Olympics: Vote for your greatest British moment from summer Games

There have been tear-jerkers, jaw-droppers and simply those that have been awe-inspiring – Great Britain have enjoyed some incredible moments at the summer Olympics – but what is the greatest?

We’ve put together a list of 25 contenders and want you to vote for your favourite – so take a look and make your choice at the bottom of this page.

On Saturday, 25 July from 13:15-16:30 BST there is a special BBC One programme counting down the moments.

It will be hosted by Clare Balding and Gabby Logan, on what should have been the opening weekend of competition at Tokyo 2020 before the Games were postponed for a year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

We will be counting down with them via a live text, so get involved with your favourite moments using #bbcOlympics.

And don’t forget you can relive some of the great moments from Rio 2016 this week on BBC One or BBC Two, and get the lowdown from Olympic stars such as Max Whitlock, Nicola Adams and the gold medal-winning women’s hockey team in our Olympic Secrets programmes on BBC iPlayer.

Top 25 contenders

1964: Track and field quartet win gold

Four golds from four brilliant track and field athletes. Great Britain’s entire golden tally at the Tokyo Olympics came from Lynn Davies (long jump), Ken Matthews (20km walk), Ann Packer (800m) and Mary Rand (long jump).

Packer and Rand also contributed three more medals to Britain’s overall total of 18, with Rand (then known as Mary Bignall) claiming silver in the pentathlon and bronze in the 4x100m relay and her Tokyo room-mate Packer taking silver in the 400m.

1972: Peters sets the gold standard

Northern Ireland’s Mary Peters became a star of British sport after pipping home favourite Heide Rosendahl of West Germany to win a thrilling pentathlon gold with a world record score. The competition went down to the final event, the 200m, and Peters took gold by just 10 points. Bringing the medal home to Belfast, she united the people of Northern Ireland during one of the most turbulent periods in its history.

Her inspiring performance also laid the foundations for future heptathlon champions Denise Lewis and Jessica Ennis-Hill, and hopefully Katarina Johnson-Thompson next year in Tokyo.

1980: Coe v Ovett in Moscow

Sebastian Coe was the world record holder and the overwhelming favourite for the 800m but got his tactics wrong in the final and his great rival Steve Ovett beat him to the gold.

Coe, stung by only winning silver, had a chance to make amends in Ovett’s main event, the 1500m, and took it with a typically gutsy display, while Ovett had to settle for the bronze. Coe crossing the line with his arms stretched wide and eyes bulging showed how much it meant to him. Their intense rivalry continued until the next Olympics in Los Angeles in what were extraordinary times for British middle-distance running.

1984: Daley delivers decathlon gold again

After dominating on his way to gold in Moscow in 1980, Daley Thompson faced a titanic battle against his great rival and world record holder Jurgen Hingsen four years later. Under immense pressure on day two, Thompson threw a personal best in the discus and then all-but sealed his victory in a dramatic pole vault competition, celebrating with a back-flip for good measure. He strolled his way to gold in the final event, the 1500m, despite Hingsen’s world record being there for the taking.

An incredibly competitive athlete, Thompson was a maverick, controversially whistling while the national anthem was played during the medal ceremony, but also charismatic and popular.

1988: ‘Where were the Germans… and frankly who cares?’

One of Barry Davies’ best lines of commentary sums up a victory to savour as Britain’s men’s hockey team won gold in South Korea.

Winger Imran Sherwani scored twice and striker Sean Kerly added the other as GB beat Germany 3-1 in a final that thrilled the nation and made stars of the players, with Sherwani’s crucial second goal prompting Davies’ immortal quote.

1992: Ecstasy and agony in Barcelona

Linford Christie was up against world record holder Leroy Burrell but he powered his way across the line in 9.96 seconds to become, at 32, the oldest 100m champion in Olympic history, and only the third Briton to win the Games’ greatest prize.

Four days later, Sally Gunnell secured a brilliant gold in the 400m hurdles. Stalking the favourite, American Sandra Farmer-Patrick, Gunnell took the lead with 100m to go and never let it go, throwing her hands to her head in ecstasy as she crossed the line.

But in between those great moments of joy, there was heartbreak for Derek Redmond. Redmond’s hamstring popped half way through the 400m semi-final but he refused to give up and his father Jim ran on to help his son limp across the line to a huge roar from the Barcelona crowd. His determination to finish has become an illustration of the Olympic spirit.

