From the 27th of July the whole world will be watching London and Great Britain as the 30th Olympics games gets under way. From a Welsh point of view I thought it would be good to have a look at what Wales will be offering to Team GB and discuss our chances of any possible medals.
I’ll be starting with probably the best known athlete and the one I believe has a great chance of leading the medal charge and that’s Dai Greene. The 400m hurdler has already achieved world, European and commonwealth champion status so gold at the Olympics really would be the icing on the cake. Key to any chances of Dai Greene’s quest for a gold medal will be mentor Malcolm Arnold who used to work with welsh and GB legend Colin Jackson. He’s still awaiting confirmation but I believe he will get the call up and have a chance to add Olympic gold to his already impressive achievements.
Next we take a look at David Davies. The swimmer already knows what it’s like to stand on a podium at the Olympics as he took bronze in the 1500m freestyle in 2004. He was also commonwealth champion at the 2010 games which again was in the 1500m freestyle. He also competed in a new open water event at the Beijing games in 2008 which was a 10k race. Davies finished 2nd but described feeling ‘delirious’ towards the end of the race due to fatigue.
In the sailing we have Cardiff born Hannah Mills pushing for a podium. She competes in the 470 class with sailing partner Saskia Clarke. Mills and Clark have already been producing promising results by getting bronze in the European games followed by silver at the World championships. Can they go one step further and grab gold at the Olympics? Well with backing from Snoop Dogg of all people, who took to twitter and YouTube to pledge his support directly to Mills, who could bet against her.
Sarah Thomas makes the Olympic GB hockey squad for the 2nd time in her long career. The 31 year old from Aberdare has been playing hockey for 15 years and has captained Wales during this time. The GB hockey team did well by winning gold at the Olympic test event against Argentina so confidence will be high going into London.
Wales are also contributing 2 boxers to Team GB, most notably Andrew Selby. Selby had an incredible 2011 by winning the European title and missing out on being crowned world champion by a single point to Russian Misha Aloyan.
There are still others who are waiting for official confirmation to make the squad such as cyclist Nicole Cooke who has already won gold at the Olympics in Beijing. Also, Geraint Thomas, who won gold at the same Olympics, will be pushing hard for a call to Team GB and a chance to compete for more medals.
Whatever happens a call up for a place in Team GB is already an amazing achievement and a chance to represent your country on home soil and become part of history. I’m sure that more than one of our Welsh athletes will get podium and some will have their best chance of achieving gold. Let’s just hope that they can, they will certainly have all the support they need and with support from gangsters rappers like Snoop Dogg, who would dare try and take our gold medals?