Great Britain was one of 14 teams to compete in the first Games, the 1896 Summer Olympics in Athens, and is one of only three nations (France and Switzerland are the others) to have competed at every Summer and Winter Olympic Games. Athletes representing Great Britain have won 780 medals at the Summer Olympic Games, and another 22 at the Winter Olympic Games. Great Britain is the only team to have won at least one gold medal at every Summer Games and lies third globally in terms of both gold medals and total medals.
The most successful British Olympians by gold medals won are Chris Hoy who won six gold medals in track cycling and Steve Redgrave, who won five gold medals in rowing. Hoy and fellow cyclist Bradley Wiggins have the most overall medals by British Olympians with seven each.Steve Redgrave is the only British Olympian to win five Gold Medals in five consecutive Olympic Games, winning his first in 1984 Los Angeles and last in 2000 Sydney. With five gold and a bronze Redgrave is the most successful Olympic male rower of all time.
Chris Hoy is the most successful cyclist in Olympic history and Ben Ainslie, with four golds at consecutive Games and a silver medal, is the most successful sailor in Olympic history. As a non-alpine nation, Great Britain has found the bulk of its success in the Summer Olympics. Despite this, Great Britain is the most successful nation in women's skeleton, having won a medal four times, one for each time the event has been held, including a gold medal for Amy Williams in 2010, and the same for Lizzy Yarnold in 2014.
Chris Hoy (top) has the most gold medals of any British Olympian with six and is tied for most overall medals with Bradley Wiggins (middle), at seven.
Chris Hoy is also the most successful cyclist in Olympic history.
Ben Ainslie (bottom) is the most successful sailor in Olympic History.
According to official data of the International Olympic Committee. This is a list of people who have won three or more Olympic gold medals for Great Britain. Medals won in the 1906 Intercalated Games are not included. It includes top-three placings in 1896 and 1900, before medals were awarded for top-three placings.
Robertson, Webb and Ayton, sailors all, won their gold medals in consecutive Games - Robertson being the first to achieve the feat - her second gold occurring in the 2004 Yngling class, the same event as the other sailors' first.
Mary Rand won three medals, one of each colour, at the same Games in 1964 - to date, the only British woman to have done so.
Shirley Robertson, Sarah Ayton and Sarah Webb, with two gold medals, share the honour of most successful female Olympic sailors of all time with a number of other sailors. Kelly Holmes won 800m and 1500m Gold at the Athens Olympics in 2004.
Great Britain and France were the only two nations to compete in the only Olympic cricket match, in 1900. The British team won, making them the only nation to win an Olympic cricket contest and the only Olympic gold medalists in cricket.
Great Britain and Ireland – now represented separately by Team Ireland and Team Great Britain – was one of three nations to play in the inaugural football tournament, winning their only match to take the first Olympic gold medal in football. They competed in the nine Olympics in the table below.
In 1974 the FA abolished the distinction between "amateur" and "professional" footballers in England. This ended the practice of "shamateurism", where players claimed to be amateur but still got irregular payments from their clubs. Also, Great Britain is not a member of FIFA and its athletes participate in international football competitions as members of the national teams of the home nations (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland), none of which have National Olympic Committees. As a result, Great Britain usually does not participate in Olympic qualifying tournaments.
Great Britain's first gymnastics medal came in 1908 with a silver in the men's individual all-around. Until 2008, Great Britain's last medal for gymnastics was a Bronze in the Women's all-round team event in 1928. At the 2012 Summer Games in London, Great Britain equaled its tally for all previous games combined, winning 4 medals to bring their all-time total to eight.
Great Britain has competed in all judo events held at the Summer Olympics since judo made its full debut as an Olympic sport in 1964. Although Great Britain has won 18 judo medals, none have been gold.
Great Britain's Olympic modern pentathlon debut was in 1912 when the it was first included in the Olympics. Since the women's event was added in 2000, Great Britain has medalled in that event at every Games. The most successful Games was in 2000, when Great Britain won the gold and bronze medals.
Great Britain was one of four nations to compete in the debut of Olympic polo. Three of the five teams had British players, and those three teams took both the top two places and split the third place with the Mexican team.
Great Britain's first shooting medals came when the nation hosted the 1908 Games, at which the British shooters dominated the competitions. There were 215 shooters from 14 nations in the shooting events, including 67 shooters from Great Britain.
Great Britain was the third most successful nation in swimming in 2008, with 2 golds, 2 silvers and 2 bronzes, with Rebecca Adlington winning two of these, making her the most successful female British swimmer in 100 years.
John Pius Boland dominated the 1896 tennis tournaments. Tennis in 1896 was a sport which allowed mixed teams, and both Boland and George S. Robertson joined partners from other nations to win their medals. Britain again dominated in 1900, taking all four gold medals and adding 7 other medals (3 as part of mixed teams).
Great Britain have competed in all four triathlon competitions that have taken place since 2000. Their best finish is a 1st and 3rd place in the men's triathlon, and 5th place in the women's triathlon, in 2012.
Great Britain's Olympic tug of war debut came when the nation hosted the Games in 1908. Great Britain were then one of only 2 teams to compete in 1912 and they also won the last Tug of War competition held in the Olympics in 1920.
Prior to participating, as host nation, in the 2012 volleyball tournaments, Great Britain had never competed in Olympic volleyball with the exception of the women's team participating in the inaugural Beach volleyball tournament in 1996.