 European nations come together to compete across 10 Olympic sports from 23rd-29th July. Team GB’s athletes, all aged 15-17, are expected to compete in six of those; canoe sprint, cycling, gymnastics, judo, swimming and tennis.
Team GB has a rich history of medal success at EYOF, having won at least 20 medals in each of the previous 13 summer Festivals. They provide crucial multi-sport event experience for young athletes and have helped develop over 50 Olympians across Beijing 2008, London 2012 and Rio 2016. The likes of Becky Adlington, Sally Conway, Nile Wilson and Ellie Downie all had their first taste of an Olympic-style event at an EYOF with Team GB.
Goldie Sayers said: “I am proud to retire after a 20-year career in athletics as a three-time Olympian, British record holder, 11-time national champion and – hopefully - an Olympic medallist. I am also extremely privileged to have captained the record-breaking European team in 2014, and wish all my teammates every success in the months and years ahead.
“I am very keen to help develop the sport in the UK and help youngsters advance in a highly technical event. I would love to help influence the influencers and get javelin throwing in the UK back up to levels we used to enjoy when I was a youngster. This can only happen through good coaching and leadership and I am keen to help develop existing coaches and find more of them.
“I am currently passing on my experience through online mentoring website Javelin Champ and hope to coach in the future when I have built my property investment business to a level that I can then spend the time that training athletes requires since there are currently no paid coaching positions.
“I will continue sitting on the Board of the British Olympic Association Athletes’ Commission and I am looking forward to helping lead Team GB as Deputy Chef de Mission for the European Youth Olympic Festival in Hungary this Summer. They’re great events and help the next generation of British Olympians progress in the early stages of the sporting careers.”
Paul Ford, Team GB’s Chef de Mission for Gyor 2017 said: “Having Goldie join Team GB as Deputy Chef de Mission for Gyor 2017 is fantastic news for the athletes we select for the Festival. Not only will they be competing in a multi-sport environment for the first time and living with thousands of others in the Village but they will also get the chance to learn first-hand from a high quality Olympic athlete with 20 years of major championship experience.”