Norwich’s Dempsey named in GB 2012 team
Norwich's Nick Dempsey joined a select group yesterday when he was named among the first batch of athletes to be officially selected to compete for the 550-strong Team GB at the London 2012 Olympic Games.
'It's great to have gained selection, but really it's just another step on the way,' said the 31-year-old windsurfer.
'You still get the feeling that it's the start of the build-up, and little things like starting to get your bits of Olympic kit are quite exciting and bring home how close it's getting.
'This is my fourth Olympics, and this one is just everything to me. It's the one – the Games that I've been waiting for my whole life.
'You are never going to get better than winning an Olympic medal on home waters. I have performed really well in Weymouth this year, but there are still some big gains to be made, so everything for me is about preparing for Weymouth and fine-tuning everything – learning more, getting fitter, stronger and faster.'
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Dempsey will be one of the favourites for another podium place, having collected bronze in Athens in 2004 and finishing fourth in Beijing in 2008.
Representatives in seven of the 10 Olympic classes were named yesterday, and there could be a second East Anglian representative, with Lowestoft's Nic Asher still vying for top spot in the 470 men, one of three selection trials which are still ongoing.
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Team GB chef de mission Andy Hunt said: 'This announcement is a key milestone and an exciting and important moment for us – it represents the beginning of the creation of Team GB, Our Greatest Team of approximately 550 athletes.
Having the first athletes confirmed for Team GB for the London 2012 Olympic Games is fantastic. The 11 sailors are a good mix of experience, including six Olympic medallists, as well as promising Olympic debutants who are world or European medallists in their own right.'