2000: Redgrave’s fifth gold

Four years earlier, after winning his fourth straight gold at his fourth Games, Steve Redgrave vowed to never get back in a rowing boat again. But he could not be kept away and, aged 38, teamed up with Matthew Pinsent, James Cracknell and Tim Foster in Sydney to win a lung-busting fifth gold in a thrilling – and emotional – race.

The British quartet held off the Italians to win by just 0.38 seconds as he sealed his place in the Olympic record books.

2004: Kelly Holmes does the double

Kelly Holmes, a former sergeant in the army, had been dogged by injury problems throughout her career but everything she did turned to gold in Athens. She claimed a thrilling victory in the 800m final before securing the 1500m title five days later, becoming the first Briton for 84 years to achieve the Olympic middle-distance double.

It was the her look of sheer joy and disbelief as she crossed the line in the 800m that was arguably the defining image of the Games.

2008: Hoy’s treble joy

Chris Hoy won gold in the kilo time trial in Athens but the event was dropped for Beijing and he had to switch his training to three new events. But that was no problem as “the Real McHoy” powered his way to team sprint gold with Jason Kenny and Jamie Staff and then individual sprint and keirin golds.

The Scot was in a class of his own and became the first Briton in 100 years to win three golds at one Games.

At London 2012, Hoy defended his keirin title and also won gold in the team sprint, giving him six golds in his Olympic career, a total later matched by Kenny in Rio.

2008: Becky’s Beijing brilliance

Becky Adlington was just 19 when she won a stunning 400m freestyle gold to become the first British woman to take swimming gold since Anita Lonsborough in 1960. She pipped American Katie Hoff in a grandstand finish which also saw her team-mate Jo Jackson capture the bronze.

Adlington was in such dazzling form she won a second title five days later, smashing the 800m world record and becoming the first British swimmer for 100 years to win more than one gold at a Games.

2012: Super Saturday – a day like no other

No-one will ever forgot what took place in front of 80,000 jubilant spectators at London’s Olympic Stadium on Saturday, 4 August.

Jessica Ennis, the golden girl of the British team, smashed her own British record to win the heptathlon, Greg Rutherford took gold in the long jump with a fourth-round leap of 8.31m and finally Mo Farah, who would go on to win the 5,000m seven days later, stormed to 10,000m gold.

All in the space of a quite astonishing 44 minutes.

It came after Britain had already won golds in men’s coxless four rowing, women’s double sculls and women’s cycling team pursuit earlier that day.

2012: Adams makes history – twice

Nicola Adams took centre stage as women’s boxing made its debut at the Games, 108 years after the men. She showed her class to beat China’s world number one lightweight Ren Cancan and become the first female Olympic boxing champion.

Four years on in Rio, she beat Cancan again in the semi-finals before outscoring Sarah Ourahmoune of France in the final. And so it became a double first for Adams who also entered the history books as the first female boxer to defend a title.

2012: Queen Victoria’s keirin cracker

Victoria Pendleton was aiming for three golds at London 2012 but a painful disqualification in the team sprint quickly dashed that dream. The keirin was next, and with British fans decked in red, white and blue, the velodrome erupted with joy when Queen Victoria claimed gold.

2012: Bradley’s ride on time for gold

Bradley Wiggins was unstoppable in the summer of 2012. Days after becoming the first Briton to win the Tour de France, fans lined the streets of London to watch him take Olympic gold in the road time trial. Later that year he was named BBC Sports Personality of the Year.

In Rio, Wiggins won his fifth gold as part of the team pursuit squad on the track, making him the most decorated British Olympian with eight medals, five of them gold.

2012: Dujardin doubles up

Charlotte Dujardin and her wonderhorse Valegro put dressage on the map with two outstanding golds in London. First up was the team event and along with her coach and mentor Carl Hester and Laura Bechtolsheimer, they set an Olympic record on their way to the gold. Days later, Dujardin and Valegro were going for individual glory and in a routine accompanied by music including the Great Escape and Land Of Hope and Glory, gold number two followed.

Four years later in Rio, they defended their individual title and also won a silver in the team event. Valegro was retired later in 2016 but Dujardin still has her sights set on a golden hat-trick in Tokyo next year.

