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Why we should all feel inspired by these female team GB Athletes

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Aberdeen chapter.

Why we should all feel inspired by the Team GB female Olympians


As you may or may not know, the 2016 Olympic Games were held in Rio de Janeiro, and there were many controversies surrounding these games, but overall, the sport definitely delivered. It was fantastic two weeks of sport, and Rio saw Team GB’s best ever performance with a total of sixty seven medals, putting us in second place in the medals table ahead of China. A stand out for Team GB was how phenomenal our female athletes performed. They showed that women can be so many different things, the British female athletes broke down the barriers and defied gender stereotypes, all on a global stage. 


The International Olympic Committee (IOC) continue to make great efforts in increasing the space for female sport in the Olympics and encouraging female sport in overall. New sports seeking to be included within the Olympics have to include women’s events; in 2016 we saw the introduction of Rugby 7s with both the male and female British teams performing fantastically. 


There were so many inspirational female athletes within team GB during the Rio Olympic Games that created some spectacular sport over the course of the 2 weeks, and below are a few of our favourites. 


Jessica Ennis-Hill 




 Jessica Ennis-Hill is an amazing athlete. She competes in the heptathlon which is a two-day track and field combined events contest consisting of seven sports. Ennis-Hill was the poster girl for the 2012 London Olympics, where she won the gold medal. In Rio, you could see in her face that in every event she was giving it absolutely everything she had and it was heart-breaking to see her miss out on the gold medal. However she took defeat so graciously, speaking of how incredible the Belgian gold medallist was throughout competition. Her post competition BBC interview is a tear jerker; she speaks of her struggles of being away from her family, of being a mother as well as an athlete and fights back the tears when discussing whether this would be her last games. She comes across as real and genuine, and is a phenomenal athlete.


Laura Trott


During the 2016 games Laura Trott became GBs most successful female Olympic competitor. She has won every Olympic event that she has ever entered. Before her races, she can be seen in the warm up area with her rose gold headphones on and her long blonde French braids. Some would perhaps underestimate her, but on the track, no one even comes close to beating her. All the women in the British cycling team are an inspiration. Every single of them won a medal and every time one of them stepped onto the track, the others were in the crowd cheering. They showed so much encouragement for each other, and it was clear that the games weren’t about being better than each other but about doing well for yourself and then supporting whoever was on the track next.  

Nicola Adams


 Nicola Adams repeated her 2012 Olympics success by winning her second gold medal in the women’s flyweight division. This made her the first British boxer, male or female, to do so in the past 92 years. Repeating previous success was a pressure put on all British Olympians and Nicola managed it with ease. She was always smiling, and was just so energetic and passionate about her sport. She was the first openly LGBT person to win a boxing medal in 2012 and continues to motivate us all to break down the barriers. 

Team GB female hockey team 

For many, the highlight of the games was the nail biting women’s hockey final, which Team GB won in penalties. It was pure sitting at the edge of your seat, heart thumping, exciting sport and it was being played by a team of amazing women. Team sport is a fantastic thing for women to get involved in. The women’s female hockey team showed many of the great benefits that come with being involved in sport – working so hard as a unit, having to rely on others as well as pushing yourself and ultimately being able to share your unbelievable achievements with other remarkable women. 

Amy Tinkler


Amy Tinkler was the youngest member of Team GB. At only 16 years old she won a bronze medal in the gymnastics floor final. While Jessica Ennis-Hill balanced being a mother with training, Amy balanced studying for her GCSE’s and training, and it definitely paid off. She was completely mesmerising on the floor, even if it did make us feel just a little bit bad. When I was sixteen, I was just trying to catch up on all of One Tree Hill, and here she is winning an Olympic medal. She showed you’re never too young or small to absolutely kill it

A special mention has to go to the U.S female gymnastics team, arguably the standout athletes of games. They proved that even when they were facing constant criticism about their bodies, their hair and their make-up, they stayed focused on what they had to do and blew everyone away with their near flawless routines, time and time again. Also let’s just take a second to appreciate Simone Biles’ killer quote:



The 2016 Olympic Games exemplified that women don’t have to be just one thing. That they can be strong and emotional, gracious and fierce, powerful and elegant, all at the same time. That the make-up they’re wearing (or not wearing), the clothes that they have on, or the way they’ve decided to do their hair has no impact on how they are going to perform on the day. It is the countless hours spent training, the technique they endlessly try to perfect and the effort that they put into their sport that wins those medals – and clearly the Team GB female athletes are doing something right.  

Taking part in sport is an amazing thing, and being at college or university is the perfect way to get on board. Hopefully these female athletes will inspire you to get involved and perhaps try something new.