by Renee Israel
Yet another Olympic athlete has come out to publicly thank UK National
Lottery players for its ongoing support of British sports.
Mark Nesbitt, part of Team GB's Olympic archery team, joined his fellow
competitors to give a big thanks to the lottery for creating the Team GB Olympic
Ambition Programme, of which he is a part of.
Since the National Lottery started funding athletes in 1997, a staggering 438
Olympic and Paralympic medals have been won by lottery-funded athletes.
One only has to examine Team GB's performance before and after the funding
began to realise how essential the funding is. The team won only a single gold
medal in the Atlanta Olympics of 1996, compared to 19 in Beijing in 2008.
The TeamGB Olympic Ambition programme essentially aims on preparing coaches
and athletes to compete in future Olympics such as the 2014 Sochi Winter Games
or the 2016 Rio Summer Games.
UK Lottery's £2.2 Billion Olympic Investment
The UK Lottery has spent an incredible amount of money contributing to the
success of the London Games, and this can clearly be seen not only in the
infrastructure, but also in the team's performance across the board in
practically every sport.
"I'd like to thank all National Lottery players for their support," said the
Chair of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games,
former runner, Sebastian Coe. "Not only has the National Lottery invested £2.2
billion into the infrastructure and venues, but they're also helping athletes to
be the best they can."
Coe said that funding from organisations like the National Lottery make a big
difference to an athlete's life and can help ensure that they go from "having
the potential to succeed to actually achieving their dreams."
John Major's Olympic Contribution
As UK lottery players were thanked this week, the chairman of the
British Olympic Association reminded the public that it was under John Major's
administration that the decision was made to start funding athletes through the
"You cannot unravel in terms of performance all the different elements that
when brought together create a medal performance," said Colin Moynihan. "But
what you can say about the funding that John Major and the lottery has delivered
is that it has provided a platform for athletes with outstanding talents to
deliver personal bests."
Moynihan said that the lottery funding enabled athletes to be surrounded by
quality coaching and all the support staff necessary to assist them, as well as
the technology when applicable.