BORIS Johnson has posed for smiling selfies with Olympic heroes after they were handed a bumper cash bonus in a bid to win MORE golds at the Paris games.
The Prime Minister signed off an extra £77 million as he thanked them for their Tokyo gold rush.
He applauded heroes including Adam Peaty, Jason and Laura Kenny, Tom Daley and Sky Brown at Wembley Arena befor they celebrate with spectacular performances from stars like Rag'n'Bone Man, Anne-Marie and Bastille this afternoon.
The extra cash for the athletes will give them a greater platform to eclipse the 65 medals, including 22 golds won at the Games this summer.
Boris met the team had to cut short his appearance to chair a COBR meeting over Afghanistan.
He said: “Team GB showed us the very best of this country in Tokyo – demonstrating sportsmanship, hard work and record-breaking performances.
“From the pool to the track to the velodrome, our Olympians gave us so many reasons to be proud, and to celebrate their extraordinary success.
“This increased funding will support Team GB to deliver their best possible performances in three years time in Paris.”
Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden added: “ Despite major disruption caused by the pandemic, Team GB have brought the entire nation together and inspired the next generation of athletes."
Cyclist Jason Kenny the nation's most-decorated Olympian, welcomed the news.
He said: "Without the funding you are relying on extraordinary people who would win anyway – but they are few and far between.
"I think what the funding does it gives anyone with a bit of talent a chance to go and perform and as we have seen it has moved us up the medal table massively since we started getting the funding.
"I think it is a massively positive thing, I would say that because I'm on the receiving end of it but the Olympics are really special and it is really nice to see Team GB up at the sharp end and competing in lots of different sports."
Oliver Dowden – Culture Secretary
Our brilliant Olympic athletes have been an inspiration to people across Great Britain, Northern Ireland and the world.
They did the entire nation proud with their dozens of medals — and I am sure we will enjoy many more too from our Paralympians later this month.
Team GB brought the entire nation together — as we cheered them on in front of our TV screens — and inspired the next generation of athletes. And I am determined to back that next generation.
Our significant funding increase will put our athletes successfully on the path to Paris 2024 and beyond.
Team GB showed in Tokyo just how much strength and depth we have across the team and in many different sports.
The 65 medals won were across 25 different disciplines — a broader range than any other country — with victories in the water, across the land and even in the air.
We are supporting our athletes to build on these successes, harnessing the brilliant power of sport in bringing people together, encouraging teamwork and ensuring we continue to inspire the nation.
The PM and Mr Dowden managed to wrangle a 44 per cent boost from Chancellor Rishi Sunak outside of the spending review.
The team will get an extra £77.4 million to fund new sports and retain coaches, bringing the total cash pot to fund Team GB and ParalympicsGB athletes for Paris to £232 million.
Dame Katherine Grainger, Chair of UK Sport, said: “This commitment from our Government, as well as the incredible support we receive from National Lottery players, gives us greater certainty of delivering more extraordinary moments to reach, inspire and unite the nation in Beijing and Paris, and also sets us up perfectly for the ‘greatest decade’ of sport that we hope to deliver in the years to come.
“Our thanks go to Government and The National Lottery for their unwavering support for Britain’s Olympic and Paralympic athletes.”
Around 240 Paralympic athletes will take part in the Tokyo games which start next week.
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