After the record-breaking success of the London Games, not even the most ardent supporter dared to believe our Olympians and Paralympians could match the achievements of 2012.
But in the heat of Rio, Team GB they surpassed them in a 16-day celebration of sport that saw records smashed, new heroes created and new standards set.
In the pool, in the velodrome, on the track, the rowing lagoon, the boxing ring and the ocean off Copacabana beach, British athletes took on the best in the world, and won, again and again. The final medal table saw the team finish second above China with 67 medals, including 27 golds, two more than in London. Beyond the numbers, were countless inspirational stories of triumph over adversity, or a dedicated grassroots coach, or parents who made a sacrifice to support their child’s sporting dream.
It was a similarly stunning tale in the Paralympics in September with Great Britain once again illustrating its credentials as one of the world’s great sporting powerhouses. Paralympics GB won 147 medals in Rio, again putting them in second place in the overall medal table.