The British Olympic Association (BOA) today revealed its plans to provide British Olympians access to tickets to attend the London 2012 Olympic Games and a series of special events to recognise the unique connection of the athletes who represented Team GB at the 1948 Olympics in London.
With the support of the London Organising Committee (LOCOG), the BOA will provide all Team GB Olympians from previous Games, both summer and winter, with the opportunity to purchase four tickets to London 2012 sessions. It is anticipated one pair of tickets will be made available for the sport in which the Olympian previously competed.
In addition, as part of the Ticketshare programme, the BOA will also distribute 700 tickets free of charge for British Olympians to accompany and inspire groups of young people, nominated by the NGBs, to watch a session of the Olympic Games together.
To honour and celebrate the remarkable group of 1948 Olympians, the BOA will make available a pair of tickets free of charge for each athlete who competed for Team GB at the 1948 Olympic Games in London. Wherever possible, the tickets will be matched to the sport in which the Olympian competed 64 years before.
In addition to providing free tickets, plans are being developed to host a series of special events for the 1948 Olympians, including a celebratory lunch at Team GB House, a tour of the Olympic Village and some will have the opportunity to participate in the Olympic Torch Relay.
The plans were shared at a meeting of the National Olympic Committee (NOC) on 16th June, which includes a representative from each of the 33 Olympic sports.
1948 Olympian John Peake (hockey) commented:
“It is fantastic news that the British Olympic Association is giving us free tickets to the London 2012 Olympics. Having been a competitor over 60 years ago it will be truly wonderful to attend the Games as a spectator, with my wife, and support Team GB. It will also be extremely special to have the opportunity to meet with my fellow 1948 compatriots at the celebratory lunch, some of whom I haven’t seen since 1948.”
Colin Moynihan, BOA Chairman, commented:
“I am delighted that we are able to provide all our distinguished Olympians, and in particular the remarkable group of athletes from 1948, who of course have a very special connection to the Olympic Games in London, with the opportunity to attend when the Games return to London next summer. I am sure the presence of the Olympians in the 2012 venues will have an exciting and inspirational effect on Team GB and the many thousands of British Olympic fans.”
Andy Hunt, Team GB Chef de Mission and BOA CEO, said:
“We all recognise the special opportunity presented by London 2012 to celebrate and embrace athletes from previous Games. I would like to thank LOCOG for their support and partnership, which has helped us to put in place an effective plan to distribute tickets to Team GB Olympians. These individuals have dedicated their lives to reaching the pinnacle of their sport in order to represent Team GB at the Olympics and it is absolutely right that they should be involved in this once in a generation opportunity to support Team GB on home soil.”
Chris Baillieu, Chairman of The Olympians, commented:
“This is fantastic news for Britain’s Olympians and I warmly welcome the work done by the British Olympic Association and LOCOG to recognise the contribution made by Olympians. This will ensure that those who have achieved the ultimate accolade of representing Great Britain and Northern Ireland at the Olympic Games will now have the opportunity to be in London to cheer on Team GB and inspire the generation by their presence in the Olympic venues.”
Sarah Winckless, BOA Athletes’ Commission Chairman and Olympic rowing medallist, said:
”When selected to Team GB an athlete becomes an Olympian for a lifetime and it is appropriate to recognise the achievements and sacrifices of this special group. I have no doubt that having the support of the Olympians in the crowd will mean a lot to the Team GB athletes competing in London 2012.”
Further details will be released to British Olympians via letter and the biannual British Olympians newsletter. If you are a British Olympian and not currently receiving the British Olympians newsletter please contact Christine.Bower@boa.org.uk