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|Look back at the history of the modern Olympics and hundreds of British names feature in the annals. People like Daley Thompson Cheap Nike NFL Jerseys Wholesale , Mary Peters, Ann Packer, Sebastian Coe, Steve Ovett, Linford Christie, Steve Redgrave Cheap Nike NFL Jerseys From China , Ben Ainslie, Kelly Holmes, David Wilkie and Matthew Pinsent are just a few of the sports stars who have won gold medals over the years.
Olympic participation has slowly been growing and now each time the games are held over 10,000 British athletes travel to compete in the summer games. Come London in 2012 and that number will be nearer 15,000 as the rising standards of UK sport, buoyed by several year?s of Lottery funding Cheap Nike NFL Jerseys China , will permit Team GB to enter more athletes. Team GB now attempts to win medals in over 400 different disciplines and, as well as participation levels, the medal haul is also on the increase. The tally from the 2008 Beijing games totalled almost 50 medals with 19 being gold.
It?s a slightly different story when you consider British performances at the Winter Olympics and you might expect that, given our winters are more often wet, rather than snowy or icy. For sure we have the odd periods of snowfall but certainly not enough to merit investment in any permanent facilities to take advantage of them or enough to persuade athletes to select a snow dependant sport as their hobby. There may however, be a change on the horizon due to the development of new indoor facilities that make some typical winter sports perfectly viable as a regular pursuit. We have had our fair share of ice rinks across the country Cheap Custom Nike NFL Jerseys , certainly not enough to given everyone easy access but enough to allow those with Olympic ambitions to get enough ?ice time? to meet the standards of Olympic qualification. Some athletes have even gone on to win Olympic medals and even though athletes like Cousins, Curry, Torvill and Dean may now be household names, the number of successes is still relatively low.
Looking at the past twenty years of Winter Olympics, GB athletes have secured just 6 medals, with one Cheap Nike NFL Jerseys , solitary gold. Taking a count across every winter Olympic Games and Team GB has won just 21 medals. The victorious performances, all 8 of them, came in just three sports, namely bobsleigh, curling and the previously mentioned ice skating. Again that is a very low tally when you consider that at just the Beijing games, the Team GB medal scoring rate was more than double that.
Despite that low medal count the team has still enjoyed some legendary performances Cheap Football Jerseys Wholesale , many that have lived long in the memories of those who witnessed them. Who can forget Eddie the Eagle? Never before has Britain had a competitor in the ski jumping events, probably because there was literally nowhere for anyone to learn the skill. Eddie Edwards did not let that put him off and he built a ski jump simulator in his back yard and gave up his day job as a plasterer to realise his Olympic ambitions. That was back in the days when qualification targets did not apply to ski jumping (the authorities have since amended the rules to prevent anyone like Eddie even starting an Olympic Games). Eddie the Eagle really had no chance from the start, yet his odd looking image of wearing glasses beneath his goggles and a slight glint of fear in his eyes as he started each jump, was enough to endear him to the crowds. He became a hero, a legend and a role model for anyone who doubts they may have the skill or opportunity to get to an Olympics. Edwards made his own destiny and has been fondly remembered for it. As the games ended and the authorities were worrying that Eddie has brought shame on the Olympic ideal, a mention in the closing speech of the Games and the rapturous cheers of the crowds indicated that there was a place for gutsy performers like him.
Our skating heroes were however very competent and won their gold medals by convincingly beating all who came before them. John Curry Cheap Football Jerseys From China , Robin Cousins and the ice dance pairing of Torvill and Dean, were all at the top of their sport when they triumphed to win gold. The consecutive games of 1976, 1980 and 1984, when Torvill and Dean won their gold, brought a run of successes that has never been repeated. Torvill and Dean were also fortunate to benefit from a rescheduling of the Winter games which saw only a two year gap following the 1992 Games in Albertville. In order to separate the Summer and Winter games from running in the same year, the next Winter competition was held in 1994 in Lillehammer. That was soon enough for Torvill and Dean to still be competitive and they returned to secure a bronze medal.
In the forthcoming 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver Cheap Football Jerseys China , Canada, Britain is again hopeful of some medal successes. Team GB has talented athletes in snowboarding, ice skating, bobsleigh, skeleton, short track speed skating Cheap Custom Football Jerseys , curling and figure skating. So it remains to be seen if the increased financial investment, new indoor ski slopes and the successes of recent Summer Games will all contribute to richer rewards come February 2010.
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