Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Olympians Urge UK to Invest in Sports; Medallist Says Troubled Teens Should Box

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Olympians Urge UK to Invest in Sports; Medallist Says Troubled Teens Should Box

Article excerpt

Byline: Margaret Davis

BRITAIN'S top Olympians are urging the Government to get behind British sport and maintain the record-breaking success of UK athletes for 2012.

Triple gold medal winner Chris Hoy called for continued backing for elite athletes, but also help for the nation as a whole.

He said: "We need support not just at an elite level, but also facilities to encourage youngsters to take up sport, not just for the Olympics but for the general wellbeing of the nation."

Rebecca Adlington, who won two gold medals in Beijing, also called on the Government to continue its support.

She said: "This team has performed so well. It has inspired a lot of youngsters to get into sport and I think just carry on what we're doing and get behind us."

The Scottish National Party and actor Sean Connery have called for Scotland to have its own Olympic team, but Hoy said the focus should now be on Britain.

He said he was equally proud to be a Scot and British and the two were not mutually exclusive.

Hoy was selected to carry the British flag in the closing ceremony in Beijing.

The champion cyclist, who became the first British athlete to win three gold medals in the same Olympic Games for 100 years, said: "It was crazy. Meeting David Beckham, Jimmy Page from Led Zeppelin, it was just an unbelievable night and it finished off what's been an incredible two weeks for me and the rest of the team."

Adlington was surprised to learn Yates's Bar in her home town of Mansfield was to be renamed The Adlington Arms.

She said: "I just feel proud to come from there, let alone have something named after me."

Cyclist Nicole Cooke, who became the second Welsh woman to win Olympic gold, will take part in an open top bus tour in her home country.

She said: "It is the spirit that we had in the Olympic village that really pulled this all together. …

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