LONDON 2012: Team GB reveal all-star supporting cast for Olympics
NEARLY 30 British Olympians - with a collective 51 medals and 27 golds between them - have been unveiled as Team GB ambassadors for next year's London 2012 Olympics.
HELPING HAND: Sir Steve Redgrave will lend his Olympic knowledge to great Britain's 2012 team as one of 27 ambassadors for the London Games
The ambassadors will provide mentoring to members of the 500-strong home team, many of whom will be appearing at their first Olympic Games.
Five-time Olympic champion Sir Steve Regdrave had already confirmed his involvement in the project to Sportsbeat last year, after undertaking a similar role during last year's Winter Olympics in Vancouver.
He will be joined by a A-list cast that includes athletes Dame Kelly Holmes, Denise Lewis and Colin Jackson, swimmers Sharron Davies and Adrian Moorhouse, boxers Amir Khan and James De Gale, fellow rower James Cracknell, tennis player Tim Henman, ice skaters Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean and skeleton slider Amy Williams.
"I am absolutely delighted to be an ambassador for Team GB in 2012 and can't think of any better way to support the team," said Redgrave, who remains the bookmakers' favourite to light the Olympic flame next year.
"I hope I can use my vast experience of competing in the Olympic environment to help prepare members of the team to deal with the pressure, the scrutiny, the highs and the lows.
"But also to make the most of one of the most special moments in their lives; being an Olympian, in front of a home crowd. Hopefully I can help enable them to achieve their dreams, like I did mine."
British Olympic Association chairman Colin Moynihan - whose future remains in doubt as the legal battle with London 2012 organisers Locog gets increasingly hostile - has been an architect of the plan to involve former stars more closely with next year's team.
He also confirmed - with the BOA facing a reported £5 million shortfall in their Games preparation budget - that all ambassadors would be giving their time voluntarily.
He said: "The Team GB 2012 ambassadors will create an important connection between our Olympic heroes of yesterday, who have provided us with so many unforgettable moments of great achievement and British pride, with the stars of today and tomorrow, who will be inspired through their engagement with the Ambassadors to make the most of the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity presented by competing at a home Olympic Games."
"It is not just the athletes we have to think about; the support behind Team GB is just as important, the coaches, the support staff, the sports, the friends and families who have supported athletes throughout their careers.
"Helping the wider ‘Team GB family' deal with the unique Olympic environment - and the specific pressure of being at home will also be a key part of the ambassadors role."
Full list of Team GB London 2012 ambassadors: Adrian Moorhouse, Amir Khan, Amy Williams, Christopher Dean, Colin Jackson, Darren Campbell, David Hemery, Denise Lewis, Duncan Goodhew, James Cracknell, James DeGale, Jayne Torvill, Jonathan Edwards, Kelly Holmes, Kriss Akabusi, Lynn Davies, Mary Peters, Rhona Martin, Roger Black, Robin Cousins, Sally Gunnell, Sharron Davies, Shirley Robertson, Steve Backley, Steve Redgrave, Tessa Sanderson, Tim Henman