Meet the North East athletes representing Team GB at the Tokyo Olympics

Publication Date23 Jul 2021
A 376-strong squad has been selected for the delayed Games with more women than men for the first time in the team's history.

An opening ceremony like no other gets the Games under way at the Olympic Stadium today.

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Competitors born or to have studied in the region are hoping to bring home medals in events such as football, rowing, archery and boxing.

Team GB will target more than 50 medals amid unprecedented circumstances with rising Covid-19 infection rates leading to a new state of emergency in Tokyo and a ban on fans attending the Olympic Games.

UK Sport chief executive Sally Munday said: "Tokyo will be an extraordinary Games, and for us measuring success has evolved since Rio.

"Medals, of course, are a big part of that. But if we are to deliver on our new mission to create the greatest decade of extraordinary sporting moments... we know we've got to broaden our horizons."

Here are the athletes with connections to North East who will represent Team GB at the Tokyo Olympics.

1. Demi Stokes - Football - South Shields The Manchester City defender was born in the Midlands but moved to South Shields when she was three.

Stokes played for Sunderland 24/7 - an all-girls side in an all boys league - before joining Sunderland's academy, then their women's team in her midteens.

A banner year for the left-back in 2009 saw Stokes play in the FA Cup final with Sunderland and hoist the U19 Euros trophy with England alongside fellow City star and Team GB teammate Lucy Bronze.

She went on to play 13 times for the Vancouver Whitecaps before joining City in 2015.

The 29-year-old former Gateshead College pupil has 56 England caps, scoring one goal.

2. Lucy Bronze - Football - Berwick Upon-Tweed From the isolated island of Lindisfarne to the best women's player on the planet, Lucy Bronze's rise has been as unlikely as it has been meteoric.

The granddaughter of the caretaker of Lindisfarne castle, she was born in Berwick, before going to school in Alnwick.

The 29-year-old started here career at Sunderland before moving to Everton. She earned her first England cap while playing for Liverpool.

The full-back has gone on to establish herself as one of the best players in the game, starring in the 2015 World Cup and winning three Champions League titles with Olympique Lyonnais.

Now back in England with Manchester City, she was the first Englishwoman to be named UEFA Women's Player of the Year in 2019, and the following year she was crowned the Best FIFA Women's Player.

3. Pat McCormack - Welterweight boxer - Washington Birtley bruiser Pat McCormack is gunning for gold in his second stab at the Olympic Games...

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