Mission accomplished as GB Olympic team hit UK Sport targets
An outstanding display by Team GB saw all major UK Sport targets achieved in spectacular style at London 2012.
In an impressive show of Great Britain’s strength across Olympic disciplines, the athletes secured a total of 65 medals, including 29 golds – the best performance by a British team for more than 100 years.
The haul was within the medal range agreed with UK Sport and comfortably beyond the minimum target of 48 medals.
The other target – to see more sports represented in the medal tally at London than Beijing – was also attained, with 17 sports adding to the overall total, compared to 12 in 2008.
The aspiration of a top four finish in the medal table was also realised with room to spare with a historic third place ahead of the powerful Russian team.
Liz Nicholl, Chief Executive of UK Sport said:
“This sensational display by the British Olympic team has been truly inspiring to witness.
“We have a high performance system here which is the envy of the world. We are delighted that all the careful planning; the tireless work of athletes and sports; and the strategic investment of National Lottery and Exchequer monies through our “No Compromise” approach has paid such huge dividends.
“From the outset we believed we could eclipse the excellent performance at the Beijing Olympics and attain a top four place in the medal table, with more medals in more sports. Our performance analysis has proved correct.
“As well as the record-breaking medal haul, it is particularly rewarding to see that so many sports have found a winning formula. This is a great sign for the future. As our high performance system continues to evolve and mature, we are confident we can maintain that momentum for Rio 2016.”
Of the 28 sports,who agreed targets with UK Sport through the Mission 2012 process, 19 sports hit at least their minimum performance target. Of these, 11 sports hit, or surpassed the maximum end of their performance range, with just nine sports falling short. Several of these were sports that had host nation places for London 2012 and were competing for the first time.
Baroness Sue Campbell, Chair of UK Sport said:
“When we started on this journey we always believed we had a model that would deliver significant success and I am thrilled with the outcome.
“London 2012 provided those moments of inspiration that will live in the hearts and minds of people for years to come. We have seen the power of a successful Great Britain team and I believe this could be the beginning of something truly extraordinary in this country not only for elite sport but to drive participation too.
“I am immensely proud of what UK Sport has helped achieve for this country. London 2012 will be remembered as a great Olympic Games with a great home team.”
Thanks to the strategic investment of £265million of National Lottery, Government and Team 2012 money for the London cycle, Team GB was the most successful European team, and third in the world, with only the USA and China winning more gold medals.
Government has now committed to investing £40million per annum for the four years of the Rio cycle and with National Lottery income expected to deliver £85million each year, UK Sport should have a similar sum of money to allocate to sports for the 2016 Olympics and Paralympics.
Hugh Robertson, Minster for Sport and the Olympics, said:
“The performance of Team GB was incredible. To beat our Beijing medal tally shows that our approach to elite sport works.
“Our athletes have put sport in the spotlight and inspired people far and wide. We want this momentum to continue. This is why we have given UK Sport funding certainty for the four years of the Rio 2016 cycle.
“We have many major sporting events in the UK to come before then including the Commonwealth Games in 2014 and will be working hard to continue to strengthen sport in this country at all levels.”
As well as the direct investment into the National Governing Bodies and National Lottery-funded Athlete Personal Awards (APAs), UK Sport offers a comprehensive range of support services to the high performance system.
The Research and Innovation team played a key role in this success including working closely with sports and athletes on equipment design, training technology, and athlete health and welfare support.
The Athlete Development team fast-tracked 11 athletes into London 2012, primarily through the Sporting Giants talent identification and development initiative, delivered in partnership with rowing, handball and volleyball. Helen Glover – unearthed by the programme won GB’s first gold in the Women’s Rowing Pair with Heather Stanning.
UK Sport’s Major Events team helped bring 118 international sporting competitions to the UK to allow athletes to get a taste of competing at the highest level in front of a home crowd. Post-London 2012, investment will increase to £4.5million annually, to ensure the UK remains a focal point for major sporting events.
The UK Sport Coaching team has helped train and develop more than 40 coaches, working with Team GB athletes, including Toni Minichiello, who coaches gold medallist Jessica Ennis and Paul Manning, who coaches the Women’s Team Pursuit track cycling team that smashed the world record to win gold.
Peter Keen, Performance Special Advisor, at UK Sport said:
“I firmly believe the result at London 2012 reflects our standing in world Olympic sport and will be continued into the next cycle for Rio.
“What is most pleasing for me is that our medal haul was within the range we identified and proves our high performance system is working exceptionally well in tracking how sports and their athletes are developing.
“These performances should not be seen as one off though, the performances at Beijing and now London demonstrate this was not a fluke or to do with home advantage. It’s about creating an environment where athletes are given the best possible opportunity to reach their full potential.”