Cycling once again featured high in Britain’s haul of gold medals and if our cyclists in the velodrome were a country then they’d be sitting eighth in the rankings. Special mention to “Queen Victoria”, who bowed out of competitive riding today. Victoria Pendleton MBE ended her career with a silver medal to go with the gold she’d already won in the London 2012 Olympic Games.
There’s controversy about the cycling too, Britain is too good!. The Olympic committee changed the events in the velodrome and limited countries to one competitor per event to try and halt Britain’s dominance. It didn’t work and when questioned by a French newspaper, cycling performance director Dave Brailsford got fed up with interrogations over the team performance and told them that the British team bikes had “specially round wheels”. As soon as the story about magic wheels broke speculation was rife but Dave insists that the performance is down to the commitment to excellence by the whole team.
Alistair Brownlee Men’s Triathlon
Alistair and Jonny Brownlee made it a family gold and bronze triumph in the Triathlon today. Were it not for Jonny receiving a 15 second time penalty for mounting his bike too early it might have been even closer, but taking his penalty in the running phase meant that he slipped to bronze – probably a good thing as the brothers had been warned that they would be disqualified if they crossed the line together as they have done in the past.
Alistair’s gold medal stamp will be available tomorrow at the Post Office on Church Lane, Pudsey, West Yorkshire, neighbouring his home town of Horsforth where a gold pillar box will be appearing shortly.
Team GB Equestrian Team Dressage
Laura Bechtolsheimer, Charlotte Dujardin and Carl Hester won a historic gold medal win in the Equestrian Team Dressage. It’s not only the first gold, it’s the first medal ever for Britain in the Olympic dressage competitions.
Dressage to most people is horses looking pretty but not actually moving very much, but as with gymnastics and ballet it requires strength, control, balance and poise, and that’s just by the horses – the riders have to have exquisite control too.
The Royal Mail gold medal stamp to celebrate the win will be available in Post Offices in Cirencester, neighbouring Ampney St Peter in Gloucestershire where Laura lives, and Charlotte’s hometown of Enfield as well as 500 other Post OFfices up and down the country. Post boxes will be painted gold in Ampney St Peter and Enfield, and Guernsey Post, which is independent of the Royal Mail network, will paint a post box gold on Sark for its Gold Medal winning resident Carl Hester.
As this is the 20th gold medal stamp produced by the Royal Mail it is free to all customers who signed up for a gold medal stamp subscription. Royal Mail priced the subscription based on matching the 2008 Beijing tally of 19 gold medals and promised that to celebrate smashing the target the 20th stamp would be free.
Laura Trott Women’s Cycling Omnium
Laura Trott is the first British woman to win two gold medals at the London 2012 Games. Already having won gold in the Women’s Team Pursuit she ads the Omnium to become to become a double gold Olympian at the tender age of just 20.
Laura took to Twitter when Royal Mail painted a pillar box gold in her “home town” of Harlow for her first gold medal, declaring that the London 2012 site was incorrect and her home town is Cheshunt. Royal Mail swiftly painted a post box in her real home town gold and will now paint a second pillar box gold in Cheshunt. Hertfordshire
You’ll be able to purchase Laura’s second gold medal stamp from the Post Office in Turners Hill, Cheshunt from lunch time tomorrow.
Chris Hoy Men’s Keiren
The Men’s Keiren broke a ton of Olympic records today, Chris Hoy won his sixth gold to become the most decorated British Olympian ever, beating Steve Redgrave’s previous record of five golds. His medal also bought Britain’s total medal tally up to 47, matching the number we won in 2008 in Beijing. Not only do we have the same number of medals but they’re better quality as we’ve now got 22 golds instead of 19.
Then having warned the Brownlee brothers earlier today that a draw wouldn’t be considered acceptable in the Olympic Games, officials were forced to give out two bronze medals as Simon van Velthooven of New Zealand and Teun Mulder of Holland couldn’t be separated even by the photo finish which is normally used. Germany’s Maximilian Levy who won silver was obscuring the wheel of the two bronze medalists so officials were forced to concede a draw for bronze.
You’ll be able to buy Chris Hoy’s Keiren stamp in two Post Offices in Edinburgh tomorrow and a second pillar box will be painted gold in his honour in the Edinburgh.