In the weeks that followed since Team GB returned home from Brazil after a successful Rio 2016, Great Britain have been blessed with the merit of being named “the world’s best Olympic team”, following a record-breaking performance.
Britain fell just short of China in the medal table, sitting in a proud second place with a total of 27 gold medals, 23 silver and 17 bronze. This achievement also marked Team GB as being the first team to win more medals after hosting the Olympic Games, when they were held in London in 2012.
Speaking to the BBC, Lord Coe, the chairman of the British Olympic Association who collected the award on behalf of Team GB, commented, “That feat created history as we became the first nation ever to win more medals at a Games immediately after hosting, surpassing our achievement of 65 medals at London 2012.”
Chief Executive of the British Olympic Association, Bill Sweeney, added, “It’s a fantastic achievement for both the women’s hockey team and the whole of the British Olympic Association. We’ve had an incredible year.”
However, this was not the full extent of Team GB’s victory. The best female team of Rio 2016 was awarded to Great Britain’s women’s hockey team, who won the gold after defeating reigning champions the Netherlands in a nail-biting penalty shootout. Approximately nine million people followed the match, which was broadcast on BBC One, and SportsAid alumni and goalkeeper Maddie Hinch found herself trending on Twitter after saving all four shots taken by Team GB’s Dutch adversaries.
Speaking to the BBC, Maddie commented, “Goalkeeping has its highs and lows. You can be a villain, but you can also be a hero in the moment. It helped that the Dutch had a shootout in their semi-final, so that gave me a chance to see what they do. I basically give myself a game plan for each player and I execute that. Thankfully it worked.”
SportsAid, who provide essential funding to budding young athletes and paralympic athletes at the start of their journeys to greatness, also provided funding for 15 other members of Team GB’s women’s hockey team, including Hollie Webb, who dealt the coup de grâce in the defining shootout to win the gold for Britain.
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