After a simply awesome showing by Team GB in Rio as the most successful abroad Olympic summer is drawing to a close, we thought we would share with you our favourite five British Olympians. The list could be endless due to so many fantastic achievements past and present, but we have whittled it down to our favourite five. So without further ado here they are below:
Sir Steve Redgrave
In what was quite simply a remarkable 16 year Olympic career, Sir Steve managed to top the podium in 5 separate Olympics, a feat only matched by four other Olympians (even Michael Phelps has only managed it in 4 separate games). Redgrave is well known for getting out of the boat in Atlanta after his fourth gold and saying: “Anyone sees me go anywhere near a boat, you’ve got my permission to shoot me”. However, he was to return for one final swan song in Sydney and impressively win gold in the coxless fours despite having been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes 3 years before the games.
Sir Chris Hoy
In London 2012, the track cycling legend went down in history and became Britain’s most successful Olympian ever (a feat since matched in Rio by Jason Kenny). There is no other word to describe Hoy than an absolute beast, at his peak he had thighs bigger than Victoria Beckham’s waist and could reach a speed of more than 45mph in less than 10 seconds from a standing start. With stats like that its no wonder that Hoy dominated the track cycling world from 2004 to 2012.
Arguably Britain’s most successful track athlete of all time, we had to find space in the top 5 for Mo Farah. A Mo signed British flag takes pride of place on the wall at Bowler & Beach HQ. His list of accomplishments is quite frankly astonishing he is the first man in history to do the ‘triple-double’ – winning the 5,000 & 10,000m at the European Championships, World Championships and the Olympics. Add this to him doing the double double at the Olympics over these distances and holding British records at 1,500m, 3,000m, two miles, 5,000m and 10,000m. Mo is going to move to marathon distance eventually and we certainly won’t be betting against him one day holding the British record at that distance as well.
No stranger to breaking records, Adams went down in history in London 2012 when she became the first woman to win an Olympic boxing title (in the flyweight division). Known as Babyface, don’t be fooled by her infectious laugh and seemingly ever present grin. The boxer from Yorkshire who says she takes losing really badly that she locks herself in her room for the day, is determined to win and keep winning which probably goes to way to explaining why she is the current European, World and double Olympic champion.
Sir Bradley Wiggins
Along with being Britain’s most decorated Olympian in terms of medals won, he is also arguably one of Britain’s most colourful Olympians. Well known by many as the fastest mod on two wheels, Wiggins is famously known for breaking convention; be that with his hair style and tattoos or the face he famously pulled on the podium at Rio. Whilst not everyones cup of tea personality wise, take one look at his medal haul and there is no disputing he is one Britain’s finest Olympians ever to have lived.