Great Britain is one of five countries to have been represented at all Summer Olympic Games (the others are Greece, France, Switzerland and Australia). The British Olympic Association and the IOC both refer to the team from the United Kingdom as Great Britain, even though it is officially the team of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The team also represents the Crown dependencies (Channel Islands and the Isle of Man) and all but three of the British overseas territories. There is a push for Scotland to separate from TeamGB and send its own squad in future Games.
Great Britain has been in all of the modern Olympic meets for both Summer and Winter Games. They have also hosted a few of the Summer Games and they are one of the strongest countries of all the teams that have ever attended the Summer Games.
Their best performance in the Summer Games is when they hosted the 1908 Olympic Games in London where they snagged a total of 146 Olympic medals that includes a staggering 56 gold medal count. This level of domination has rarely been equaled, let alone surpassed by any country. Even in their worst performance, which 1996 Atlanta Summer Olympics, they were able to snag 15 Olympic medals with one gold.
As a matter of fact, except for 1952 and 1996, Great Britain has always managed to rank within the top 13 teams, most of the time, they are in the top team and a lot of those are within the top three. Great Britain is indeed one of the strongest, if not the absolute top, in most of the modern Summer Olympics.
The story is a bit different when it comes to the Winter Games. They have a perfect attendance record since 1924 and managed to snag quite a few medals since their debut but not as frequent as they have in the Summer Games. Nevertheless, they are still considered one of the perennial powerhouses of the Olympic Games.
- In 1896 Great Britain did not compete under their own flag, as they competed as part of the 'United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland' team. In 1904, there was no British team. Two athletes representing Ireland participated, winning one gold and one silver medal. Because Ireland was then part of the United Kingdom, these athletes are classified as British.
- Great Britain is the only nation to have won at least one gold medal at every Summer Games.
- United Kingdom has hosted the Olympic Games three times, in London in 1908 and 1948, and again in 2012. Also, London was also awarded the 1944 Games, but due to the ongoing war it was not held.
- British Equestrian competitor Lorna Johnstone was 70 years and 5 days old when she rode at the 1972 Games, becoming the oldest woman ever to compete at an Olympic Games.
- A British team is the only nation to win an Olympic cricket contest (in 1900), becoming the only Olympic gold medalists in cricket, and therefore the current Olympic Champions.
- In 1920, Philip Noel-Baker of Great Britain won the silver in the 1500-meter run. He later became the only Olympian ever to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
- At the Sydney Games in 2000, British rower Steven Redgrave became the first athlete to win gold medals in five consecutive Olympics.
- In Beijing 2008, British Synchronized Diver Tom Daley was 14 years and 80 days old when the Games began, beating the record for the youngest British male Olympian by over a year. The previous youngest was diver Fred Hodges, who was 15 years and 94 days when he went to the 1936 Olympics.
- The best all-time performing cyclist at the Olympic Games is British cyclists Jason Kenny, who has won seven gold medals and two silvers. The top female cyclist is six-time medalist (five of which is gold) Laura Kenny (nee Trott) also from Great Britain.
- British skateboarder Sky Brown, who was actually born in Japan, became the youngest British Olympian ever at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
- Great Britain at the Winter Olympics
- More trivia from each Country at the Olympic Games
- London 1908
- London 1944
- London 1948
- London 2012
- About Sport in the UK