Rebecca Adlington became the first British woman in twenty years to win an Olympic swimming title by winning two gold medals in Beijing in 2008. Whilst doing this, she also won the 800 metres by beating a twenty-year old record.
Funding from the UK lottery draw has helped Rebecca and continues to do so as she prepares for the 2012 Olympics. She believes it is the lottery funding that has given her access to top class training, medical support and coaching.
Every time a pound is paid into the UK lottery draw funds, 28 pence is allocated for various good causes and five pence of that goes towards the 2012 Olympics.
From British National Lottery funds, £2.2 billion will go towards the infrastructure needed to run the Games. This money has a long-term significance, however, as the facilities will be used for the benefit of London and the wider UK. Indeed, some of the profits gained from the sales of land used for the Olympics will, according to a Government announcement, be returned to the UK lottery draw funds for further use by charities and other good causes.
17000 athletes and officials will be accommodated in the Olympic village, for example, and in excess of 6000 people during the Paralympic Games. This development will be partly funded by the National Lottery and will then be part of the regeneration of the London borough of Stratford once the Games are over. This will involve a shopping complex and in the region of 4000 office buildings, new homes and leisure facilities.
The British National Lottery provided £265 million of funds for the World Class Pathway programme in preparation for the 2008 Beijing Olympics. This project gave athletes the support they needed and in turn these athletes gained 140 medals at the Games. Those looking to attend the London 2012 Games will receive similar support.
But the Lottery is funding less obvious initiatives too. Unlimited is a project providing sports and arts opportunities for the deaf and disabled to which the National Lottery fund has donated £3 million. This is all part of the 2012 London Cultural Olympiad.
To distribute these funds, the British Government set up an official body. This council, imaginatively known as the Olympic Lottery Distributor, will have an income from the UK lottery fund of £1.8 billion to support the London Olympics.