by Renee Israel
The UK National Lottery has come out the winner at the London Games, with
many members of Team GB coming out in public to thank the organisation for its
incredible financial support of athletes, enabling them to do their country
Now, Prime Minister David Cameron has ensured that the medal haul has a good
chance of continuing through into the next Olympic Games - scheduled for Rio in
2016 - thanks to extended funding pledges.
The Prime Minister said that he was securing funding for UK Sport, the group
which distributes funds to British teams and athletes, beyond the 2014 date when
guarantees were meant to end.
Cameron promised that UK Sport will receive £125 million annually so that the
same level of training that was offered to athletes ahead of London 2012 could
be maintained in the build up to the Rio summer games.
Most of the money would come from the National Lottery, as it did this time
around, although the government also said that it would provide up to £40
million a year from its own pockets.
Legacy of the 2012 London Games
Speaking about his decision this weekend, Cameron said: "The motto of these
Games has been 'Inspire a Generation'. Nothing has been more inspirational than
seeing our elite athletes win."
"I want one of the legacies of these Games to be our athletes triumphing in
Rio and in future Olympics," said the Prime Minister. "Guaranteeing this funding
will help ensure that happens."
The government's decision was welcomed across the board, with Sir Chris Hoy,
six time Olympic gold medallist saying: "I am old enough to remember a time when
things were run on a shoestring. Having these guarantees will be a huge boost
for all the athletes aiming to win medals at Rio and proves we are serious about
building a strong legacy from London."
Medal Winning Olympic Funding
UK Sport's policy is to direct funding into sports which are most likely to
win medals, resulting in areas such as cycling, rowing, sailing and athletics
all receiving over £25 million each over a four year cycle.
This 'no compromise' formula has been credited with seeing Team GB advance
from the 10th spot on the medal table at the Athens Games to fourth in Beijing
and, in all likelihood, third at the London Games.
Thus, as the PM pledges Olympic Lottery funding the UK Lottery will
continue to distribute millions to British athletes in the coming years.