SIR CHRIS HOY
Sir Chris Hoy
Throughout his incredible cycling career the mighty Sir Chris Hoy has become Britain’s most awarded Olympian. Retiring from track cycling has brought him new challenges. He’s already been getting behind the wheel of a Nissan GT–R NISMO GT3 at the 2014 British GT Championships. And he’s set to share his expertise as Team Ambassador throughout our partnership with Team GB and ParalympicsGB. Keep up with Sir Chris Hoy on Twitter and Facebook or visit his website.
RICHARD WHITEHEAD MBE
Richard Whitehead MBE
Richard doesn’t just win races; he breaks records. He has set records for the half and full marathons, as well as the world record in the T42 200m. Richard attacked the track to achieve gold at the London 2012 Games and now he’s raring to defend his title in Rio. Keep up with Richard on Twitter, Facebook or visit his website.
DARREN CAMPBELL MBE
DARREN CAMPBELL MBE
Darren Campbell MBE took the Sydney 2000 Games by storm, securing silver in the 200m final. But his crowning glory came at the next Olympics as he achieved gold as part of the Team GB 4 x 100m-relay team. His track experience makes him the ideal mentor for our aspiring Rio 2016 hopefuls – we’re delighted he’s become part of our team. Keep up with Darren on Twitter.
Katarina’s transition from junior to senior has been seamless. Since her Olympic debut she’s proven herself as a podium contender, claiming silver in the long jump at the 2014 World Indoor Championships, and breaking multiple British records, including the pentathlon on her way to winning gold at the 2015 European Indoor Championships. And we feel extremely proud that she’s got a Nissan Juke to help her get to training. Keep up with Katarina on Twitter, Facebook or visit her website.
During the last Olympics Max battled it out to win bronze in an individual and team event. As a respected role model he recently attended Lynx Gymnastics Centre for an event arranged by his local Nissan dealer, Aylesbury Nissan. While meeting the club’s young hopefuls he explained: “the support of Aylesbury Nissan means so much to me” – we’re glad we can help! Keep up with Max on Twitter and Facebook.
We recently caught up with local Olympian & Aylesbury Nissan ambassador Max Whitlock to find out how the double Olympic bronze medallist is faring on his Road to Rio.
I try to think of Rio as just another competition, I try not to think ‘oh my god it’s the Olympic Games’ If I arrive in Rio with the best build up I can possibly do, then I can do no more than that.
When I’m not training then a lot of what I do away from the gym is just recovery, but I do like going out for meals with my family and my fiancée. Me and the boys go to the cinema too, we were up on a camp recently and we went out then – the last film I saw was Tarzan, which was really good actually. But I just do normal stuff really, I just need to make sure I’m not doing too much out of the gym and that it doesn’t hamper my recovery from training.
At Rio itself then I think my experience in London will massively help me at a second Olympic Games. At that competition I was not expected to get a medal, or produce any kind of result. So to win two bronze medals was really special.
Now, in the years since then, I have learned so much and got a few more good results under my belt, which calms me. The pressure has changed for us all now though, we are expected to get results and come back with medals, but I just see that as extra support.
It was so hard to come up with the five that would be going to Rio. There are about 10 to 15 boys to choose from so to whittle it down to just five was such a tough job and I think we have come out with a really, really, strong team.
There are so many more people supporting us now that I cannot wait to get out there and start competing.
Resilient rider Liam combatted a rough round of injuries to become 2013 World BMX Champion. He’s now working towards a podium place in Rio, and he hopes to inspire emerging young athletes in the process. He certainly has the support of Sandicliffe, Hucknall, his local Nissan dealer, as they’ve provided him with a brand new Nissan Qashqai. Keep up with Liam on Twitter and Facebook.
We recently caught up with Sandicliffe Nissan ambassador Liam Phillips to find out how the BMX ace is faring on his Road to Rio.
I’m a big sports fan in general and love the Olympics and everything about it. I grew up hoping to compete at an Olympic Games and have been lucky to do so on multiple occasions now. I’m a fan like anyone else so during the early part of the Games when I’m home before I fly out to Rio, I will be watching it on television.
