The Run Up to Rio
'A showcase of British talent'
Will Tomlinson | 16 June 2016

With the Rio Olympic Games rapidly approaching, Brazil has been busy putting up the stage ready for the opening ceremony on 5th August 2016. In 2012, London held the Olympic Games and had an opening ceremony to amaze, excite, and dazzle the world. It is hoped that Brazil will also be able to create a spectacular atmosphere with exuberant carnivals and colourful costumes that will mirror the UK’s memorable performance four years ago.

The Olympic Games is a time for athletes from all corners of the globe to come together. The Games originated in Ancient Greece and were named after Mount Olympus, where the Gods were said to have lived. Many Olympians compete each year carrying their hopes and dreams of a medal made of the most precious material. The crème de la crème of athletes come from even some of the world’s smaller countries, such as Usain Bolt from Jamaica. The UK definitely brings its fair share of extraordinary talent as well.

Adam Gemili is 22 years old and has started to make his mark as one of Britain’s best sprinters. He won the Junior World Championships in 2011 for the 100m and, aged 18, he qualified for the 2012 Olympic Games with relatively little sprinting experience, having only started running a few years previously. He reached the semi-finals for the 100m sprint in 2012 but did not qualify for the final. Since then (in 2015), he was the 100th man to break the 10 second barrier, an achievement in itself. However, he picked up a hamstring injury during the race, showing just how immense the strain put on your body, both physically and mentally, is. In recent interviews Gemili has said that he isn’t 100% ready for Rio, but we hope that this star will shine with the natural talent he has already.

Hannah Cockroft was one of our medal successes in the London 2012 Paralympic Games. She won Gold medals in both the Women’s 100m T34 (one of the classifications for wheelchair athletes) and 200m T34 track events, and holds world records for both. Due to her speedy times on the track, she has been aptly nicknamed ‘Hurricane Hannah’. Growing up in Yorkshire, she was told she may not even live past her teenage years, having suffered two strokes early on. However, her disability has been no barrier for her. The 23-year-old has won Gold medals in World Championships across the world, demonstrating her impeccable technique. She is a key member of our Paralympic Team striving for gold this summer; definitely one to watch.

Claudia Fragapane has appeared as one of Britain’s young gymnastic stars and joined Team England in 2014 for the Glasgow Commonwealth Games. Despite her youth, only 18 years old, she has produced some jaw dropping performances. Fragapane won four Gold medals in Glasgow and was one of the main figures in helping England’s Team Gymnastics win a bronze medal; an incredible feat for someone so young. Following her outstanding performance at the Commonwealth Games, she was nominated and won BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year. She will be competing in Rio this year and will hopefully bring home more medals for Team GB.

With a few incredible athletes to look out for this summer from Team GB, the Rio Olympics should be a fantastic event to showcase our sporting talent. Fingers crossed we can be as successful as we were in London.


Image sourced under the Creative Commons Licence.

James Routledge 2016