Money well spent on Team GB

Funds spent on Olympians tak­ing part in Rio 2016 more than £274m

Harefield Gazette - - SPORT - by David Dubas-Fisher & Matt Lewis tms-sport@trin­i­tymir­ror.com

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

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