The nation’s greatest ever, says Britain boss

Olympic athletes hailed by national association.

Afp August 13, 2012

LONDON: Britain’s Olympic athletes were hailed as the nation’s ‘greatest ever team’ after they seized the most medals in more than a century at the London Games.

But as the hosts ensured third place in the medals table, British Olympic Association (BOA) Chairman Colin Moynihan was quick to warn that the momentum created must turn into a lasting legacy.

“This team has excelled. There have been historic, unforgettable images with a team united and focused,” said Moynihan. “We are very proud of the outstanding success.”

Great Britain started the final day with 28 golds and a total of 62, behind the US and China, but ahead of Russia who had 21 golds in a total of 78.

The performances undoubtedly were a factor in British Prime Minister David Cameron’s decision to guarantee funding for Olympic sports until the 2016 Games in Rio.

The country’s grim economic prospects had appeared set to see a reduction in financial support for sport ahead of the Rio Games, but on Sunday it was agreed that £125 million would be allocated annually for the next four years to maintain funding at the same level as the run-up to London.

“The motto of these Games has been ‘inspire a generation’. Nothing has been more inspirational than seeing our elite athletes win gold this summer,” said Cameron.

“There’s a direct link between elite success and participation in sport. I want one of the legacies of these Games to be our athletes triumphing in Rio in 2016, and in future Olympic Games.”

Published in The Express Tribune, August 13th, 2012.