Britain has so much talent that Team GB must have some of the hardest choices, when it comes to selecting athletes to represent the nation on the biggest stage in the sporting calender. The Tokyo Olympics, having been postponed due to the Covid Pandemic and amidst a a new wave in the country is well and truly on and going full steam ahead.
With all this it can be easy to forget that Team GB has some amazing young athletes taking part. We plan to celebrate all of them right here, in this blog. So grab a cuppa and start reading!
Sky Brown, 13
Sky Brown is Team GB’s youngest athelete and part of a brand new event for the Olympics. Born in Japan, Sky has been breaking records left right and centre since taking part in her first professional skatebaording championship at the age of 8. Despite some serious injuries even ending up in hospital a few times, like a super saiyan, she seems to bounce back even better and stronger. Along with with her team mate Bombette, Team GB stands a great chance of landing the gold in Toyko. Tony Hawks has got nothing on her!
Flips, tricks and grinds, Bombette was made to skateboard! Born in the Big Apple, New York, she holds dual nationality and could have joing Team USA but chose Team GB after joking that she’s “half a New Yorker, and 3/4ths a Brummie”. We’re really excited to see this girl fly through the air. Along with her team mate Sky Brown, Team GB’s domination in Skateboard looks to have an amazing future.
Andrea Spendolini-Sirieix, 16
16 year old Andrea Spendolini-Sirieix has a track record of incredible performances. Born in London, Andrea was talent spotted by the Crystal Palace Diving Club at the age of eight ! Since then she has won gold with Emily Martin in the Girls Synchronised Platform at the European Junior Diving Championship in 2019 and received the British Swimming’s Dive of the Year honours for her British gold in the women’s 10m platform competition. Andrea then also went on to win her first international gold in February 2020 at the FINA grand prix.
Jennifer and Jessica Gadirova, 16
“we’ve done it together” – Jennifer Gadirova when both her and her twin sister, Jessica had just been selected for the British women’s team for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, but how did the sixteen year old dynamic duo get here?
Jessica and Jennifer were born in Dublin, Ireland on the 3rd of October 2004 and in the 2019 Junior World Championships Jennifer made her mark by winning a silver on the vault and was at the American Cup in 2020. Jessica Gadirova also made her mark in 2021 by her performances at the European championships in Switzerland, like her sister she won silver on the vault as well as the all-around bronze.
These sisters have been described by former Gb gymnast Danusia Francis as having that ‘level of performance’ and talent that is ‘natural’ ,meaning these twins are ones to watch!
Jacob Whittle, 16
16yo Jacob, a freestyle swimmer with the heart of a British Lion, is the youngest member of Team GB’s swim team. He started off like most of us, a kid in a small pool, and then with some hard work, passion and determination he’s now representing the country in Tokyo alongside his idols. For Jacob, its all about the foundations, making sure that every step he takes is solid so that once he gets to the top, he’s going to stick around up there.
Eden Cheng, 18
Eden has made a rapid rise in diving, making her first senior appearance at the age of just 16. She’s no new comer to medals though, her cabinet holds Gold, Silver and Bronze medals already and we wish her well at the Toyko Olympics for which she has a really good chance of getting a medal. Keep it up and can’t wait to see you do your thing!
Amelie Morgan is an eighteen year old gymnast born on the 31st of may 2003 in a town called Slough. But did you know that she started gymnastics at the age of 7 and that she was also home schooled in order to fit in her weekly 35 hour training sessions! (Now that’s dedication!)
As well as this, Amelie was also a part of the CBBC show called gym stars which focused on some of the Uk’s most promising gymnasts. All her hard work paid off as she later got two silvers at the 2018 European Championships junior event and at the 2018 Youth Olympic Games.
Matthew Richards, 18
Matthew Richards’ eye-catching rise through the junior ranks will see him make his Olympic debut for Team GB at Tokyo 2020 after a burst on to the senior stage. The former Royal Wolverhampton athlete – who now trains under Jol Finck at the Bath National Centre – was a European Junior champion in the Men’s 100m Freestyle back in 2019. After the unique disruptions of 2020, the 18-year-old ensured his place on the plane to Tokyo by swimming inside the consideration mark in the same event at the British Swimming Selection Trials in 2021, a result and personal best that secured him silver behind Duncan Scott. He also finished in the top three of a stacked 200m Freestyle showpiece.
Keely Hodgkinson, 19
Despite being deaf in one ear, Keeley is a star among Team GB’s track athletes. Despite Team GB not having won an Olympic medal in the 800m in almost 20 years, this fearless athlete knows she’s on the cards for one, after proving herself time and again, beating anyone that stood in her way. She’s now performing alongside her childhood idols and is set to become an idol, herself. Good on Keeley, show ’em how its done!
Scarlett Mew Jensen, 19
Up-and-coming star Scarlett Mew Jensen has said she ‘can’t wait’ to represent her country and make her Olympic debut in Tokyo this summer. The 19-year-old Dive London Aquatics athlete is a 3m Springboard specialist and began her journey at the age of 8. In 2019, she won her maiden individual British Championship title in the same event and went on to make her World Championships debut in Gwangju later that year. Now in the Toyko Olympics, her aim to to reach even further then ever before.
Kate Shortman, 19
Kate Shortman is a talented young British artistic swimmer who made her senior and junior European Championship debuts in 2016, and her first World Championship final in 2017. She is a multiple national Solo and Duet champion at both senior and junior level. First stepping onto the podium with Bristol Central for Team Free gold in 2011, Shortman won her first clean sweep of Solo, Duet and Team titles at the 2012. 2019 saw her win a World Series medal and become a finalist in the World Championships. Keep an eye on in Toyko, as this girls is on fire. So it’s probably a good thing that shes jumping into water.
Images from a variety of news sources, Team GB webpage and British Swimming webpage
These profiles were written by Tolu (15) and Teej