By Nikki Lombardi
The Tokyo 2021 Summer Olympic Games and Summer Paralympics are finally due to take place this month after being postponed due to the global pandemic, it’s actually only ever been postponed in the past due to world wars.
It’s come a long way since the first Olympic Games in Athens in 1896 where only 14 countries competed, now it impressively has over 200. The first Paralympic Games were held in 1960 in Rome, as a result of the Stoke Mandeville Wheelchair Games, devised by Dr Ludwig Gittmaan for soldiers with spinal cord injuries. Team GB is currently ranked 2nd at the Paralympics with 626 gold medals!
Great Britain has competed in every single summer and winter Olympics, including Northern Ireland; we’ve won 851 medals at the summer games, and another 32 at the winter games.
Cambridgeshire’s had great success in raising young Olympians and Paralympians, you may remember some great names from the 2012 games such as Jonnie Peacock from Doddington. Jonnie won gold in 2012 and 2016 for the 100m and you can even see the gold post box in Doddington painted in his honour from the 2012 London games. There’s also Louis Smith from Peterborough who took the silver medal for his pommel horse routine in 2012. Not forgetting Daniel Goodfellow from Cambridge, part of the Parkside Pools Dive Team. He won bronze with Tom Daley in the men’s 10m synchronised platform dive at the 2016 games.
So, which locals can we expect to see this time? Daniel Goodfellow is back! He’ll be competing with Jack Laugher in the 3m synchronised platform dive. Also from Cambridge, we have Imogen Grant, a Cambridge University Boat Club rower, she’ll be competing with Emily Craigh in the lightweight women’s double event. From Huntingdon we have Dave Phillipson, this will be Dave’s fourth Paralympic Games where he’ll be competing in paracanoe for the first time since switching from wheelchair tennis where he was ranked number 1 for Great Britain.
Cambridgeshire has a great history with medal-winning, and we can’t wait to cheer you on and to see how you all do during the Olympic and Paralympic games! Good luck to everyone competing!