It’s going to sound weird but it actually helps me to switch off. I will watch all sports really although I probably watch the more traditional ones like swimming and athletics. Saying that, it’s also great to see the more minor sports get some time in the spotlight, sports like BMX. It’s a great platform to be able to show the world what you can do.
I fly to London on the tenth of August and then leave for Rio on the 11th. Until then I will just continue to train hard and do the basics right. There won’t be anything special, I will just be sticking to the same routines I do with any big competition.
Compared to London, I’m aware this could be my last Olympic Games so I’m determined to make sure to enjoy it. I’ll spend the first couple of days in Rio getting used to life in the village and then we’ll have some practice days on the track followed by the competition.
I’ve actually recently been finalising a few details for a holiday after the Games with my girlfriend Jess. I’m the type of person who’s guilty of going back to training quite quickly after a competition. But my body is not getting any younger and it’s been a hard 12 months leading up to Rio, so I’m looking forward to having a bit of downtime. Hopefully that can come after a successful Olympic Games for me.
Born-to-cycle Becky has become a Track Cycling World Champion twice over. Currently in recovery after an injury she’s determined to shake things up in Rio. When the young athlete came to collect her new Nissan Juke from her local Nissan dealer, she explained: “Having the support of Newtown Motors, a business that’s so local to where I call home, is amazing”. Keep up with Becky on Twitter.
We recently caught up with local Olympian & Newtown Motors ambassador Becky James to find out how the double track cycling World Champion is faring on her Road to Rio.
When it was officially confirmed that I would be going to Rio, I felt excitement, pride and happiness – everything I imagined I would feel getting selected for the Olympic Games. But there was also a realisation that I still had a lot of very hard work to do to ensure I’m at my best when the Games start.
This will be my first Olympics. I think going to the Commonwealth Games in 2010 has helped a little, because that gave me the experience of a multi-discipline major sporting event, although obviously not on the scale of the Olympics.
As a squad, I think we will do well in Rio but it is going to be very competitive because every nation has upped their game. I wouldn’t like to predict how many medals we will end up with but I am sure there will be some golds in there.
I’ll have quite a lot of friends and family in Rio supporting me including my grandparents. My uncle Richard and his wife Constanza are flying up from their home in Buenos Aires while my two youngest sisters, Ffion and Megan, are coming and my mother and father have also booked to go. My boyfriend George is heading to Brazil to support me too.
I’ve suffered with injury and illness over the last four years but my family, my boyfriend and former British Cycling technical director Shane Sutton are the people who kept me the most motivated, although there are plenty of others as well. I recall Shane reminding me about my performances at the World Championships in 2013, where I won gold medals in the sprint and keirin as well as bronzes in the team sprint and 500m time trial.
Shane asked whether I enjoyed the feeling and if I wanted to feel like that again? Obviously I did and that’s why I have kept going.
DAVID STONE MBE
David Stone MBE
David pedalled to gold twice at the Beijing 2008 Games. A similar pattern of success emerged at the London 2012 Games when he came first in the road race and third in the time trial. He’s an inspirational athlete, who deserves an innovative car, that’s why his local Nissan dealer Colin Appleyard gave him a new Nissan Qashqai. Keep up with David by visiting his website.
We recently caught up with Nissan ambassador David Stone to find out how the three-time Paralympic cycling champion is faring on his Road to Rio.
Last year was a tough year for me for personal reasons but it seems to be coming together again. It’s a big year for me with Rio on the horizon. A big stepping stone for me was the World Cup competition in Belgium at the end of May which was a chance to try and impress the selectors to make the team for Rio. I was able to win silver in the road race, just missing out on gold to World Champion Hans-Peter Durst of Germany.
After missing the entire of the 2015 season, I wasn’t sure how it would go after so long off the bike, but it just clicked into place. It was a really nice boost to be racing again. I won gold in both at the Paralympic Games in Beijing and then gold in the road race at London and bronze in the time trial. I prefer the road race as it’s more mental and tactical – it’s more of a game I find which I enjoy a lot.
But to win in Rio would almost be a miracle as the course is not a course that generally suits me. It’s very flat along the sea front whereas I quite enjoy the hills. So it would mean so much if I could win.
