Sports Minister Nigel Huddleston and Olympic legend Dame Katharine Grainger have expressed the nation’s “pride and excitement” in the prospects for Team GB, ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games officially launching today.
The team, which includes 272 athletes from England, 52 from Scotland, 29 from Wales and six from Northern Ireland, have benefited from a funding package of £342 million for our Olympians and Paralympians since the Rio 2016 Games, thanks to the Government and National Lottery players. This has been channelled through UK Sport, of which Dame Katharine is its Chair.
With the challenges of disrupted training schedules, lockdowns and additional safety measures, this funding, coupled with hard work and extreme dedication, has enabled 376 Team GB athletes to reach their full potential ahead of these extraordinary games – making it the biggest Team GB at an overseas games.
It will also be the first summer Olympic Games to have more female athletes than male. 201 female athletes and 175 male athletes will be competing across 26 sports.
Ahead of travelling to Tokyo for a few days later this month, Nigel Huddleston recently visited some of the Team GB athletes at Bisham Abbey training camp, and witnessed how hard they have worked and the sacrifices they have made, in order to prepare and be in peak condition at exactly the right time.
Sport Minister Nigel Huddleston said:
Dame Katherine Grainger, Chair, UK Sport, said:
First-time Olympic athletes have not been deterred by the unusual circumstances, with almost 70% of the team making their Olympic and Paralympic debut in Tokyo.
Recent research published by UK Sport has revealed that more than three quarters of the UK will follow the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, engaging in their favourite sporting events, which will help inspire millions across the nation to get more active as we emerge from the pandemic.