With just under a year to go until the London 2012 Games, the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) has today opened the doors to a unique Team GB and ParalympicsGB shop – Our Greatest Team – in the new Westfield Stratford City.
The 2012 Team GB and ParalympicsGB teams will be the largest ever to represent Great Britain in any sporting event for over 100 years, and this is the first time in Olympic and Paralympic history that the home nation will be able to get behind their team with such a huge range of merchandise.
The unique 2000sq ft Team GB and ParalympicsGB retail offering, located on the doorstep of the Olympic Park, will be home to over 1,500 products by Games time and will provide fans with the opportunity to show their support for their home nation.
Triple Olympic gold medal winning cyclist Bradley Wiggins and London 2012 Paralympic hopeful and current T35 100m and 200m World No 2. Sophia Warner officially opened the store to the public today.
Bradley Wiggins said: 'As an Olympic athlete, it’s the ultimate dream to win Gold in front of your home crowd. Visible home support makes a huge difference so it would be amazing to look into the Velodrome crowds and see our supporters wearing the team colours.'
Sophia Warner said: 'It is fantastic that fans will have such a huge range of items to choose from to get behind ParalympicsGB. We’re all aiming to do Britain proud and having visible home nation support during the Games will give us a unique advantage over our competitors.'
The Team GB and ParalympicsGB product range includes T-shirts, sweatshirts, cushions, bed sheets, children’s colouring in books, collectable jewellery, luggage and even scooters and bicycles.
LOCOG Chief Executive Paul Deighton commented: 'Merchandise is an important revenue stream when funding the Games but these products also give fans the chance to show their support for London 2012 and for Team GB and ParalympicsGB.'
Team GB Chef de Mission Andy Hunt said: 'During the sports test events this summer we saw the great positive impact that the passionate support of an enthusiastic home crowd can have on the performances of British athletes. It would be fantastic for them to enter their London 2012 venue to find a sea of red, white and blue Team GB support next year.
'There is no other sporting competition where Great Britain and Northern Ireland fields such a large, diverse and talented team to represent our nation. With the full support of the UK behind them at London 2012, Team GB and ParalympicsGB – Our Greatest Team – will be 900 athletes, 60 million strong.'
By Games time an estimated 10,000 merchandise items will be on sale in the UK. It is anticipated that the London 2012 merchandise programme will generate more than £1 billion worth of sales, contributing more than £80m to the staging of the Games.
Team GB and ParalympicsGB merchandise and London 2012 merchandise will also be available nationwide from www.london2012.com/shop. London 2012 merchandise is available from all good High Street retailers and official London 2012 Shops at: St Pancras International, Paddington station, Heathrow Terminal 5, Stansted Airport, Canary Wharf, John Lewis Oxford Street and John Lewis Stratford City.