Which five sports would Team GB expect medals from if they were included at the Olympiad?
As if we weren’t already sufficiently excited about the Olympic Games starting this week Bradley Wiggins comes along and sweeps the nation off its feet in a wave of optimistic euphoria by becoming one of Great Britain’s true sporting legends. By bringing the maillot jaune back over the Channel for the first time he has given even more stoking to the flames of belief in Olympic glory.
But the medal haul could be greater if it wasn’t for the omission of some sports from the Olympics. Which sports could we have won medals in if they fitted with the Olympic criteria?
Despite obvious stiff competition from USA in the form of Tiger Woods, Bubba Watson and co. Team GB golf would definitely be a medal favourite. With Luke Donald, Lee Westwood and Rory McIlroy at our disposal it would just be a question of who represented us. Golf is returning to the Olympic schedule after a century in 2016 so these questions will be answered.
Rugby Union (Sevens)
Another sport that will be present in 2016 and with a combination of the English, Scottish, Northern Irish and Welsh rugby players we will be more than capable of challenging for medals. In the 7’s form of the game Great Britain rugby will fancy a punt but face stiff southern hemisphere competition from New Zealand, South Africa, Australia, and Fiji genuine medal contenders.
At the moment there are 3 British men in the World’s top ten all of which are English. With James Willstrop and Nick Matthew currently occupying the top two world rankings the potential for an all British final would be a genuine and likely consideration. The main opposition would be France’s Gregory Gaultier and Thierry Lincou and any one of the 6 Egyptian players currently residing in the world’s top 15. Nicol David of Malaysia dominates the women’s game but with the world number 2 and 3 being British there would have been medal hopes.
Darts (PDC players)
There is no doubt that Great Britain’s men would be the leading nation if darts was considered an Olympic sport. The principles of darts don’t particulary fit in with the Olympic motto of faster, higher, stronger but still. With Englishmen Adrian Lewis, James Wade and Scotsman Gary Anderson accompanied by Welshmen Mark Webster Great Britain would have a formidable team to try and prevent Australia’s Simon Whitlock or The Netherlands Raymond Van Barneveld from becoming gold medallists. Oh there’s also this guy called Phil Taylor, he is supposed to be pretty good.
Test cricket at the Olympics is a little too far flung an idea but there are no such time constraints on the shorter format of the game. Any GB team would mostly be made up of Englishmen and some naturalised South Africans but with England men and women being one of the worlds best at the moment any GB cricket side would be a good bet for gold, silver or bronze. New sports aren’t available for selection until; prophetically; the Olympics in 2020; Twenty-Twenty cricket debuting at the 2020 games. Wouldn’t that be a story?
Its hypothetical of course but which sports could GB excel at if included at the Olympic Games?
image: © richard_of_england