So, clearly the benefit of lottery funding on Team GB’s success at the Olympics has made a fundamental impact on the team’s overall success. Also, I have heard several commentators referencing one or two key individuals that have made a significant impact – notably the controversial appointment of former swimming Coach Bill Sweetenham who was infamous for his inflexibility and intolerance of imperfection and also the current Team GB cycling coach.
However, what I find most bizarre is that there seems to be very little comment regarding the ability of the British athletes that have done so well at these games – the praise and plaudits seems to be focussed entirely on the structure of each, not the individuals. Surely that’s missing the point? We could have a fantastic sporting structure but a less able generation of athletes would surely not perform as well?
Firstly would the likes of Becky Adlington, Bradley Wiggins, Christine Ohorugu, Rebecca Romero, Ben Ainslie and Chris Hoy have succeeded with or without the lottery finding? Probably not. Perhaps a more appropriate question is whether Britain would have won gold in these various events with other, slightly less gifted athletes? Again, I think probably not. Clearly these are almost impossible to answer yet; surely we should give the British athletes their individual due rather than misplace attention on the money that has been invested?