Great Britain and Northern Ireland make Olympic history

20th Aug 2016

Mo Farah’s historic 5000m Olympic gold medal, which completes his career Olympic 'double double', won this evening at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, is Team GB's 65th of the Games and ensures the team will win at least 66* medals in Rio, meaning Great Britain and Northern Ireland will top their medal tally from their home Games in 2012, a feat never achieved before by an Olympic host nation.

Host nations have typically suffered a post-hosting dip in performance without the support of jubilant home crowds and the other benefits of home advantage.

With the support of UK Sport’s strategic direction and investment of National lottery and Government funds, working in close partnership with the British Olympic Association (BOA) to provide the best possible final preparation and competition environment for Team GB in Brazil, British athletes, supported by their national governing bodies, have bucked this trend by securing 66* medals in Rio.

Liz Nicholl, CEO of UK Sport, said: "Our athletes have prepared and performed quite exceptionally in Rio, to deliver arguably the greatest achievement in British sporting history. Their dedication, skill and ability to perform on the biggest stage has delivered historic results, and I hope the nation feels proud of and united by their team.

“Our high performance system is the envy of the World, thanks to sustained investment by our Government and The National Lottery, and has now delivered something unprecedented.

“The world leading coaching, science, medicine and technology that the World Class Programmes have provided to our athletes in partnership with the institutes of sport, and the fantastic environment created for the team here in Brazil by the BOA, has enabled talent and potential to translate into world beating performances.

“The home Games in 2012 was momentous for British sport, in terms of how it galvanised and aligned the British high performance system behind a single goal, delivering record success and uniting the nation.

“Post London, we were determined to keep the legacy alive, and set out on a journey, with the unwavering backing of our Government and National Lottery players, to buck the post-hosting trend we’ve seen with other host nations, by setting out an incredibly challenging aspirational goal to do even better in Rio.

“This goal has been a driving force in delivering this historic performance in Rio, allowing us to focus every ounce of energy, focus and resource into a shared ambition; it has inspired our athletes, kept the best leaders, coaches and practitioners motivated to continue working in British sport, and ensured all the organisations responsible for high performance sport in the UK have worked collaboratively to deliver this medal success.”

Sports Minister Tracey Crouch said: "Team GB's now record-breaking medal haul in Rio is an incredible achievement and our athletes have made the country incredibly proud. I congratulate everybody involved in this herculean effort - the athletes, coaches, physios, nutritionists and all at UK Sport and the BOA, but also the families and friends who provide unwavering support to our Olympic heroes. 

"Rio 2016 has built on the legacy of London 2012, surpassing the achievements of four years ago to show once again that our elite sport, backed by National Lottery and government funding, is world-class. I know that Team GB will get a brilliant homecoming and have inspired so many people back home to get involved in sport."