I have become more aware that I cannot ride my bike forever and it’s a case of considering what I will do next. I guess I just became a little lost last year but I’m back now.
I still enjoy the suffering on the bike and pushing yourself to the very limits. I enjoy the freedom the bike gives me but sometimes the challenges I face, I don’t enjoy as much. Physically I am still very capable to win bike races but sometimes it’s the motivation.
David has been working with Nissan on some new equipment ahead of Rio 2016. For more information click here.
Having made her Olympic debut at London 2012 in the 3,000m steeplechase, Eilish has since switched to running the flat 5,000m. She’s produced some remarkable performances this year, including a personal best after 22 months off from an ankle injury, which saw her achieve the qualifying time and selection for Rio. Her local dealership is Mackie Motors. Keep up to date @EilishMccolgan.
We recently caught up with Mackie Motors Nissan ambassador Eilish McColgan to find out how the London 2012 middle distance runner is faring on her Road to Rio.
It seemed like a very distant dream. Lying on the sofa, recovering from ankle surgery, I scrawled down on a big piece of paper ‘RIO 2016’. Underneath, I posted the qualifying times I needed to make the team: 3,000m Steeplechase – 9:45, 5,000m – 15:24, 10,000m – 32:15.
As I hobbled across the room on my crutches and cast, I attached it to the fireplace. It seemed silly at the time. I had been injured for eight months with a further three months of recovery; walking pain-free was a more realistic goal, but something inside of me couldn't let Rio go.
Making the Olympic Games is a long and gruelling process. From the moment I placed that paper on my fireplace until the second I crossed the line at my Olympic Trial, the pressure has been brewing up inside me like a water balloon ready to explode.
Two Olympic Games in two different events – the 3,000m steeplechase and now the 5,000m. At the age of 25, it's something I never thought would happen.
I head to Rio only five days before my first round, which means I unfortunately miss the Opening Ceremony and don't get to join the rest of the British squad at the preparation camp. It will be strange missing out on the full Olympic experience but London 2012 was my opportunity to learn. This time around, I’m four years older, more experienced and here to perform.
I would love to make the Olympic final. The Ethiopian and Kenyan athletes are a world apart to the Europeans and Americans but, with only three athletes representing each nation, there are definitely a few places in the final up for grabs.
I'll be wearing the Team GB colours with a huge smile on my face, and I know all of my family will be filled with pride watching me compete on the TV.
Amazing Amy made her Paralympic debut at the London 2012 Games at just 14 years old. Since then she’s swum her way to multiple gold and silver medals at the IPC World Championships. And everyone at her local Nissan dealer Glyn Hopkin, Romford, will be supporting her on the road to Rio.
We recently caught up with Nissan ambassador Amy Marren to find out how the London 2012 Paralympic swimmer is faring on her Road to Rio.
Last year was an incredibly challenging one for me as a mystery illness saw me collapse poolside and rule me out of swimming for more than three months. But I am back now and looking forward to the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.
Doctors still don’t know what caused me to collapse in Glasgow but whatever it was, my energy levels hit the floor and I was left feeling drained all the time. In the end I was out from March until June and it meant I was forced to miss the 2015 World Championships.
The whole situation was obviously far from ideal but what it did do was allow me to miss my swimming and remind me just how much I love this sport. And that is crucial when it comes to your training. You have to enjoy what you do and I am really enjoying my swimming.
In April I had the British Para-Swimming International meet which was obviously a crucial competition for us as it was an opportunity to try and book a place on the place to Rio, subject to confirmation by the British Paralympic Association. Fortunately I managed to achieve the time in the SM9 200m individual medley. It was actually quite emotional for me as it’s been a tough few years. To know I’ve now been selected for the ParalympicsGB team is a real weight off my shoulders.
I have already tasted what a Paralympics feels like in London four years ago and it was not only my first Games but it was also in front of the home crowd which makes it even tougher. I now know what it is like to compete in that pressure environment and how important it is that you are not distracted. After the year that I endured in 2015, I know that I can deal with the pressure of anything else that swimming throws at me.
