SHEFFIELD’s own London 2012 poster girl Jessica Ennis isn’t South Yorkshire and the region’s only hope for a medal - as The Star’s Richard Fidler explains.
VIDEO: Press the play button to watch Richard’s video report highlighting our big names to watch out for.
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IT’S the greatest show on earth.
Every four summers the world’s best sportsmen and women gather in one city to fulfil their hopes of going ‘faster, higher, stronger’ than they have ever gone before.
This year it’s our Games.
No, not just because it’s in London, I mean the representation from South Yorkshire makes this Olympics one that has a truly homemade feel.
The stories are many.
We have gold medal winners such as Paul Goodison hoping to retain his crown in the sailing off the Dorset coast in Weymouth.
There’s our golden girl and the nation’s sweetheart Jessica Ennis who will surely lift the roof off the Olympic stadium if she finishes the 800 metres as the leader in the heptathlon.
And what about Barnsley’s Ed Clancy who will lead the British men’s pursuit team in the velodrome as they look to smash the world record.
Or Doncaster’s Sarah Stevenson in the taekwondo. Surely there’s a medal chance for one of the hardest working people in sport.
Every day there will be a local athlete in action at the Games, whether it is individually or in team sports.
In the pool we have Sheffield’s Ellie Faulkner and Rotherham pair Becky Turner and Joe Roebuck taking on the likes of Rebecca Adlington and Michael Phelps.
At the other end of the Acquatic Centre, Ponds Forge based duo Nick Robinson-Baker and Monique Gladding will be taking a dive into history, hoping to snatch a medal from the all conquering Chinese.
Many of the teams have been based in Sheffield.
The story of how the women’s volleyball team has been supported by the city has been well documented in this newspaper.
But the men too, who could be one of the surprise packages of the Olympics, have been well looked after by Sheffield’s fine facilities and see the Steel City very much as home from home.
Two to look out for are Rachel Laybourne for the women’s team and Ben Pipes, skipper of the men’s, are both ex All Saints students.
The Olympics are a time to learn about and appreciate sports that you may not see from one Games to the next.
Archery or Fencing anyone? We have one representative in each.
Amy Oliver and Husayn Rosowsky are rising stars in archery and fencing respectively and definitely worth keeping an eye on throughout the Olympics.
In basketball the Sharks Nate Reinking has already fulfilled his lifelong dream by going up against the USA national team, and that’s before the competitive action begins in the Olympic Park.
So what will you be looking forward to most?
Will it be seeing one of South Yorkshire’s finest picking up a medal? Or tuning in to watch Usain Bolt attempt to make history in the 100 metres against Jamaican world champion and training partner Yohan Blake?
Maybe you’re travelling down to London for a day or more to sample the atmosphere and watch the best sport on the planet.
I feel fortunate to be able to report directly from the Olympic Park and wherever the stories take me.
Hopefully through the pages of The Star and online at www.thestar.co.uk I’ll be able to provide you with a flavour of what it’s like at the biggest sporting event this country has every hosted.
It’s here, so sit back, put your feet up and enjoy the Games!