United kingdom painted flag with London skyline

I wasn’t even out of nappies for Seoul 1988 and  can only remember seeing clips of Barcelona 1992 as I got older.

So I’m afraid you’ll have to make do with my top five golden Olympic memories that I can remember celebrating on a day when we pay tribute to our ultimate heroes on the 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe Day. 

Steve Redgrave and Matthew Pinsent (Rowing, Atlanta 1996) 

It was a pretty minging Games in America but one I loved all the same. It was so near yet so far for some of my track favourites such as Jonathan Edwards, Steve Backley and Roger Black but the already legendary

Redgrave and Pinsent topped the podium. What followed in Sydney for the pair in the men’s coxless fours was perhaps even more emotional but this was the only golden moment from the summer of ’96 and an easy one to remember.

Steve Redgrave.
Matthew Pinsent.

(Triple jump, Sydney 2000)

At 34 and having gone so close four years earlier, it was now or never for the likeable triple-jumper. He may have arrived Down Under as the world record holder but he was also the oldest athlete in the event. However, on his third effort he recorded 17.71m to finally get his hands on a gold medal.

Jonathan Edwards

Denise Lewis (Heptathlon, Sydney 2000)

It seemed that injuries were going to derail the golden girl of British athletics’ chances of becoming Team GB’s first Olympic heptathlon champion for almost 30 years. With a bandaged left leg trying to fight off Achilles and calf problems, Lewis gritted her teeth and dragged herself around the 800m in the final event to try to get the job done. The picture as she realised she had done enough and lofted her arms in the air remains one of the most iconic images.

Denise Lewis.

London 2012

It’s impossible to select a specific moment from that golden summer. Super Saturday? Mo Farah? Bradley Wiggins? Chris Hoy? Jessica Ennis? Greg Rutherford? Andy Murray? Laura Trott? The list just goes on and on. Inspired by a patriotic crowd, our sporting heroes turned it on as Britain put on the greatest show. It’s a shame I’m still annoyed I didn’t make more of an effort to actually go while the Olympics were here!

The Olympic torch at London 2012.

Women’s field hockey (Rio, 2016)

It rained golds for GB in Rio. Yet the one that stands out for me more than any – perhaps thanks to their coach Danny Kerry’s King’s Lynn connections – was the women’s hockey success. It was a first for Britain’s females and came thanks to a heart-stopping penalty shootout triumph against defending champions the Netherlands. Maddie Hinch made a string of saves and the celebrations will live long in the memory.

GB hockey players in Rio. Picture: Matthias Lemm.