Team GB Is Best Prepared British Olympic Team Ever
Department for Culture, Media And Sport (UK)
Team GB best prepared British team ever
Team GB for Beijing is the best prepared British team ever, Andy Burnham said today.
The tripling of funding for elite sport between Athens and Beijing gives team GB a good chance of its best performance in a non-boycotted Olympics since Antwerp in 1920.
Funding for elite sport in preparation for the Beijing Olympic and Paralympic games is a record £265m over the four year cycle, compared to £84m in Athens and £63m in Sydney. The increase is down to record Government investment announced in the budget of 2006 when then Chancellor Gordon Brown announced £200m extra in Government cash for elite sport.
Andy Burnham said:
"This will be the biggest Olympics yet and the GB team goes into it better prepared than ever before. Other countries and old rivals like Australia now look to us as a country that got serious about sport and are now saying they are in danger of falling behind team GB in the medal table.
"Gordon Brown's decision in 2006 to give more money to elite sport as we get ready for 2012 has made this possible. We are about to enter a glorious new era for British sport and I hope success in Beijing will inspire the next generation of young sports stars."
The record investment is supporting the development of even greater number of athletes through UK Sport's World Class Performance Programme. In Athens funding in the lead up to the games supported 500 athletes. In the lead up to Beijing 1400 athletes have been supported by funding programmes.
In the Atlanta games, there was no direct investment of public funding in elite sport and team GB came in a disappointing 36th, with only one gold medal. Medal tables show gradual improvement since the low of Atlanta rising to 10th in Sydney and 10th again in Athens.
UK Sport, the Government agency in charge of elite sport have set a target of between 35 and 41 medals and a place of eighth overall in the medals table, which would be Britain's best performance in a non-boycotted Olympics since Antwerp in 1920.
1. All funding figures include support for both Olympic and Paralympic competitors.
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