Great Britain at the Olympics

Great Britain at the Olympics

Great Britain is the name used by the United Kingdom at the Olympic Games] . Great Britain was one of 14 teams to compete in the first Games, the 1896 Summer Olympics, and has competed at every Games. Athletes representing Great Britain have won 715 medals at the Summer Olympic Games, and another 21 at the Winter Olympic Games. Great Britain is the only team to have won at least one gold medal at every Summer Games.

Great Britain was the name assigned to the United Kingdom team by the International Olympic CommitteeFact|date=August 2008 for the 1908 Summer Olympics along with the IOC country code "GBR". The team is also referred to as Team GB or Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Under the terms of a long-standing settlement between the British Olympic Association and the Olympic Council of Ireland, athletes from Northern Ireland can elect to represent Ireland at the Olympics, despite it being a different country. Athletes in sports organised on an all-Ireland basis such as boxing tend to represent the Republic of Ireland whereas those in sports organised on an UK basis such as athletics tend to represent Great BritainFact|date=September 2008.

Hosted Games

London, the United Kingdom's capital, has hosted the Games on two occasions, and is scheduled to host the 2012 Summer Olympics:

Medals by sport


Great Britain has competed in all Badminton events held at the Summer Olympics since badminton made its full debut as an Olympic sport in 1992.



Great Britain won its first fencing medal, a silver, in 1908 at the London Games.

In 1974 the FA abolished the distinction between "amateur" and "professional" footballers in England. This ended the practice of "shamateurism", where players claimed to be amateur but still got irregular payments from their clubs. At that time the Olympics were only open to amateur competitors, so the British Associations were no longer able to enter a football team. [citeweb|title=Why did Great Britain stop entering a football team into the Olympics?|url=|publisher=The FA|accessdate=2008-08-04] Also, the Great Britain is not a member of FIFA and its athletes participate in international football competitions as members of the national teams of the home nations (England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland), none of which have National Olympic Committees. As a result Great Britain usually does not participate in Olympic qualifying tournaments.

Fans from England (Football Supporter's Federation), Scotland (Association of Tartan Army clubs), Norther Ireland (Amalgamation of Official NI Fans Clubs) and Wales (Football Supporter's Federation Cymru) along with the Scottish, Welsh and Norther Irish football assocations have all publically voiced their concern about a footballing Team GB. [] The English FA and the British Olympic Association have planned to submit an English only team nonetheless.


Great Britain was one of four nations to play golf at the first Olympic golf events in 1900. They did not compete in the only other Olympic golf competition held in 1904.

Jeu de paume

Great Britain hosted the only Olympic jeu de paume tournament in 1908.


Great Britain was one of four nations to compete in the debut of Olympic polo. Three of the five teams had British players, and those three teams took both the top two places and split the third place with the Mexican team.


Britain took a silver medal in the first Olympic rugby competition, in 1900.


Great Britain was the most successful nation in swimming in 1900, its debut in the sport. Jarvis's pair of gold medals and Kemp's bronze made Britain's first outing a successful one.

Tug of war

Great Britain's Olympic tug of war debut came when the nation hosted the Games in 1908. Great Britain were then one of only 2 teams to compete in 1912 and they also won the last Tug of War competition held in the Olympics in 1920.



ee also




Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.