KAT COPELAND MBE
Kat Copeland MBE
Kat and her teammate Sophie Hosking showed serious determination during the London 2012 Games by achieving gold. After debating over whether to go to university, Kat was drawn back to the boat, and now has her heart set on success in Rio. Her local Nissan dealer SG Petch, Durham, has equipped her with a Nissan Qashqai to help her on her journey. Keep up with Kat on Twitter and Facebook or visit her website.
We recently caught up with local Olympian & SG Petch Nissan Durham ambassador, Kat Copeland to find out how the reigning Women’s Lightweight Double Sculls Olympic rowing champion is faring on her Road to Rio.
I think the Team GB kit looks incredible, there’s not an item I can think of that I don’t like. The lycra I wore when I won the gold medal at London 2012 four years ago is kept in a safe place and I signed quite a lot of items for charity. The rest I like to wear in training. It’s really nice stuff and I keep thinking that I probably won’t be able to fit into a lot of it in ten years’ time, so I should really make the most of it now!
It will be strange rowing so far away from all the British support we got in London. Eton Dorney in 2012 had a special feeling like being at home. But saying that, rowing is always on the same stretch of water and in a straight line – it’s just the setting which is different.
I’m particularly excited about the rowing venue for the Games – it is right in the heart of Rio with the Christ the Redeemer statue overlooking the lake. It’s unusual to have rowing right in the centre of a city, normally we are quite far away, as we were at London 2012 when we were at Dorney.
I’ve got my mum, dad, little brother and boyfriend coming out to support me. It will be nice having them there and I will probably have a few coffees with them before I compete.
I feel reassured with their support and it helps me take my mind off things. It’s great to see them first thing after you’ve finished a race too.
I’m not particularly superstitious, although myself and my partner Charlotte Taylor have our race routine which we will stick to. We will have done it over and over again by the time Rio comes around, so it’s a case of knowing things inside-out and having everything set for us to do our best.
Ciara was part of the track cycling quartet that won gold at the European Championship’s in 2014 and this year helped Great Britain win bronze in the team pursuit at the World Championships, which saw her selected as part of the team to compete at the Rio Olympic Games.
Her local dealership is St Leonards Motors Group. Keep up to date @CiaraHorne1
The year Lynsey took gold at 2012 Helsinki European Championships, she was recognised as Scottish Athlete of the Year, for the second year in a row. Having reached the semi–finals during the London 2012 Games, she plans to put in her ultimate performance in Rio. And she’s got the full support of Western Nissan, as they’ve provided her with a new Nissan Juke to help her keep to her busy schedule. Keep up with Lynsey on Twitter or visit her website.
We recently caught up with Western Nissan ambassador Lynsey Sharp to find out how the London 2012 middle distance runner is faring on her Road to Rio.
I definitely feel like a weight has been lifted from my shoulders now that I am on the team for the Olympic Games.
I went to kitting out at the NEC in Birmingham and it was amazing. We’re so lucky that our country is able to put on such a big event like that because they make it so special. It was such a good day, I managed to catch up with the guys from Nissan and they put on some really fun things for us.
We got a little introduction at the start and watched a video which was quite inspiring, it told us all about the background of the kit and it reminded us just how special it is to be on the team.
We went through all the different kits, from the formal wear for the opening and closing ceremonies, through to leisure wear and competition wear - they literally make sure that everything you get is the perfect size for you. I think we’ll definitely stand out as a team, it’s certainly different from all the other countries and I think that makes it even more special. I got to take home all the kit on the day – I think I have two suitcases full, another bag and then the suit carrier as well. There’s a lot of kit but we’ll need it all.
A lot of other sports have headed out to Rio, but because of our programme, we have a bit more time although the excitement is definitely building. I think Rio is going to be very different to London, and that was my first Olympics so it’s all I know. I think we were very spoilt in London, but Rio has its own culture so I think it will put its own stamp on it, and there will be an amazing atmosphere.
With an Olympic bronze medal to his name George is now going for gold in Rio. And as training intensifies a reliable set of wheels will make all the difference. On receiving his new car from Bishops Nissan, he explained: “When I’m driving I have to keep my back in good condition and myself healthy, and the Juke will certainly help with that”. Keep up with George on Twitter.
