You may have seen these faces on TV screens, but did you know their roots are deep set in Nottingham soil? Maya Israel reveals seven sportspeople whose talents were found first in Nottingham.
- Rebecca Adlington OBE
This household name grew up in Mansfield and began her road to success at Nova Centurion Swimming Club. Adlington became the face of British Swimming at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China, where she won gold medals in both the 400m freestyle and 800m freestyle, becoming the first woman to win Gold for GB in the pool since 1960. She went on to win two more medals at London 2012, after which she retired. In 2009 Adlington was appointed OBE as a result of her sporting success.
If you’re ever wondering around Wollaton, you might come across ‘Dean Close’ or ‘Torvill Drive’, named after the legendary skaters
- Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean
Torvill and Dean are the ice dancing pair known best for their perfect 6.0 score at the 1984 Olympics in Yugoslavia, which made them the highest scoring ice dancers of all time. Their performance of Maurice Ravel’s Bolero was watched by more than 24 million people, making it one of the most watched TV events at the time in the UK. If you’re ever wondering around Wollaton, you might come across ‘Dean Close’ or ‘Torvill Drive’, named after the legendary skaters.
- Carl Froch MBE
If you don’t recognise this professional boxer from the ring, you might know him as a Sky Sports’ boxing pundit. ‘The Cobra’, a Gelding-born athlete, is a former super middleweight champion (WBC in 2008 and 2011, IBF in 2012 to 2015 and WBA 2013-2015) and was voted Boxer of the Year by World Boxing News in 2012. Fun fact: Froch grew up wanting to play for Nottingham Forest Football Club and has expressed a desire to fight at their grounds.
Ellie [Downie] […] became Britain’s first female gymnast to win an individual all-around medal at the European Artistic Gymnastics Championships
- The Downie Sisters
Britain’s Gymnastic hopes for Tokyo 2020 rest on sisters, Ellie and Becky Downie, who train locally at Notts Gymnastics Academy. The pair are not new to high level international competition. Older sister, Becky, competed at the 2008 and 2016 Olympics, has won gold at the Commonwealth Games and is a two-time European Champion. Younger sister, Ellie, has made history on two occasions; first in 2015 where she became Britain’s first female gymnast to win an individual all-around medal at the European Artistic Gymnastics Championships and second, in 2017 where she became the first female gymnast to win a major all-around title at the European Games.
- Stuart Broad MBE
Last up, we have England Cricketer, Stuart Broad, former ODI and T20 captain, who grew up in Rutland. The ambidextrous player started his career at Leicestershire County Cricket Club (choosing a contract there over a place at Durham University) before returning to Nottingham to follow in the footsteps of his father, cricketer Chris Broad. Broad has the second highest test score made by a no.9 batsman ever, at 169, which he accomplished against Pakistan in 2010. This summer he surpassed 500 Test wickets, in the series against the West Indies and so became only the 7th bowler and 2nd Englishman to achieve such a feat – the other being long-time bowling partner Jimmy Anderson, who also this summer reached 600 Test wickets, the 4th bowler to reach this milestone. Broad was appointed MBE in 2016 as recognition for his contribution to English Cricket.
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