chapter  14
12 Pages

Team GB, the bards of Britishness and a disunited kingdom: Mark Perryman


David Hemery burning his way round the track, Mexico 1968. Mary Peters defying gravity as she hauled her frame over the high jump bar to lift pentathlon gold in Munich 1972. David Wilkie’s victory in the pool, Montreal 1976. Coe and Ovett doubling up for glory, Moscow 1980. Daley Thompson acting the golden cheeky chappy, Los Angeles 1984. Beating Germany in the men’s hockey final, Seoul 1988. Christie and Gunnell on the track at Barcelona 1992. Redgrave vowing he’d never be seen near a boat again after winning his fourth straight gold with Pinsent at Atlanta 1996. Redgrave doing precisely that to win his fifth and final gold, again with Pinsent at Sydney 2000. Kelly Holmes winning 800m and 1500m gold against all the odds in 2004. Hoy, Pendleton and Adlington leading Team GB’s gold medal charge to fourth in the Beijing 2008 medals table.