Seven of Britain’s best-loved Olympians, past and present, have appeared in a spectacular photo shoot for Hello! magazine this week, against a backdrop of the iconic London skyline.
The glamorous evening wear shoot took place at the top of London’s BT Tower, with the athletes dressed to impress in anticipation of the BT British Olympic Ball taking place at Kensington Olympia on the 7th October. The event is organised by the British Olympic Association (BOA) and acts as a crucial fundraiser for Team GB.
The Ball is an important date for Olympic hopefuls, as it is a vital opportunity for the BOA to help raise the estimated £13million needed to send all 550 Team GB athletes to the London 2012 Olympic Games next summer. In 2010, the event was attended by guests including HRH Prince Harry and Zara Phillips, along with a host of British Olympians and sporting heroes.
“I feel glammed up when I just put jeans on!” joked runner Athens 2004 Olympic bronze medallist Kelly Sotherton, who hopes to compete in the 400m at the Games next year. Also in the picture are former Olympic gold medal-winning figure skater Robin Cousins, double Olympic gold medallist sailor Shirley Robertson, Olympic silver medallist diver Leon Taylor, gold medallist skeleton star Amy Williams and synchronised swimming pair Jenna Randall and Olivia Allison, who are aiming to compete in their second Olympics for Team GB at London 2012.
“To stand in front of a home crowd at an Olympics is every athlete’s dream,” explained Taylor, who later in the interview goes on to admit he would swap places with current diving sensation Tom Daley “in a heartbeat”. Robertson agrees, commenting: “By the time the torch relay kicks off next year, I think the nation will be gripped by Olympic euphoria.”
Team GB Chef de Mission and British Olympic Association CEO, Andy Hunt, said: “ We are delighted that stars of past Games and today’s Olympic hopefuls are receiving this level of publicity, as it goes to show just how excited the nation is about the people behind London 2012. The spectacular location of the BT Tower and the rare opportunity for the public to see another side of our athletes out of their training gear makes for a stunning photograph. The BT British Olympic Ball is going to be bigger and better than ever this year and it is shaping up to be a tremendous celebration of our Olympic talent.”