For the last two weeks, I’m sure everyone has been mesmerized by Team GB’s fantastic performance in Rio, winning 67 medals and finishing second behind the USA and ahead of China. What an incredible achievement!
Today much of the news has focused on the reasons for our success. Elite sport in the UK has been transformed in 20 years thanks to National Lottery funding. The most talented British stars now have access to unrivalled teams of nutritionists, sports scientists, coaches and psychologists. Some 900 support staff travelled with the 366 British athletes this summer and medal-winners paid tribute to those working tirelessly behind the scenes.
Clearly the UK has some incredibly talented athletes but I don’t believe the size of the talent pool has increased dramatically over the last two decades. What has increased exponentially is the level of personal, bespoke support – and the results speak for themselves.
So what learnings can we take from Rio?
Obviously National Lottery levels of funding are not available to UK corporates, but should we be questioning whether British companies are providing appropriate support to enable their top talent to reach full potential? Could the success of our athletes in Rio inspire us to greater business success? Only time will tell!