Bristol has a dozen representatives among the 542-strong Team GB team at the London Olympics, from the captain of the water polo team to a hockey player still a student at Bristol University. To watch them in action, the big screen at Millennium Square is sure to be a popular location, while Brasserie Blanc are hosting a pop-up sports bar with smaller big screen in Quakers Friars.
(Click on the athletes’ photographs to follow their progress on the Team GB website)
Date of birth: 10/03/93
Jack has been on the books of Birmingham City since a pupil at Clevedon Community School. While still aged 16, he made his reserve team debut, and signed his first professional contract as soon as he turned 17. The goalkeeper was only included in Stuart Pearce’s side after receiving special dispensation to participate, as the FA had decided that no players in England’s Euro 2012 squad would be eligible for selection.
Sport: Artistic gymnastics
Date of birth: 26/01/89
Imogen is originally from Winterbourne but now lives in Portishead. Overcoming numerous injury setbacks, she couldn’t walk for several months after breaking both legs shortly after her Olympic debut in Beijing but at the 2010 Commonwealth Games she won two golds and a team silver. Sample tweet: “in the olympic village and its abit surreal.. in the girls apartment watching benidorm”
Date of birth: 01/02/87
Born in Bristol but living in Edinburgh, Sally started at Thornbury Judo Club. She won silver in the Junior World Championships in 2006 and came fifth in the Worlds in 2010. Away from judo, she likes baking, shopping and going to the cinema. Sample tweet: “Loughborough for kitting out tomorrow! Then tuesday go into the village. Excited. : -) Cant wait to start fighting now!”
Sport: Synchronised swimming
Date of birth: 20/08/88
A member of Bristol Central club, Katie has been training full-time with the GB Senior Squad in 2007 and now lives in Hampshire. Her finest sporting moment to date is beating the USA for the first time at the World Championships in 2011. Her ultimate relaxation is deep breathing, and going to your ‘safe place’. The one thing she cannot live without is her phone. And her tip for the top is never say, “I can’t”, and always believe in yourself.
Date of birth: 11/06/91
A student at Loughborough who has been revising as well as training at the Team GB holding camp, Emily is a member of Bristol & West Athletics Club. In 2011, she won bronze at the World University Games in the 4x400m, was fourth in the 4x100m and was an individual finalist in the 200m. At the European U23 Championships, she was a 4x100m bronze medalist.
Sport: Water polo
Date of birth: 14/08/78
GB captain Craig is a professional water polo player in Pescara, Italy, who comes from a strong family of swimmers: his grandma was a world record holder and his mum swam in the Commonwealth Games in 1966. He cites his family and early coaches in Bristol as the greatest influences on his career, which before taking up the sport professionally saw Craig as a geography teacher at Manchester Grammar School.
Date of birth: 09/06/76
The Kingswood-born archer, now Bishopston-based, lost out on bronze at the 2004 Olympics by a solitary point. Described as the ‘Kevin Pietersen of archery’ for his flamboyant character and approach, Larry is looking forward to his third Games. He qualified as an individual for Athens in 2004, and was the only British archer in the men’s tournament, going through from the head-to-head rounds in 31st place to the third place play-off.
Date of Birth: 17/03/83
Now based in the USA, Claire gained her doctorate from Bristol University. In 2009 she won a place at the World Half Marathon Championships by winning the national trial in Bristol. In 2010 she won again in Bristol, after which she made her marathon debut in New York. She backpacked around Mexico after the New York Marathon, and recuperated after Chicago last year in Costa Rican rainforests.
Sport: Water polo
Date of birth: 05/07/91
Bristol-born Ciaran plays for Cannstatt in Stuttgart, Germany. One of the youngest members of the squad, Ciaran played his first senior international last year against Slovenia. He has captained the GB junior team and won Most Valuable Player at an international tournament in Olhao, Portugal. He counts scoring a goal against Romania this year as one of the highlights of his international career.
Event: 10m individual
Date of birth: 18/12/85
One of six on the London 2012 diving team to have competed at Beijing 2008, where she came eighth in the 10m synchro and 10th in the 10m platform. Stacie won the British 10m individual title in June, where she also broke the national record. She finished eighth at the Europeans and is studying for a PhD in astrophysics from the University of Cambridge, after which she hopes to become a pilot.
Event: 110m Hurdles
Date of Birth 15/05/92
The UWE business student who divides his time between Bristol and Stratford-upon-Avon is the current UK indoor champion and junior record holder. He was selected to represent Great Britain at the 2012 World Indoor Championships in Istanbul, his first senior international representation, where he surpassed expectations by winning his heat, beating Chinese superstar Liu Xiang.
Event: Coxless Four
Date of birth: 27/07/81
The UWE graduate is a Lieutenant in the Royal Navy and known in the rowing world as ‘Commander’. Pete took up rowing during the second year of his mechanical engineering course at UWE and quickly progressed from novice crew to club president, to reigning Olympic champion in the men’s four. He was awarded an MBE in the 2009 New Year’s Honours list in recognition of his achievement.
Date of birth: 21/11/90
Currently studying law part-time at Bristol University and playing for Clifton Ladies in Coombe Dingle, at 21 Georgie is the youngest member of the British women’s team. Despite also being the least experienced in the squad, she still has nearly 50 international caps after making her international debut in 2010. She formed part of the England team that won bronze at the recent World Cup and ran with the Olympic Torch in Bristol.