What an amazing two weeks of sport we’ve had. The achievements of British athletes at Rio have been truly outstanding.
To achieve a higher medal total in Rio than at the home games in London four years ago is incredible, and testament to the talent present within our country’s athletes.
Out of the 67 medals won by Team GB at this year's Olympics, 57 were contributed to by English athletes who have previously competed for Team England at a Commonwealth Games or Youth Games.
Team GB were our best performing team in an overseas Olympics and we’re confident that we can also take the best performing Team England to the Gold Coast in 2018.
Last week Commonwealth Games England invited partners, friends, fans and colleagues to watch our English athletes shine in Rio at Grange St. Paul's Hotel, London.
Along with partners and friends we were joined by athletes Zoe Smith, Ella Clark and Azania Stewart, who discussed all things training and recovery, success from Team England in Rio and hopes for the Gold Coast in 2018.
Commonwealth Champion weightlifter Zoe Smith is recovering from shoulder surgery to fix an ongoing injury which unfortunately kept her from competing at the Games.
“I’m gutted to have missed out on it,” she told us. “I spoke to so many consultants, and they said yes, I could go to Rio, but when push came to shove my shoulder just wasn’t in good enough shape to actually do what I needed it to do.
Why send an athlete who can’t perform to the best of their ability?
Of course I can’t say my heart wasn’t broken, but with a talent like Rebekah Tiler hot on my heels, it made sense for her to get some Olympic experience. She’s a talent. She totally smashed it – 10th place at 17 years old, four out of six lifts. She’s definitely one to watch for the future.”
We asked Zoe what her #BestOfEngland moment was from Rio – her favourite moment from English athletes at the Games.
“I’ve got to say Laura Trott and Jason Kenny. I’m so in awe of both of them. Imagine you and your partner having five Olympic gold medals each!”
GB basketballer Azania Stewart also shared her #BestOfEngland at Rio:
“There’s been so many good moments from English athletes. I’d probably say Max Whitlock because it was so unexpected to win two golds in gymnastics at the Olympics!”
Many thanks to Team England partner, Grange Hotels, for hosting the event that allowed us to come together in such sporting celebration.
The country is understandably still basking in the glow of Team GB success at Rio, and rightly so. We have great talent so far and want to continue producing more. We will work hard to deliver a similar level of success at the Commonwealth Games in 2018 and hope for the same amount of support for Team England that we’ve seen in recent weeks for Team GB.