Plymouth cheering on our top ten for London 2012
THE whole city is rooting for its 10 "remarkable" Olympians as they go for gold at the "biggest sporting event on the planet".
Today the city has pledged its support to its most talented and "inspirational" sporting stars as they head to the capital to take part in the one of the biggest challenges of their lives.
Competitors Tom Daley, 18, Sarah Barrow, 23, Tonia Couch, 23, Antony James,23, Ruta Meilutyte, 15, Jamila Lunkuse, 15, Jade Howard, 17, Rory Warlow, 22, Corinna Lawrence, 22, and David Wetherill, 22, will soon have the world's eyes on them as they compete in their respective sports aiming to bag a medal.
And support in the city continues to grow. Olympic medalists, football managers, former teachers, coaches, peers, family members and friends have been sending their 'good luck' messages to The Herald by the bucket-load.
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Plymouth swimming superstar, Sharron Davies MBE, told The Herald that the city's ten Olympians must now use the strong support to their advantage. She said: "I'd like to say good luck to all the Plymothian competitors and enjoy it. It's such a great privilege to be able to take part in a big home game such as this and whilst it will be really daunting, hugely daunting in fact, because it is a home game, they must treat it like any other competition.
"There is tremendous support out there, they need to harbour that support and use it to the best of their advantage."
Plymouth City Council will also be cheering on our hometown Olympians.
Councillor Peter Smith, deputy leader for Plymouth City Council, said: "In the coming days our Plymouth Olympians will be facing one of the biggest challenges of their sporting careers.
"They have all already achieved so much and we are extremely proud to see them representing Great Britain in their various sports.
"I know the whole city will be behind them, cheering them on as they go for gold. They are an inspiration to us all and I wish them the best of luck for London 2012."
Lord Mayor of Plymouth, councillor Michael Wright, said it was great that so many Plymouth athletes will compete in both the Olympic and Paralympic Games. He said: "Just to be selected at this level is a remarkable accomplishment and they should all be very proud. These young men and women are not only ambassadors for their sports but are also flying the flag for Plymouth and the South West. I know the city will be behind me in wishing them all the best of luck as they compete in London."
Meanwhile council leader Tudor Evans commented on what a solid ground the city is providing to so many talented sportsmen and women. He said: "To be representing your nation in any sporting competition takes years of training and is a massive achievement. To be competing in the Olympics in your home country must be something every athlete dreams of.
"They have worked incredibly hard to get where they are and should be an inspiration to us all. Plymouth will be cheering them on as they take on one of the biggest challenges in their sporting careers."
As the team of talented ten make their way to London to compete in events including diving, swimming, fencing, skeet shooting and table tennis, many of the city's sporting personalities and associations told The Herald they couldn't be prouder.
Carl Fletcher, Plymouth Argyle manager, said: "On behalf of the management team and players at Home Park, I wish all our Olympians every success at London 2012.
"To represent your country at the biggest sporting event on the planet in your country's capital city must be a dream for them, and should act as an inspiration to all of Plymouth's sportsmen and women."
James Brent, Plymouth Argyle chairman, added: "I wish all our Olympians every success. Through their participation, they have made the city proud; and we hope, through their success, they will make us prouder still.
"There is a vision that has Plymouth as the cultural, sporting and leisure centre of the South West – our Olympians are part of the bedrock from which we will build."
The first Plymouth-based star to compete will be Plymouth College's Ruta Meilutyte, on July 29, in the 100m breast stroke. Tom Daley will be the final Plymouth athlete to take centre stage when he attempts to dive his way to victory in the 10m individuals on August 11.
A spokesperson for UCP Marjon said: "As a centre for Sporting Excellence UCP Marjon would like to wish all the South West athletes the very best of luck in the 2012 Olympics. We also pass on our best wishes to the Ghana Olympic Team who have been training and staying with us before they depart to London."