The Games are over. So, what's next for the best of British?
Retirement and reality TV beckon for some as others set their sights on Rio
Sunday 12 August 2012
The 31-year-old retires as a double gold medallist and will move into a diverse second career that is set to range from designing bikes – sales of her first have already risen following her success last week – promoting cycling, modelling and a "secret" project that may turn out to be Strictly Come Dancing.
Sir Chris Hoy
Britain's most decorated Olympian is not finished yet. The 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow are likely to be his swansong, a chance to pedal off into the sunset in front of his home crowd – besides he has only won two Commonwealth golds, a paltry total by his Olympic standards.
First will come a holiday but then she will be back in training – next year brings the World Championships in Moscow, 2014 is the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow where she wants gold to complete her set. As for Rio de Janeiro in 2016, the 26-year-old says it's too early to commit to completing another Olympic cycle.
There may have been some disappointment surrounding her reverse alchemy, turning two golds of Beijing into two bronze, but it was a creditable display. It may, however, be the last we see of the 23-year-old in the pool. She is taking a break until making a decision on her future in October – retirement beckons.
It would be impossible, surely, for the 32-year-old to better his 2012 campaign. What next? Defending his Tour de France title will be the priority – it will be fascinating to see how Team Sky juggle the demands of Wiggins and Mark Cavendish – and after that there is a suggestion that he and Cavendish could return to the velodrome for the 2016 Games.
The 24-year-old Yorkshireman claimed gold in the triathlon with the utter conviction of a true winner. He will leave the field clear for brother Jonny over the next couple of months as he takes a break. After that, he is considering a switch to the track and may look to make the England team in the 10,000m at the 2014 Commonwealth Games.
Grainger entered a whole new world when she finally won Olympic gold. It was perhaps the best-received medal within the British team for a popular figure, who had won three silvers prior to London. Now, she is being recognised in the street. Her first post-Games task is to complete her PhD in the ethics of criminal law and after that she will decide whether to do it all again in Rio.
One of the advantages of being the host nation is entering teams and athletes in every sport. Lam-Moores, who wrote a blog for The Independent in the build-up to the Olympics, seized her chance in handball and the 21-year-old from Warrington has earned a professional contract with Viborg, one of Denmark and Europe's leading clubs.
It is back to the day job for Stanning who, in partnership with Helen Glover, won rowing gold in the pair. The 27-year-old has been on a two-year sabbatical from the Army, in which she is a captain in the Royal Artillery. Next year she is likely to be on duty in Afghanistan.
And not forgetting...
Perhaps the biggest British disappointment of the Games was Idowu's failure to even make the final of the triple jump. He will not compete again this season. Instead he faces surgery on his troublesome left knee. The 33-year-old insists he will be back – the next big event is the World Championships in Moscow.
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