London 2012: Olympics provided “moments of inspiration”
The Olympic Games provided “moments of inspiration that will live in the hearts and minds of people for years to come”, the chairman of UK Sport has said.
Baroness Sue Campbell was speaking as UK Sport, the nation’s high performance sports agency, celebrated reaching its targets in relation to the Olympics.
Team GB secured 65 medals at the Games, including 29 golds, marking the best performance by a British team for more than 100 years.
The haul was beyond the minimum target of 48 medals announced by UK Sport before the Games, and led to a third place finish in the medal table - one place above the target set.
UK Sport also set a target of winning medals in a minimum of 12 sports, which was met with Team GB winning medals in 17 sports.
Baroness Campbell said: “London 2012 provided those moments of inspiration that will live in the hearts and minds of people for years to come.
“We have seen the power of a successful Great Britain team and I believe this could be the beginning of something truly extraordinary in this country not only for elite sport but to drive participation too.
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“I am immensely proud of what UK Sport has helped achieve for this country. London 2012 will be remembered as a great Olympic Games with a great home team.”
Of the 28 sports who agreed targets with UK Sport through the Mission 2012 process, 19 sports hit at least their minimum performance target.
Of these, 11 sports hit, or surpassed, the maximum end of their performance range, with nine sports falling short. Several of these were sports that had host nation places for London 2012 and were competing for the first time, said UK Sport.
The government has committed to investing �40million a year for the four years to the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro, and the National Lottery is expected to deliver �85m a year.
Liz Nicholl, chief executive of UK Sport, said: “This sensational display by the British Olympic team has been truly inspiring to witness.
“We have a high performance system here which is the envy of the world. We are delighted that all the careful planning; the tireless work of athletes and sports; and the strategic investment of National Lottery and Exchequer monies through our “No Compromise” approach has paid such huge dividends.
“From the outset we believed we could eclipse the excellent performance at the Beijing Olympics and attain a top four place in the medal table, with more medals in more sports.
“As well as the record-breaking medal haul, it is particularly rewarding to see that so many sports have found a winning formula. This is a great sign for the future.
“As our high performance system continues to evolve and mature, we are confident we can maintain that momentum for Rio 2016.”