Sheffield’s key supporting role to Team GB’s amazing Olympic successes has been revealed.
The city’s English Institute of Sport, where the likes of gold medal-winning boxer Nicola Adams and Sheffield’s own Jessica Ennis-Hill trained before the Rio Games, is part of ten high-performance centres across the country which supported almost every British athlete who ended up on the podium.
The EIS said its centres have provided support to 93 per cent of the 67 medal-winning individuals and teams in the British squad.
More than 100 EIS employees, including a delegation from Sheffield, were out in Brazil supporting British athletes in both accredited and non-accredited roles, with further EIS staff supporting remotely from the UK.
As the ‘team behind the team’, the EIS has worked closely with sports, coaches and athletes over the Rio cycle to provide the best package of science, medicine and technological support.
Nicola Adams, who won a historic second gold medal in the women’s lightweight category at Rio 2016, praised the contribution of the EIS in helping her and the majority of athletes at Rio 2016 achieve success.
“We have a great team of sport scientists and medical staff from the EIS that work with us at GB Boxing,” she said.
“They are with us every day in training and travel to competitions with the squad so they are a critical part of the team and our preparations.
“From a medical point of view they have been really important for me in the Rio cycle as I had a shoulder injury in 2014.
“The medical team helped me to nurse it through the Commonwealth Games – where I won gold – and then got me in for an operation straight away so that I could recover in time to get myself in peak condition for 2016.
“I owe a great deal to the medical staff for the way they have helped me to manage the injury and then with the rehab and getting back into top condition.”
EIS National Director Nigel Walker, who has been attending the Rio 2016 Olympics, said: “The aspirational target for Team GB was to win more medals after hosting a home Olympic Games and this has been achieved.
“This is an absolutely monumental achievement.
“Over the past two weeks there have been many mentions from athletes and coaches alike of the contribution the EIS has made to medal winning performances.
“We have calculated that 93 per cent of Team GB’s medallists were supported by the EIS during the Rio cycle which is up from the 86% which were supported in the London cycle.
“This is proof – if it were needed – of the increasing impact we are having on the high performance system in the UK.
“The high performance system is working better than ever with the British Olympic Association (BOA), UK Sport, the National Governing Bodies (NGBs) and the institutes in all four home countries collaborating and working together to produce the results.
“This collaborative working has been backed and supported financially by the government and National Lottery.
“Now our attention will turn to the Paralympics and the support required from us to make them a success from a GB perspective too.
“The EIS is proud to have played a crucial role to making this historic achievement become reality.”