March 23: An Olympic Birthday Bonanza

If you’re celebrating your birthday today, then you can count yourself among a privileged group. Why’s that? Well March 23 just happens to be a pretty successful day when it comes to Team GB and the Olympic Games. A total of 27 British Olympians have been born over the years on this very date. Not only have they competed in 16 different sports but between them, they’ve managed to win an impressive 32 medals! 21 gold, eight silver and three bronze to be more exact! To celebrate, we’ve picked out some key names below and relived their greatest moments. And if you want your children to be an Olympian, we’d suggest aiming for March 23 as a good birthday day!

The most successful male rower in Olympic history, Sir Steve Redgrave is responsible for six of the 32 medals won by British Olympians celebrating their birthday today.

The first of his five Olympic gold medals came in the men’s coxed four at Los Angeles 1984 – before another of today’s birthday boys – Jason Kenny – was even born!

In fact Kenny was only six months old when Redgrave added coxless pairs gold and coxed pair bronze at Seoul 1988.

In total Redgrave would finish with an Olympic medal tally of five golds and one bronze – including a famous gold at Sydney 2000 in the coxless four.

He is also a nine-time World Champion and three-time Commonwealth Champion.

The oldest living British Olympian among the group of 27, Sir Roger Bannister wrote his name into the history books on May 6 1954 when he became the first person to break the four-minute mile barrier.

That same year he became European Champion over the 1500m in Bern, four years after winning 800m bronze in Brussels.

Bannister appeared for Team GB at the Helsinki 1952 Olympic Games, setting a British record on the way to fourth in the 1500m final.

He later went on to become a distinguished neurologist and Master of Pembroke College, Oxford.

One of Britain’s most successful skeleton athletes, Shelley Rudman has pulled on the Team GB colours at three Olympic Winter Games.

Her most successful Olympic outing though was at Turin 2006 as she took silver for what, at the time, was Britain’s most successful skeleton result after Alex Coomber’s bronze four years earlier.

The successes kept coming too, especially of the gold medal variety, as she won the World Cup title in 2011-2012, European crowns in 2009 and 2011 and then climbed top spot on the medal rostrum at the 2013 World Championships in St Moritz – all after giving birth to her first daughter in 2007.

She is now a mother to two girls – although for those wondering, their birthdays don’t fall on March 23.

There are two British Olympic cyclists who celebrate a birthday today and between them they’ve won a staggering 14 medals – not to mention sharing the title of Britain’s most successful Olympian ever.

Up until last summer, Sir Chris Hoy held that title outright after an impressive Olympic record that saw him win six gold and one silver medal between Sydney 2000 and London 2012.

His last Olympic appearance came on home soil in London as he clinched a golden double in the team sprint and keirin.

His record elsewhere was equally impressive with 25 World Championship medals – including 11 gold – won two Commonwealth titles representing Scotland.

Jason Kenny was the man responsible for matching Hoy’s Olympic record when he did the team and individual sprint double as well as winning keirin gold at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

That added to his team and individual sprint gold at London 2012 and team sprint gold at Beijing 2008 alongside his silver in the individual sprint.

And like Hoy, he’s not all about the Olympic Games either, strutting his stuff on the World Championship stage with three golds, three silver and two bronze medals while he can also claim to being a European Champion – something Hoy never managed.

There could yet be further Olympic medals for the Brit if he decides to carry on until Tokyo 2020 while a potential Kenny Olympic Champion junior could follow in the years to come with the 29-year-old and his wife Laura – herself a four-time Olympic Champion – expecting their first child together later this year.

After starting with a Sir, it’s only fitting to finish with one – this time in the form of Sir Mo Farah.

The most successful British track athlete in modern Olympic Games history, Farah completed a remarkable double double at Rio 2016 when he successfully defended his 5000m and 10,000m titles from London four years earlier.

He also completed the ‘distance double’ at the 2013 and 2015 World Championships while his five European titles make him the most successful individual athlete in Championships history.

This summer he Is set to bid farewell to the track at the 2017 World Championships in London before focusing on the marathon distance.

Sportsbeat 2017