Team UK

Last week I got a very nice email from one Jim Sedgwick. He had noticed all the publicity over the epetitions on the Number 10 website over road charging. This got him thinking about something that he wished to change – the erroneous use of the term Great Britain by UK Athletics for the Olympic team.

I have signed his epetition to have the name changed to what it is in all but name, Team UK.

  • Trinity Nationalist

    Not really Michael, it would seem that on the whole it really is GB athletes. At the Athens Olympics there were more NI based athletes competing for Team Ireland than the one NI rower in Team GB.

  • retiredsportie

    Not to be cynical but as a former sportsperson myself I knew that team Ireland was much easier to get into than Team GB and hence even though I am a unionist I would have been happy to compete for Team Ireland to have to experience of an international competition!

    On the whole Michael, making Team GB more welcoming by changing the name Team UK isn’t going to change much if another team is much easier to get into.

  • dodrade

    I believe its full name is Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

  • Bemused

    I eagerly await your e-petition to change the name of the Ulster Unionist Party to that of the Northern Ireland Unionist Party, the Ulster Orchestra to that of the Northern Ireland Orchestra, Radio Ulster to that of Radio Northern Ireland etc. etc…..consistency would be nice in these matters.

  • Greenflag

    Team YU KAY would simply become known as the Yukes or even worse the YUKS .

    Not a tasty description . There are times when legal definitions need to be dispensed with in deference to common sense and good taste . Team GB is fine as is Team Ireland . Team Britain would also be fine but the risk is that they would soon become known as the B team and thus suffer a psychological disadvantage in competition.

    Are Northern Unionists so paranoid that the merest hint that NI is ‘forgotten /omitted’ in any titular description is another ‘nail’ in the Union coffin ?

    I’m sure there are more important issues for UUP supporters and members at this time than another one of these red white and blue herrings !

  • smcgiff

    ‘I believe its full name is Great Britain and Northern Ireland.’

    Certainly was for the just finished Euro indoors in Birmingham.

  • John Farrell

    Its laughable… I pointed out in a previous thread and as someone else on this thread has posted.
    At Athens there was one rower from Coleraine on the “Great Britain and Northern Ireland team” but several Norn Ironers from both communities in the Ireland team.
    Yes it is easier to qualify on an Irish team but wouldnt it be hilarious if there were no people from “NI” in the “UK” team in 2012, especially if Belfast is a venue for football.
    In 1980, a senior member of the RUC competed for Ireland in the Moscow Olympics. Ironically the sport was……pistol shooting.
    I was behind him in the passport queue.
    Very interesting.

  • Greenflag


    ‘even though I am a unionist I would have been happy to compete for Team Ireland to have to experience of an international competition!

    This is known as the triumph of common sense over political principles 🙂 Pity Paisley did’nt learn that particular lesson 35 years ago . Northern Ireland might have been a far happier place !

  • The World’s Gone Mad

    Ah, the Olympics – about the only time I’m pleased to hear God Save The Queen.

    As alluded to by dodrade, isn’t this whole e-petition based on a false premise? The petition states…

    ‘We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to change the name of the British Olympic Team from Great Britain to the United Kingdom’

    But the team isn’t called Great Britain, its called Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and has been since 1928.

    The details of the petition state – ‘There are over 1.5 million people in Northern Ireland who understand that Team GB misrepresents them’. Well, there’s around 40-45% of people in Northern Ireland for whom ‘Team GB’ probably does misrepresent them. As for the other 55%, have you asked them whether it misrepresents them? As someone who has followed the ups and downs of ‘Team GB’ and watched each Olympics feverishly since Coe and Ovett in Moscow (which I just about remember), I’m perfectly happy with ‘Team GB’ thank you very much. I’m with Greenflag on this one, ‘Team GB’ is much more favourable to ‘Team UK’.

    The original posting from Michael Shilliday – ‘the erroneous use of the term Great Britain by UK Athletics for the Olympic team’ is itself erroneous. ‘UK Athletics’ isn’t ‘in charge’ of the name, its the BOA. I get the impression (and this isn’t probably an earth-shattering insight) that the people that sign these petitions have little interest in the Olympics and are just interested in making a political point. Shouldn’t they be busy doing other things, like campaigning for GSTQ at Ravenhill? If they were truly interested in proper representation for Northern Ireland at the Olympics, their main concern should be the dearth of NI sportspeople in ‘Team GB’ (or ‘Team Ireland’ for that matter), or the simply abysmal performance of Northern Ireland at the Commonwealth Games.

    Isn’t the fact that ‘Royaume-Uni’ represents them at the Eurovision Song Contest enough for these people?

  • JG

    like campaigning for GSTQ at Ravenhill?

    As has already been established on slugger NI is separate and foreign from the Republic and that when Ireland play abroad only Ireland’s Call is used so only Ireland’s Call should be used at Ravennhill.