After two weeks waking up panicked at ridiculous times of the morning, wondering why your alarm is screaming at you, before running to the sofa to catch Team GB win yet another gold. After countless midnight coffees and snacks to STAY AWAKE! And even more coffee in the morning to get through the day. After endless debates on sports you actually have no clue about… the Rio Olympics 2016, sadly, is over.
But what an Olympics it was. 320 British human athletes went to Rio. 320 Olympians, gladiators, even Trojan horses (those dancing horses in dressage just can’t be real!) came back on Tuesday morning on a ‘victoRIOus’, golden-nosed Boeing 747.
With 67 medals, Team GB 2016 are the first representing a country who have improved on a home medal haul at the next games. Not only that, they won more gold medals across more sports than any other nation – 15 different sports in total – and improved on their medal haul for the fifth consecutive games.
But who are these supermen and superwomen? We’ve highlighted just a few of our greatest gold medal victories.
Farah became a household name in 2012, when he won gold in the 5,000m and 10,000m London Olympics. Since then, he has gone from strength to strength and is now one of the most well-known and decorated athletes in British athletics history.
Despite a mid-race fall in the 10,000m, Farah powered through to the front and still managed to win. Showing us all that the saying ‘pick yourself up, dust yourself off and carry on’ really is possible.
At age 23, Whitlock gained Britain’s first-ever Olympic gold in the men’s floor exercise. If that wasn’t enough, he went on to win another gold on the pommel horse and a bronze in the all-around.
A true champion, Adams has already won Olympic, European and Commonwealth golds and is the first British boxer to retain an Olympic title for 92 years by winning a unanimous points decision in the flyweight final.
One half of Kenny-Trott Olympic power couple, Jason Kenny won an incredible three gold medals in the velodrome this year with a dramatic Keirin that had to be restarted twice because of infringements. He also won in the individual sprint and team sprint. He’s now achieved 7 medals in total, and equalled Sir Chris Hoy’s British record of six Olympic golds.
The first British woman to win four Olympic gold medals; Laura Trott rivalled her fiancé’s successes this year at the Olympics. The women’s team pursuit not only won, but they set a new world record doing it.
Apparently winning the Aegon Championships and the Wimbledon Championships in one year just wasn’t enough. Murray became the first tennis player to win two Olympic singles titles by beating Argentina’s Juan Martin del Potro 7–5, 4–6, 6–2, 7–5.
Each victory, be it gold, silver or bronze became a reason for a celebration, however somewhat sleep deprived. We danced. We shouted, silently – it was 4am in the morning – we talked endlessly of the greatness of our British athletes.
But we also commiserated each and every defeat as if it were our own (Lutalo Muhammad – sob!).
So thank you, team GB, for showing us that dreams can be achieved and records broken. That Britain, though small, is truly great. Thank you for giving us the inspiration to take up the sports we forgot we loved.
Thank you, even, for all the bumps, bruises and breaks we received in foolishly attempting to somersault, high jump, sprint, or copy a horses’ dressage.