2012: Grainger finally wins gold

After years of missing out on an Olympic title, there were tears of joy when Katherine Grainger finally won rowing gold at her home Games. The Scot almost quit after a third silver in Beijing but she formed an unbeatable partnership with Anna Watkins in the double sculls to capture that elusive gold. She would win another silver in Rio to finish her career with one gold and four silvers.

2012: Big Ben gets angry… and wins gold again

Ben Ainslie had already won three golds and a silver coming into the Games and was clear favourite to land a fourth title in his home waters of Weymouth. Claiming his rivals had “made a big mistake” by attempting to gang up on him, an angry Ainslie applied all his skills and tactical nous to claim arguably the greatest gold of his stellar Olympic career.

2012: Marvellous Murray takes revenge on Federer

The summer of 2012 was an emotional rollercoaster for Andy Murray. He reached his first Wimbledon final on 8 July but was beaten by Roger Federer, prompting a tearful response from the inconsolable Briton. Weeks later he returned to Wimbledon and produced the perfect performance to defeat Federer in straight sets to become Olympic champion.

Four years later, there was another Murray masterclass as he beat Juan Martin del Potro in a pulsating final to defend his title.

2012: ‘Headhunter’ Jade’s golden delight

Wales’ Jade Jones was only 19 at the London Games but helped by a raucous crowd and her steely determination she sealed a stunning taekwondo gold, celebrating with wide-eyed joy.

Four years later, she defended her crown, living up to the nickname ‘the Headhunter’ by clinching gold with crucial head kicks in the final round of the -57kg final.

2016: Mo’s Rio distance repeat

Mo Farah’s bid to defend the 5,000 and 10,000m double he won at London 2012 was in the balance when he was accidentally tripped by his training partner Galen Rupp during the 10,000m. But he got up, rejoined the pack and went on to win another jaw-dropping gold.

It was a stunning victory and ensured Farah became the most successful British Olympic track and field athlete of all time. Seven days later he retained his 5,000m title in another gripping race to land the double double.

2016: Golden couple’s famous five golds

Laura Trott and Jason Kenny’s relationship came to public attention when they sat behind David Beckham at the beach volleyball at London 2012, where they won four golds between them.

In Rio, Jason and Laura sealed their status as sporting legends. Jason won three golds, and his sixth in total, to share the record with Sir Chris Hoy as the holder of the highest number of Olympic golds for any British athlete. Laura won two golds and is Britain’s most successful female Olympic athlete in history with four.

Five weeks after their Rio heroics, they were married and in August 2017, Laura gave birth to a little boy named Albert.

2016: Big Star Skelton wins gold at 58

Show jumper Nick Skelton became Britain’s second-oldest Olympic gold medallist in his seventh Games. The 58-year-old, who had retired in 2000 after breaking his neck in two places, claimed individual gold after a nerve-wracking six-way jump-off.

It was Britain’s first individual show jumping medal since 1972, and added to Skelton’s win in the team event at London 2012.

2016: Whitlock wins two golds in two hours

Gymnast Max Whitlock made history when he won Britain’s first-ever Olympic gymnastics gold with victory in the men’s floor event in Rio. But one was not enough and two hours later he added a second by beating British team-mate Louis Smith to gold in the men’s pommel horse.

“I’ve completely outdone myself,” Whitlock told BBC Sport. Whitlock also won a bronze in Brazil and has five Olympic medals in total – he looks well placed to add to his tally in Tokyo.

2016: Hockey women win gold after penalty shootout

Great Britain’s women won a first Olympic hockey gold medal by beating defending champions the Netherlands in a dramatic penalty shootout, watched by a BBC TV audience of 10 million. The final finished 3-3 in normal time, with Britain’s goalkeeper Maddie Hinch making a string of remarkable saves.

And the Dutch, the current world champions, could not beat Hinch in the shootout, which Britain won 2-0 with Helen Richardson-Walsh and Hollie Webb scoring the decisive penalties.

2016: Alistair Brownlee’s complete race

At the London 2012 Olympics, Alistair stormed to a famous victory with brother Jonny taking the bronze but if that was good, Rio 2016 was even better. Nobody had ever defended an Olympic triathlon title but Alistair was in imperious form and won gold again, with Jonny claiming the silver medal on an unforgettable day for the Brownlee family.

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