We recently caught up with local Olympian & Bishops Nissan ambassador George Nash to find out how the Olympic bronze medallist is faring on his Road to Rio.
The team announcement last month was fantastic. The whole rowing team gets together and then pulling on the kit is great and definitely makes the whole Olympic experience feel more real.
We spend a lot of our time in a bubble in our training centre in Reading and you don’t really connect with the Olympics on a daily basis. You keep your head down, do your training and it’s not until you’re out there, at the Games, that you finally think ‘I’m part of this massive sporting celebration’.
The build up to the Olympic Games has undoubtedly felt different to four years ago. In London I was pretty new to the whole full-time athlete lifestyle and experience. I didn’t know what to expect when I went to the Games. It was a home Games, which intensified everything, and while I absolutely loved it, I certainly can’t claim that I was completely on top of my nerves.
In 2012, reaching an Olympics was my dream that I’d been building towards since the age of 15 when I first thought ‘maybe I’d be quite good at this rowing thing’. Subconsciously when you reach this massive milestone you’ve been building up to for years it’s difficult not to feel nervous. This time I’ve spent four years with my head down, training away. If it doesn’t go the way I want it to go I’ll feel like I’ve gambled four years and lost.
I know what is on the line but I’ve also thought a bit more about my mental process and preparation to deal with those feelings, so this time around I’ll be much better prepared.
I’m competing in the coxless four which is an event Team GB have dominated in recent years, winning every Olympic gold since Sydney 2000. Hopefully we can go out there and do the same thing and win gold!
Matt is a powerhouse in the pool. Competing as a junior he’s set British and European records, earning him the title: Young Male Achiever, at the 2012 North East Disability Sports Awards. In 2014, he went on to become champion in the 50m and 100m multi-classification freestyle at the European Junior Swimming Championships. Now with Rio in his sights, he has the full support of his local Nissan Dealer Evans Halshaw, as they’ve given him a 100% electric Nissan LEAF. Keep up with Matt on Twitter.
We recently caught up with Nissan ambassador Matt Wylie to find out how the swimmer is faring on his Road to Rio.
This season has been a bit different for me because I’ve changed my event focus from the 400m freestyle to the 50m freestyle which means my training has changed quite a lot. The plan was always to come down from 400m to 50m for me. I swam a 400 at an end-of-season meet last year and it went ok but my 50 went really well.
My 50m time would have won me a gold medal at the World Championships if I had gone, so that was the tipping point where I realised the 50 would be a better shout than the 400m, so I dropped down. There is less margin for error in the 50m but that’s one of the things I like about it. I enjoy the pressure and I enjoy getting in the blocks feeling stressed.
There are probably about four people in GB who are all within 0.7 seconds of each other, which I find exciting and gives me that adrenaline to swim faster. In the 400m the person behind you could be five seconds behind but over 50m everybody is snapping at your heels – it feels more like a race.
I’m feeling pretty confident in general and since taking on swimming as a way of life I have never been beaten in the S9 50m free. The S9 50m freestyle is probably one of the most competitive classes and events going on in British para-swimming at the minute. I think I’m capable of winning any race I enter though.
But on the world stage I feel like I’m quite unknown and a bit of an underdog because I’ve only been to one major championship and that was as a 400m swimmer. However, I feel like I have the capabilities to do well on the world stage and look forward to proving that in Rio.
As reigning British Champion, and silver medallist at the 2014 Commonwealth Games, Laura is no stranger to success. Now, she’s hoping to turn her results into a win in Rio. And when she’s not clocking up miles on the track, she can do so in her Nissan Juke, courtesy of Benfield Nissan. Keep up with Laura on Twitter and Facebook.
We recently caught up with local Olympian and Benfield Nissan ambassador Laura Weightman to find out how the middle distance runner is faring on her Road to Rio.
Saying the words ‘I am going to Rio, my second Olympic Games’ is an incredible feeling. The dream I had since I was a little girl starting athletics at the age of 12 was to go to the Olympic Games so to have achieved that now, not once but twice, is really special.
