The 2016 Olympics were hosted in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil over 5th – 21st August.
With 207 countries represented by 11,238 athletes competing in 306 events across 28 sports.
As far as medals won, it was the best ever result for Team GB. Coming 2nd in the Medal Table with 67 medals. 27 Gold; 23 Silver and 17 Bronze.
A touch better than London 2012 when Team GB were 3rd in the medal table, with 65 medals. 29 Gold; 17 Silver and 19 Bronze.
However, what about our cyclists?
At both Rio and London Team GB Cyclists topped the medal table, taking 12 medals at each. (Rio: 6 Gold; 4 Silver and 2 Bronze. London: 8 Gold; 2 Silver and 2 Bronze.)
Team GB also topped the Medal Table at the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics, gaining 14 medals. 8 Gold; 4 Silver and 2 Bronze.
Over the 3 Games, nearly all the medal success has come from our Track Cyclists.
Our only success in the Road Racing Rio 2016, Chris Froome gaining the only medal – a Bronze in the Men’s Time Trial.
Whereas the Men’s Track Team took 4 of the 5 Gold medals on offer and the Women’s Track Team took 2 of the 5 Gold Medals.
We did not manage to win any of medals in the BMX nor the Mountain Biking events.
Many Olympic and World Records were also broken. In addition, Jason Kenny matched teammate Chris Hoy, as the most successful male cyclist in Olympic history, with six gold medals and a silver over three Games.
A number of changes were made from the Beijing Olympics to the total number of cycling track events, cutting the number of men’s events down from 7 events to 5 events.
The more cynical observers reckon it was to stop Team GB cyclists taking all the Gold Medals. (5 out of 7). The Olympic committee say it was to offer more events for the women. (3 in Beijing, 5 in Rio).
The question that has been asked repeatedly, is why the success on the track, but not on the road?
Is it natural talent, money or something that cannot be defined?
Since, the National Lottery started to pump money into cycling, there has been no doubt that Track Cycling, has benefited.
However, what about Road Cycling? – We have some immensely talented riders. Riders who are capable of winning all the major races.
Is it a question of riding for a commercial team as opposed to riding for your country?
Your Team Mates today are your Opponents tomorrow. Do we play ‘too nice’ and don’t want to beat our friends.
It is a question that will be asked again and again.
So, let us look forward to the XXXII Olympiad and the start of the Cycling Events in Tokyo on 25th July 2020.