“A genuine, heartfelt thank you”: Miranda Hart pens open Olympics letter to Team GB

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Moya Crockett
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If you’ve spent the last few weeks obsessively following Team GB’s progress in Rio, you might be struggling to fill the void left by the end of the Olympics.

Of course, there’s plenty of awe-inspiring international athleticism still to come: the Paralympic Games start in Rio on 7 September.

But if you find yourself experiencing withdrawal symptoms in the meantime, Miranda Hart feels your pain. 

The comedian and Olympics obsessive has written an open letter to Team GB, in which she expresses her gratitude for their performance at Rio 2016.

“Dear Team GB, I just want to say, and I confidently write this on behalf of my fellow Olympic watching fans: THANK YOU. A genuine, heartfelt thank you,” she writes in the letter, published by the BBC. “For over the last two weeks you have brought us, and indeed taught us, so very much.

“We have been inspired by your strength, dedication, endurance and determination, as well as the importance of community and fellowship within sport as the united and supportive team you proved to be.

“Put simply, it all amassed to bring us many tears and many laughs.”

Hart’s tears, she says, were in part prompted by joy, as she watched members of Team GB – including Mo Farah, Nicola Adams and Laura Trott – take gold.

However, she says she also shed “tears of heartbreak” when athletes like Tom Daley didn’t achieve the success they had hoped for.

Hart’s Olympic obsession has been well-documented on her Twitter feed over the past two weeks, as she posed Games-related queries to her 2.27m followers. 

And in her letter to Team GB, the comedian shared exactly how absorbed she has been in the Games.

“Our sofas became front row stadium seats and we acted as if we were there with you, though we had the advantage of anxiety-induced snack-eating (which I made a sport in itself),” Hart writes.

Hart also poked fun at the irony of being glued to the sofa while watching Olympians’ awe-inspiring physical feats, referring to her “daily remote control-based workout” during the Games.

“If I had put weights in my remote controls I would now have the biceps of Andy Murray and the triceps of Louis Smith,” she says. “You may think it’s stressful competing – try working out when and where to watch a particular event on the television.”

“It has been a test of mental resilience and physical prowess to stay awake, set alarms, find the right channel, let alone deal with the nail-biting races. Frankly, I think you had it easy.”

And while humour might not be the first thing we associate with Rio, Hart points out that actually, there is something hilarious about the Olympics – because we often have no idea what the hell going on.

“Most of us were predominantly watching sports we have NO IDEA about!” she writes. “Seriously, NOT A CLUE. No idea about any of the rules, regulations or regimes. All we knew was we really cared, we wanted to support you and we wanted you to win.”

The funniest Olympic sports, according to Hart, include BMX (“Simply, there are massive adult men on tiny children's bikes”), dressage (“It's a dancing horse for heaven’s sake!”), and diving (“Men lose their trunks. I mean, hello – funny”).

But ultimately, Hart says, the Olympic Games are so inspiring because they show athletes who “literally and metaphorically run with the gifts [they] have been given”.

Addressing Team GB, she writes: “You have shown us that through sheer determination dreams can be not only achieved, but shared. We have been roused. Roused, not aroused, just to be clear. Although perhaps a tiny bit in the diving...”

Read Miranda Hart’s open letter to Team GB in full here.

Images: Rex Features, Getty


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Moya Crockett

Moya is a freelance journalist and writer from London, and a former editor at Stylist.