An independent school in Somerset has its highest number of former pupils competing in the Olympics this year than ever before.
The Tokyo Olympic Games start today at 12pm BST, after they were postponed due to Covid-19 in 2020.
Millfield School has 13 former pupils attending the games to compete for their countries, as well as one coach. Nine athletes will be part of Team GB and four will be competing for Kenya, Denmark, Brunei and Hong Kong.
The school had nine alumni in the London 2012 Olympics and 10 in 2016 at Rio, including two coaches.
Euan Dale, a former Millfieldian himself (1997-2004), joined the coaching staff at Millfield in 2010. Currently director of swimming, Dale is in Tokyo as part of Team GB’s coaching team and will assist Millfield’s group of selected swimmers.
“Millfield has that Olympic medicine,” said Dale. “We’re proud to have helped on the development of their swimming journeys. We can’t wait for Tokyo and to see them on the blocks, competing at their best against the best athletes in the world.”
In swimming, James Guy, Kieran Bird, Brodie Williams, Suzanna Hext (Paralympics), Muis Ahmad (Brunei), Danilo Rosafio (Kenya) have been selected for their respective countries, which is the largest number of swimmers the school has ever seen at an Olympic Games.
Guy said: “I’ve been around Millfield for a long time and all of the staff here really did help me massively and without them I wouldn’t be where I am today.”
Joining the swimmers will be Helen Glover and Rory Gibbs competing on the water for the GB rowing team. Oscar Coggins is representing the Hong Kong triathlon team, Jazmin Sawyers the GB athletics team in long jump, Tazana Kamanga-Dyrbak will represent Denmark in the 4x100m, and both Alec Coombes and Ollie Lindsay-Hague have been selected for the GB rugby sevens team.
Dr Scott Drawer, director of sport at Millfield, said: “Sport is synonymous with Millfield, and we are proud to place it on the pedestal it deserves in developing young people. Our vision at Millfield is to be the world leader for the development of children through sport, and looking at the vast list of previous Olympians and success stories, we have been leading the way for some time.”
Millfieldians have competed at every Olympics since 1956, with 56 athletes representing nine different countries and a total of 16 medals won (five gold, four silver, seven bronze).