With just three days to go to the end of the Olympics, the GB team has already done enough to make us all feel proud. Currently lying second in the medal table, its good to know that a country the size of the UK (population: 64 million) can punch well above its weight, beating the likes of China (population 1.3 billion)!
The 366 athletes that represent Great Britain will rightly be lauded when they return home and no doubt quite a few of them will be making a trip to Buckingham Palace in due course to go on bended knee in front of the Queen.
But lets also salute the small army that have worked behind the scenes to get these athletes onto the winning podiums and acknowledge all the logistics and planning that might otherwise go unnoticed too.
Starting with the biggest items, 35 horses were loaded onboard a special flight from Stanstead on 30th July to join the Team GB riders. The horses had a combined weight of 17 tonnes and were accompanied by a further 17 tonnes of equipment and several tonnes of hay. Each horse was given its own weight limit, although we’re assuming that the excess baggage restrictions were waived on this particular flight.
The horses were then allocated three to a stall and stood for the entire 12 hour flight. Intriguingly the team’s vet noted that ‘it is difficult to tell if horses get jet lag’ so we guess we’ll never know.
We do know that Team GB moved over 3,000 items of luggage and equipment for their athletes when the squad transferred from its training camp in Belo Horizonte to the Village as several items were reported missing. These apparently included swimwear. (Judging by the size of the swimming trunks that the British divers wore, the thieves could probably have carried them off in their pockets).
But not everything that was transported out to Rio will be coming back. The organisers have already opened the official ‘Rio 2016 Official Auction’ website where visitors will be given ‘exclusive access to some of the Games’ most remarkable memorabilia items’.
Listed amongst these items are the torches used in the Rio 2016 Olympic Torch Relay. Those we would probably put in a bid for, along with the GB Athletes’ Parade Flag carried so proudly by Andy Murray at the Opening Ceremony, which comes complete with a Commemorative Leather Tag. But be quick, the current bid is £3,000.
We might also be tempted to go for the match ball used in the rugby sevens final between Fiji and Great Britain. (Current bid £229)
But our hands will be firmly in our pockets when items such as the ‘podia and trays used during the medal presentation ceremonies’ come up for grabs.
If any reader would like to place a bid, then click here