All Aboard the Rollercoaster: What It’s Like to Follow Team GB

I was asked the other day how it feels being a Team GB fan. Right now, I have to say it’s amazing and we are on cloud nine.

It hasn’t always been this way. As a Brit and a Team GB supporter, follower, and fan, I have been previously used to second best. We would celebrate making an Olympic final as though that were the Gold Medal itself.

In Atlanta 1996, Team GB brought in a measly 15 medals. One Gold, eight silvers, and six bronzes. Each were celebrated in exactly the same way. As were those who didn’t medal but made the final. It was a feeling we had been all too used to.

In terms of Tennis specifically, we were certainly used to falling short. Tim Henman was the closest we came to a major event winner. The Brit ended up never making a Slam final. Always the bridesmaid, never the bride. Henman was celebrated by fans (but not the media–does that sound familiar?) for reaching the semifinals of the French Open and the US Open (in the same year, 2004), even more exciting, he made the semifinals of Wimbledon four times (Yes, count them, four!). Henman produced a tennis medal in Atlanta, securing the silver medal in doubles with Neil Broad.

We had very little expectations; we were British, we were not as good as the rest of the world, and be honest world (I’m looking at you specifically USA), you laughed at us. There were certain sports that we would never be any good at right? Tennis, Cycling, Gymnastics, Rowing, Football (Soccer, and I’ll give you that one!) to name far too many.