Money well spent on Team GB
Funds spent on Olympians taking part in Rio 2016 more than £274m
TEAM GB athletes were incredibly successful at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro – but it has come at a price.
UK Sport is the organisation responsible for distributing government and National Lottery money to summer Olympic and Paralympic sports.
The organisation was set up in 1997 in response to Team GB’s poor performance at the 1996 games in Atlanta, with the aim to maximise the performance of UK athletes in future Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The money is given out in four year cycles around each Olympic and Paralympic games.
More than £274 million was given to Olympic sports for Rio 2016, as well as £73m to Paralympic sports.
That is more than four times the £59m given out to Olympic sports, and seven times the £10m given to Paralympic sports for Sydney 2000, UK Sport’s first Olympics.
Since its inception, UK Sport has dished out more than £903m to summer Olympic sports.
Team GB have won 237 summer Olympic medals in that time.
Hillingdon-trained athletes, who prepared for the Games at Brunel University, were among those flying the British flag in Rio.
Margaret Adeoye, James Ellington, Shelayna Oskan-Clarke, Morgan Lake and Nigel Levine all represented Team GB in Brazil.
Adeoye was part of the women’s 4x400metre relay squad that took bronze to claim Britain’s 66th medal of the games, although she did not make the team for the final.
Team GB exceeded expectations by racking up 67 medals in total to become the first country to increase its medal tally in a summer games after hosting the event four years earlier.
It also represents Team GB’s most successful overseas Olympics – eclipsing the 47 medals won in Beijing in 2008 – and the best medal return since the 146 claimed in London in 1908.
Team GB’s historic haul of 67 medals works out at a cost of £3.8million per medal since 2000 and £4.1m this summer, based on UK Sport funding levels.
However, the organisation does say that success is not measured by medals alone but also ‘the number of medallists developed, and the quality of the systems and processes in place to find and support the nation’s most promising future champions’.
Rowing receives more funding from UK Sport than any other summer Olympic sport – £32.6m.
Cycling receives the next most (£30.3m), followed by athletics (£26.8m), sailing (£25.5m), swimming (£20.8m) and canoeing (£20m).
n SUCCESS: Rio gold medallists Max Whitlock (left) and Mo Farah (right); (left) Team GB arrive back at Heathrow Airport