Olympuics: Team GN has strength in numbers
THE 542-strong British team for London 2012 is the biggest since London hosted the Games for the first time in 1908, when 676 athletes represented the host nation.
There are 280 men (52 per cent) and 262 women (48 per cent) in the British team, compared to the 143 women who represented Britain in Beijing four years ago.
Three athletes – Alison Williamson (archery), Mary King (equestrian eventing) and Nick Skelton (equestrian jumping) – will be competing at their sixth Olympic Games matching the feat of javelin thrower Tessa Sanderson (1976-1996), fencer Bill Hoskyns (1956 to 1976) and biathlete Mike Dixon (Winter Olympics 1984-2002).
Sir Chris Hoy will be looking to add to his four track cycling golds and one silver medal in the Velodrome, Ben Ainslie bids for a fourth consecutive sailing gold medal and Rebecca Adlington has a swimming gold double to defend. The British team includes several siblings in Alistair and Jonathan Brownlee (triathlon), Peter and Richard Chambers (rowing), Jenna and Asha Randall (synchronised swimming), and Lucy and Kate MacGregor (sailing). The youngest athlete in Team GB is 15-year-old artistic gymnast Rebecca Tunney, who is also the shortest member of the team at 4ft 9in (1.47metres).
Basketball player Dan Clark is the tallest at 6ft 11in (2.12m). The oldest athlete to compete for Team GB this summer will be 56-year-old dressage rider Richard Davison.
The 542 athletes will be joined by 519 support staff and 300 volunteers to complete a 1,360-strong Team GB delegation. The first Team GB athletes from across five sport disciplines – diving, equestrian, football, shooting and swimming – will enter the Athletes’ Village in the Olympic Park when it opens on 16 July.
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