Britain's greatest Olympians
06 July 2012
For a small island nation we are a sporty bunch, whether it comes from running from marauding Vikings or escaping from the weather, we have a competitive nature in our genes. Winning 207 gold medals in the summer Olympics from 1896-2008 demonstrates the British desire to succeed in sport — only the USA, Russia (USSR) and Germany have won more gold medals.
Naturally with all this golden glory, the GB team has produced some outstanding athletes who will be remembered for their athletic achievements, athletes whose names conjure up a moment of sporting glory that made a nation proud. All of these sportsmen and women have won at least 2 gold medals:
Sir Steven Redgrave. It is impossible to create a list of the greatest British Olympians without mentioning the ruler of rowing. 5 Olympic gold medals and 1 bronze.
Sir Chris Hoy. This superlative cyclist is set to eclipse Steven Redgrave and may well become Britain’s most successful Olympian ever at the 2012 Olympics. 4 gold and 1 silver.
Sir Matthew Pinsent. Pinsent also managed to win 10 gold medals in world championship rowing events, thereby cementing his reputation as a rower supreme. 4 gold medals.
Henry Taylor. This swimmer from Lancashire won 3 gold medals at a single Olympics (1908 London), a British record equalled by Chris Hoy 100 years later. 3 gold and 2 bronze.
Ben Ainslie CBE. Sailing. 3 gold and 1 silver.
Baron Sebastian Coe. Athletics. 2 gold and 2 silver.
Dame Kelly Holmes. Athletics. 2 gold and 1 silver.
Daley Thompson CBE. Athletics. 2 gold medals.
Rebecca Adlington. Swimming. 2 gold medals.
James Cracknell OBE. Rowing. 2 gold medals.
Steve Williams OBE. Rowing. 2 gold medals.
British competitors have won medals, broken records and entertained audiences all around the world. For the 2012 London Olympics British fans can cross their fingers and hope for the best when watching Jessica Ennis in the heptathlon, Chris Hoy on his bike (and frankly all the other fantastic male and female British cyclists), Ben Ainslie rocking his boat, Phillips Idowu leaping for greatness, all the male and female rowers going for gold and Rebecca Adlington striving to improve her tally of swimming gold medals.
We also have strong prospects in events such as taekwondo, boxing, equestrian, gymnastics, diving, tennis, hockey and football.
Things are looking golden for the 2012 GB Team.
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