London 2012: The Ultimate British Olympian

The honed bodies in Team GB are awe-inspiring, but what if we combined out competitors' best bits to create a super athlete? Colin Murray takes his pick...

HAIR Bradley Wiggins (cyclist): The Modfather has been hair-raising this year, whether it’s on the road or on the track. The most stylish man in a saddle already has six Olympic medals and 2012’s Tour de France title but he could well be adding to that tally this summer.


BRAIN Jurgen Grobler (rowing): It would be remiss to assemble the perfect British Olympian without recognising that behind every competitor is a devoted coach. The German has coached Olympic crews to gold in a jaw-dropping ten Games in a row, and has plotted our success ever since Redgrave and Pinsent paired up in 1992.

FACE Jessica Ennis (heptathlon): The face of London 2012, Ennis has fought back from a stress fracture in her right foot, which saw her have to relearn the long jump, just one of seven events that stand between her and glory. She can high-jump 30cm higher than her own height – a rare feat – and in the Olympic Stadium the flawless face that you’ve seen in all sorts of promo pictures and photoshoots will be replaced with a snarl of determination.

EYES Alison Williamson (archery): In Athens, Williamson’s eagle eyes earned Britain its first female archery medal since 1908, when the Games were held in, you guessed it, London. She will fire her arrows at Lord’s cricket ground, and will be hoping to improve on the bronze medal she won in Athens in 2004.

SHOULDERS Rebecca Adlington (swimming): The most down-to-earth girl you will ever meet needs broad shoulders, physically and mentally, heading into London 2012. A lot is expected of the first British swimmer to win double Olympic gold since 1908, and it looks like she is peaking at the perfect time, especially in the 800m freestyle.

EARS Nick Dempsey (windsurfing): Balance is the key for Dempsey as he aims to bring a third Olympic gold into his household, his sailor wife Sarah Ayton having reigned victorious on the seas of Athens and Beijing. Nick won world gold in 2009 on the same Weymouth Bay waters where this year’s event will take place. It’s his home town, too.

LUNGS Pete Reed (rowing): One of Britain’s golden boys from Beijing, Reed goes for glory in the men’s rowing four, safe in the knowledge that, despite taking part in one of the most gruelling of all sports, he’s unlikely to run out of puff. In 2006, he recorded the largest ever lung capacity on record, registering an enormous 11.68 litres.

HEART Paula Radcliffe (marathon): A quick flick through Radcliffe’s medal record and you see that she has won gold at every turn, apart from at the Olympics. Four times she has tried without success, and as favourite in Athens she crashed out with injury amid a flood of tears.

ARMS Zoe Smith (weightlifting): In 2010, aged just 16, Smith became Britain’s first-ever female Commonwealth Games medal-winner in the sport when she picked up bronze in Delhi. Two years later, she has achieved her dream of becoming an Olympian.

BACK Robbie Grabarz (high jumper): The man from nowhere is quietly shaping up to become one of the surprise stars of the Games. In June this year he jumped a personal best of 2m 36cm; if he can carry that into the Olympic stadium, he will be a genuine medal prospect.

RIGHT HAND Anthony Joshua (boxing): Team GB has a number of medal prospects in boxing, but RT has plumped for the stinging right hand of super-heavyweight Anthony Joshua. All bets are on a rematch of the world amateur championships final, in Azerbaijan, when Joshua lost out by just one point to local hero Magomedrasul Medzhidov. This time, the Azeri will be in the away dressing room.

LEFT HAND Chris Adcock (badminton): Adcock heads into London in the mixed pairs with Imogen Bankier after breaking into the world’s top ten for the first time just months ago. This is Adcock’s first Olympics, and his youthful exuberance and world-class left hand make the British pair dark horses at Wembley Arena.

HIPS Tom Daley (diving): Whether it’s somersaults, pikes, tucks, reverse armstands or several twists, Tom Daley’s hips simply don’t lie. Britain’s youngest-ever world champion in an Olympic sport is now 18, and to see him win gold for himself, for Britain, and for his late father would bring tears to a nation’s collective eye.

BOTTOM Katherine Grainger (rowing): Katherine has sat her backside down in a rowing boat countless times, with six world titles in her locker, but so far it’s been the ultimate story of so near, yet so far at the Olympics, with three consecutive silvers to her name. Alongside her partner Anna Watkins in the double sculls, logic says that she’ll live up to her status as favourite and finally achieve her dream.

RIGHT LEG Phillips Idowu (triple jump): We include the stylish Hackney-born triple jumper out of sheer belief, more than anything, knowing that his knees have given him trouble before and he pulled out of the Olympic trials due to an unspecified injury. Unbeaten in 2012 and a silver medallist in 2008, let’s hope when his right leg meets sand, that measuring device goes out further than for the other athletes.

LEFT LEG Mo Farah (5,000m/10,000m): As with most athletes, Farah has pushed his body to the limit and beyond, and because of various injuries his left peg is said to be an inch longer than his right. When he gets it right, his running style is a work of art and, while he’ll always have big competition in the 5,000m and 10,000m, the Somalian-born Brit is the best male we’ve ever had over these distances.

THIGHS Sir Chris Hoy (cycling): As RT has sat next to Sir Chris Hoy, we can only describe his thighs as looking similar to legs of ham. It’s from these 27in thighs that the humble Scotsman has powered his way to four Olympic titles. Going into his third games, it looks as if Sir Steve Redgrave is going to have some company on five.


FEET Dai Greene (400m hurdles): If he wins the final, the World, European and Commonwealth champion would become Wales’s second living track-and-field Olympic gold medallist after the legendary Lynn The Leap Davies, who won long jump gold in 1964. And Greene will need those feet to get that stride pattern right as he hurdles his way around the most important 400m of his life.