Team GB look set to have a very successful Olympics in Rio. It seems only yesterday that we were preparing for the start of the London 2012 Olympics, in which Mo Farah made history by being the first British man to win gold in the Olympic 10,000 metres.
Cornish athletes have often played a huge part in the success of Team GB. In 2012, Ben Ainslie won his event for the fourth time and Helen Glover took Britain’s first gold of the Games. She will defend her title in Rio. I am also enormously proud that paratriathlete Melissa Reid, from Porthtowan, has been selected to participate in the 2016 Paralympics. I wish her the very best of luck.
The legacy from the London 2012 Olympics is often described as economic, encouraging trade, inward investment and tourism. However, I hope that the most important legacy is that a generation of young people has been inspired to take up sport thanks to the emergence of new role models from various backgrounds, all of whom are about achievement and excellence through hard work.
Locally, I am always very impressed by the efforts of students participating in the Cornwall Schools Games. This allows young people to take part in a huge variety of sports, and is a great way to raise the status of sport in our schools. I am a keen runner, and used to be a member of Cornwall Athletics Club. It is great to see that the club continues to thrive.
I recently watched part of the Cornwall BMX Racing Club Summer Racing Series. It was great to see so many participants, and I am hugely supportive of plans for new and improved facilities which are supported by both British Cycling and Sport England.
I am encouraged by the legacy of London 2012, and optimistic that Rio 2016 will ensure a continuation of this new era for British sport.