George’s bronze is 1000th medal since National Lottery funding began
George Peasgood’s bronze medal in the Tokyo C4 road cycling time trial represents an extraordinary milestone: the 1000th medal won by a British athlete in the Paralympic and Olympic Games, summer and winter, since the introduction of National Lottery funding.
The 1000th medal milestone has been hailed by 6-time Olympic champion Sir Chris Hoy as evidence of the transformation of Paralympic and Olympic sport since National Lottery funding began in 1997.
Sir Chris said, “When you put into context where we were before National Lottery funding started in the mid-1990s to where we are now it’s unrecognisable.”
He added that the Atlanta Olympic Games in 1996 – where Team GB won just 1 gold medal – was a “wake up call” that highlighted the importance of investing in elite sport.
Sir Chris said, “What has happened in the last 24 years is nothing short of remarkable. For us to even consider being able to compete against China, America and Russia – the big superpowers in sport – I think it’s been a remarkable turnaround.”
The first medal won after the introduction of support made possible by National Lottery players was secured at the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, just a short distance from Tokyo. Since then, the funding has helped drive an extraordinary revitalisation of ParalympicsGB and Team GB’s fortunes on the world stage.
Sir Chris said, “It’s great to see. It did take a bit of kick-up the backside for it to happen and to sort of realise that we need to invest in it, but it’s great to see that’s ongoing. It gives us a chance to thank all National Lottery players because it is down to their input that made it happen.”
Sir Chris, who enjoyed a stellar career on the track winning 11 world titles and 7 Olympic medals, said his success was made possible because of funding from The National Lottery.
He said, “It was the single biggest thing that happened in my career that helped me to achieve my dreams. It’s not all about money, but money gives the sport and the individual the opportunity to fulfil their potential and if you spend the money wisely and invest in the right people, facilities, training camps and all the things that athletes need to get the best out of themselves, then you give them a fighting chance.
“For me, it meant the difference between getting a job or being able to pursue my dream. It paid for my rent, it paid for my travel and it paid for my food. It was my lifeline and it gave me that opportunity to really go out there and see how far I could go.”
No one does more to support our Olympic and Paralympic athletes than National Lottery players, who raise over £30Million each week for good causes including elite and grassroots sport. Discover more about how playing The National Lottery supports ParalympicsGB’s athletes by visiting www.national-lottery.co.uk/tokyo2020 and get involved by using the hashtags: #TNLAthletes and #MakeAmazingHappen.
1st September 2021
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