SPORTS Minister Nigel Huddleston has reflected on a whirlwind trip to Tokyo to witnesses Team GB’s meal exploits at the Olympic Games.
Mr Huddleston, Conservative MP for Mid Worcestershire, flew home last Wednesday (August 4) after four days as the sole Government representative at the Tokyo games during which our Olympians continued to make history.
Writing on his Department of Culture, Media and Sport blog, Mr Huddleston admitted he felt ‘very fortunate’ to be able to witness some of Team GB’s success first-hand.
As the Games came to an end on Sunday (August 8), Great Britain finished in fourth place in the medals table with 65 medals, equalling the total won in London in 2012 and just two shy of the 67 medal haul in Rio five years ago.
“As the only UK Government representative to travel to the Games, it was my privilege to meet Olympic medal winners including Adam Peaty and Max Whitlock, passing on messages of support from home and letting them know how proud everyone is of their monumental achievements,” Mr Huddleston said.
“On my first evening I was delighted to be able to personally congratulate Kye Whyte and Beth Shriever on their historic medals in BMX.
“I’m particularly proud to see how much this Team GB represents the whole of the UK, with competitors from all four home nations, representing a range of communities and backgrounds.
“Thanks to the support of National Lottery players, we’ve invested £345million of funding to UK Sport since the Rio 2016 Games, resulting in Team GB taking 375 athletes to the Tokyo Olympics, the biggest delegation to an overseas Games there’s ever been.”
The Sports Minister has also used the trip to meet Japan’s Tourism Minister and looked to see what lessons can be learned ahead of next year’s Birmingham Commonwealth Games.
“It’s thrilling to think this time next year, many of the athletes competing in Tokyo will be competing in Birmingham, giving people at home the opportunity to see them in action on home soil,” he said.
“I know the West Midlands is set to offer a warm welcome and a great Games experience for fans and athletes alike,” he added.