For the next month, the world’s eyes will be firmly fixed on the east end of London where it is hoped that all that is Great about Britain will be on display for the world to see. Although it has not always been the case in the past, Britain nowadays should be proud of its multicultural society, a multiculturalism that is reflected in the squad of athletes that Team GB has selected to represent the Union Jack. GUBA are firmly behind all of TeamGB’s athletes but we also have a specially vested interest in the handful of athletes of Ghanaian heritage who are representing Great Britain at London 2012.
Team GB’s women kicked off the Olympics with a 1-0 victory of New Zealand and the women’s squad features the David Beckham, the poster-girl of British football, double GUBA Award nominee Rachel Yankey. The veteran winger, who attended last year’s GUBA Awards ceremony, came on as a second half substitute and helped guide Britain to the victory.
GB’s line-up also features defensive midfielder Anita Asante (click links to follow on Twitter). Between them, they have amassed over 170 caps for England between them and are sure to be integral figures in Team GB’s quest for gold.
On the track, the two British Ghanaian hopefuls have endured injury-blighted seasons. Sadly, GUBA ambassador and seasoned TeamGB sprinter Jeanette Kwakye was unable to overcome a niggling Achilles injury and will not line up for Great Britain. Four years ago in Beijing, she was a 6th in the 100m final but will, no doubt, be tweeting her support for her colleagues during the championship. Harry Aikenes-Aryeetey, tipped for greatness as a junior, may yet overcome an injury-hit season to claim a 4x100m relay spot.
There are a whole host of British-Nigerians who are representing TeamGB. If the charismatic medal hopeful Philips Idowu overcomes his last-minute injury woes, he’ll line up alongside Abdul Buhari (discus), Abi Oyepitan (sprints), Andrew Osagie (800m), Anthony Joshua (boxer), Anthony Ogogo (boxer), Anyika Onuora (sprints), Christine Ohurugu (200m), Dami Bakare (Volleyball), Eniola Aluko (football), Ifeoma Dieke (football), James Dasaolu (sprints), Kieron Achara (basketball), Larry Achike (triple jump), Lawrence Okoye (discus), Margaret Adeoye (sprints), Marilyn Okoro (400m/800m), Peter Bakare (volleyball) and Temi Fagbenle (basketball).
Other athletes with African connections include canoeist Angela Hannah (Zimbabwe), basketball team captain Luol Deng along with journeywoman athlete Yamile Aldama (Sudan), controversial taekwondo selectee Lutalo Muhammad (Uganda) and rower Mohammed Sbihi (Morocco). The two most notable athletes with African connections are Team GB’s men football captain Ryan Giggs (Sierra Leone) and arguably Britain’s most loveable athlete Moh Farah (Somalia).
We wish all of these athletes and the entire Team GB squad plenty of success as the nation, Africa and the world watches on.