With exactly one year to go until the Opening Ceremony, International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge will today continue the tradition of formally inviting athletes from the 204 National Olympic Committees from around the world to participate in the London 2012 Olympic Games.
The occasion will mark a very special milestone for the athletes aiming for selection to Team GB, which will comprise 550 athletes from all 26 sports on the Olympic Programme in London 2012. This represents the largest British Olympic delegation in more than a century.
Over the next 365 days the BOA, in conjunction with the National Governing Bodies (NGBs), will continue to implement the blueprint that will ensure that Team GB athletes are able to enter their Olympic venues next summer in prime condition and fully focused on their job – to make the nation proud with their performances and inspire future generations of sports participants with their achievements.
Colin Moynihan, BOA Chairman said:
“With one year to go, we wish our colleagues from around the world the very best with their final preparations for London 2012. The stage is now set for what will undoubtedly be a successful Olympic and Paralympic Games, and we look forward to welcoming to the United Kingdom our National Olympic Committee colleagues and their athletes for this global celebration of excellence, friendship and the human spirit.
“The ODA and LOCOG are to be congratulated for the outstanding job it has done in building a theatre worthy of the world’s greatest athletes. With the stage now set, the spotlight shifts to the athletes who will fill this grand theatre and thrill fans from around the world with their performances.
“Across all of our summer sports, the talent and depth being developed is unprecedented, and that is a credit to the dedication of the National Governing Bodies and the athletes. London 2012 will be the most competitive Olympic Games in history, with more countries capable of placing athletes on the podium than ever before. We are confident of delivering our aspiration for Team GB to win more medals across more sports than for over a century.”
Andy Hunt, Team GB Chef de Mission and BOA CEO said:
“With one year to go, our message to aspiring Team GB athletes is this: remain confident in your preparations, fully embrace this once-in-a-lifetime experience, and feel the momentum of an entire nation behind you, willing you to succeed.
“For many athletes, today’s celebration represents an arrival at the doorstep of history. The years of sacrifice and struggle will soon be rewarded with the ultimate honour: the opportunity to compete for Team GB, and to do so in a home Olympics.
“At the BOA, we are working in close partnership with the sport Performance Directors and Team Leaders to make certain that nothing is left to chance, and to make sure that the 550 athletes, from 26 sports, who will represent Team GB next summer are able to fulfil their potential at the greatest moment of their sporting careers.”
Shauna Mullin, beach volleyball athlete said:
“I drove past the 2012 beach volleyball site at Horse Guards Parade on Friday and saw the venue being prepared and the sand being laid. This was very exciting and made it all incredibly real. I can’t wait for the chance to compete with the support of a home crowd, it will be fantastic.”
Euan Burton, judo athlete said:
“It's a year out from the opening of the London Olympic Games and I suppose it makes me think just how long, and how short a year can actually be! It's a long time as I know there is a huge amount of hard work, training, ups and downs to go before the big day but equally I know that this next 12 months will begin to rush in and before we all know it we will be in the middle of our home Olympics. What a thought!”
Laura Bechtolsheimer, equestrian athlete said:
“My horse is 17 next year, so my focus is to make sure that Alf [Mistral Hojris] is fit, well and motivated for London. If I've managed that, then I’ll be very excited and I will absolutely give it my best shot. This is the third year in a row now when he has been just so consistent and has had fantastic results but it’s taken time to get his trust,. He is so honest and genuine, even if he is nervous now, he will do his utmost not to let you down. When you ride a horse like that, it gives you as a rider so much confidence. He's absolutely 100% my team-mate. My focus is on getting all bases covered, so when I’ve finished I know I did everything in my power to make sure it went well. You have to grasp the situation.”