The memories of London 2012’s Opening Ceremony, of Super Saturday, the 65 medals and the vast support of one nation may still feel fresh in the mind but we’re now just one year away from living it all again at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
Friday 5th August 2016 will begin 16 days of competition in Brazil and the British Olympic Association (BOA) is calling on fans and Olympians to together inspire Team GB next summer.
Through a combination of Olympic Team GB Greats, a new online fan club and a campaign to ‘Bring on the Great’, Team GB is looking to repeat that huge swell of support from three years ago for those athletes travelling to Brazil in order to help them achieve their greatest performance at the Rio 2016.
The Team GB Greats programme is made up of eight Olympians who have won 27 Olympic medals, including 19 gold, between them. They will act as role models for the athletes competing at Rio 2016 and help inspire the nation to support Team GB on the journey to the Games.
The Greats will attend various Team GB events in the build up to Rio 2016 and offer advice to the athletes and their family and friends, passing on the knowledge picked up during their own Olympic experiences.
All eight Team GB Greats have retired from Olympic competition. They are:
Ben Ainslie (Sailing) Becky Adlington (Swimming) Chris Hoy (Cycling) Anthony Joshua (Boxing) Denise Lewis (Athletics) Steve Redgrave (Rowing) Sarah Stevenson (Taekwondo) Beth Tweddle (Gymnastics)
“I am honoured to be one of the Team GB Greats for Rio. The support the public showed to me during my two Olympic Games was incredible and makes such a difference, especially in training and through the tough times,” said Adlington.
“In London 2012 having 17,000 fans there cheering for me, feeling that the country was behind me, made me dig that little bit deeper.”
Ainslie added: “When you’re out there competing, especially when competing overseas, it is really important to have the support of the nation behind you. It is critical that with one year to go until the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, Team GB feels that support of the nation behind them; it’s a real inspiration to an athlete.”
The launch of the first official Team GB Club will allow fans to follow the team closer than ever as it gears up towards the Rio 2016. The free membership will enable Team GB supporters to enjoy a range of exclusive content and benefits as they join the athletes on their road to Rio and at the Olympic Games themselves.
Through signing up and joining the Club online via TeamGB.com, fans will have exclusive access to offers, experiences, competitions and behind the scenes content from the team as well as the ability to personalise the website to their sporting tastes.
To help our athletes on their journey through to Rio 2016, Team GB is calling on the nation to bring on their greatest support and help the athletes bring on their greatest performance at the upcoming Olympic Games.
Following the incredible support of London 2012, it is more important than ever that the team knows the nation is behind them when competing at an ‘away Games’ next summer.
Fans can show their support by sending in their good luck messages on TeamGB.com and joining the new Team GB Club. These messages will be displayed on flags which will be given to the athletes travelling to Rio and hung in the Team GB accommodation in the Olympic Village.
Select messages will also feature on Team GB Bahia Bands, a traditional Brazilian bracelet symbolising good fortune, which athletes will be given in the lead up to the Games. Fans will be able to buy their own Bahia Bands later this year.
Mark England, Team GB 2016 Chef de Mission said: “We believe we are in good shape with a year to go. We have already qualified over 100 quota places and Team GB in Rio is likely to be our largest delegation at an away Games in over 20 years, with around 350 athletes making the journey to the Olympic Games in Brazil.
“The British Olympic Association is well on the way to ensuring that Team GB will be the best prepared ever for an away Games. The support of the nation is an important component of this and can inspire our athletes to perform at their best next year.”