The past four years since London 2012 have flown by, it’s been an up and down journey, certainly not all going as planned but I feel proud that I can represent Team GB again.
I was back up at altitude in the French Pyrenees in Font Romeu doing my final preparations. It was good to be away on a training camp to do the last few weeks of training leading into a Championship. The days were simple, eat sleep and train. There was plenty of time to relax and recover and no distractions of home life. This allowed my last few weeks of training to be really focused on the Olympic Games and making sure that every day counts.
I am excited and nervous at the same time, but I can’t wait to get out there put my spikes on and race! I will have home support in the crowd as some of my family are travelling out to watch me but also know that everyone at home is watching and wishing me good luck.
Mum is getting into full Olympic spirit too. She has a giant Olympic flag wishing me luck hanging from my home house in Northumberland so there’s no missing that! I’m just really grateful for all the support I get and I hope I can do them proud. I want to be on the start line for the 1500m heats knowing I am in the best shape I possibly can be.
Ranked world no.1 in the Tri-6 category for the para-triathlon, reigning champion Melissa is now channelling her efforts into getting ready for Rio, where her event will be included in the Paralympics for the very first time. And her local Nissan dealer, Town and Country Nissan, will be driving her forward on her journey by providing a Nissan Qashqai. Keep up with Melissa on Twitter.
We recently caught up with Nissan ambassador Melissa Reid to find out how the para-triathlete is faring on her Road to Rio.
I had my first race of the season at the end of March in Buffalo City. It was the ITU World Para-triathlon and it was my first with a new guide, Hazel Smith. We had only been out on the bike together three times beforehand but we came third so we were pretty happy with that.
There is me and fellow para-triathlete Alison Patrick in my category and we are changing between Hazel and Nicole Walters, who has been my guide for the last three years. Nicole and I have worked together for three years so we know each other well and how we race, so going into a race with her is not a big deal as I know going into a competition we will be fine. But at the same time Hazel and I did well in our first race together and this is just part of being a para-triathlete. Hazel and I managed to claim gold at the World Series event in Aguilas in Portugal, which we were really pleased with.
And then Nicole and I won silver at the European Championships in Lisbon. British Triathlon want both of us to finish as high as possible going into the Paralympics and at Rio so it is important that we find the best pairings.
I believe I am capable of winning the Paralympic gold – I think everyone who goes to Rio will have the same hope of topping the podium. The competition is getting harder and harder and I will be doing everything I can on the day and we will see what happens. But whatever comes to pass, Rio will be an amazing occasion and with Para-triathlon part of the Paralympics for the first time, only a handful of athletes will be able to say they were there for its debut.
DAVID WEIR CBE
David Weir CBE
World record holder David has earned champion status on an incredible 18 occasions. He’s 6-time IPC World Champion in varying distances. He’s claimed a total of six gold medals at the 2008 and 2012 Paralympic Games. And he took first place at the London Marathon on six occasions. We’re honoured to be assisting such an inspirational athlete on his next Paralympic journey by providing a Nissan X-Trail. Keep up with David on Twitter.
Skillful Stefanie is the long jump world record holder and European Champion. She took silver at the London 2012 Games, now she hopes to achieve gold in Rio. And as a talented sportswoman she deserves a car with athletic attitude. Everyone at Nissan Leicester was delighted to give her the keys to a Nissan Juke NISMO. Keep up with Stefanie on Twitter and Facebook, or visit her website .
When Richard takes to the track he leaves his mark – he’s ranked UK number one and world number seven. During 2012 he took one gold and two bronze medals on an international stage. Today he aims to represent ParalympicsGB at the Rio 2016 Games for distances ranging from 100m up to 1500m. Richard can count on us – he’ll have access to our technical facilities, and the expertise of our chief engineers. With this combined support and advice we aim to take him to the top. Keep up with Richard on Twitter and Facebook.
2015 was a breakthrough year for Hannah, winning silver in the T2 time-trial and bronze in the T2 road race at her first World Cup. Her impressive form meant she was selected for her first UCI Road World Championships and more recently to represent ParalympicsGB at her first Paralympic Games in Rio. Keep up to date @HannahRDines.