Surrey's Paris Olympics 2024 hopefuls - eight athletes to watch

-Credit: (Image: Olympics)
-Credit: (Image: Olympics)


From previous medal winners to Olympic debuts, Surrey athletes will be taking centre stage this coming Paris Olympics

With the Olympics fast approaching, Team GB is looking to have another successful Games just across the English Channel. The opening ceremony takes place on July 26 with the closing ceremony on August 11. H

Britain’s current best is 67 from the 2016 Rio Olympics, excluding the anomaly of the 146 medals won at the 1908 Games in London. And Great Britain stand a strong chance of landing a record post-War Olympic haul in Paris

A final total of 327 athletes – made up of 174 women and 153 men – is set to be confirmed on Thursday, pending a final clarification of available quota places.

Here is a list of Surrey born athletes who we are ready to cheer on this summer.

Toby Roberts (@toby_climbing)

Sport Climbing Team Announcement for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, Toby Roberts -Credit:Olympics
Sport Climbing Team Announcement for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, Toby Roberts -Credit:Olympics

Described as a ‘climbing prodigy’, Toby was brought up in Elstead, attending King Edward’s School in Witley. During the pandemic, Roberts trained in his Surrey back garden, with his father, Tristan Roberts, coaching him.

His first recorded climb was at just 3 years old, and at age 10, he became the youngest Brit to scale Malham Cove in North Yorkshire. His breakthrough year was in 2022, becoming the first British climber to win a Lead World Cup medal in 28 years.

In October 2023, aged 18, he became the first male British climber to earn a place in the Olympics for climbing by winning at the European Olympic Qualifier in Laval, France for the 2024 Olympics.

Holly Dunford (@holly_dunford)

Holly Dunford for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games -Credit:Olympics
Holly Dunford for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games -Credit:Olympics

GB rower Holly grew up in Tadworth, and attended Heathside school in Weybridge. She was inspired to take up rowing as a spectator at the London 2012 Olympics and is now making her own Olympic debut in Paris in the women’s eight rowing. In 2017, Dunford received the SportsAid one-to-watch award, previously won by athletes such as Tom Daley and Morgan Lake.

She attended the University of Washington, studying Geography and recently made her senior debut in 2024, helping the women’s eight place second at the European Championships.

Izzy Petter (@izzypetter)

Women's Hockey Team Announcement - Izzy Petter -Credit:Olympics
Women's Hockey Team Announcement - Izzy Petter -Credit:Olympics

Talented hockey player Izzy is entering her second Olympic Games after taking home the bronze medal against India at the 2020 Tokyo games. Raised in Cranleigh, Izzy has accumulated more than 100 caps for her country while also playing for Surbiton Hockey Club and previously her university team at Loughborough.

Her maiden goal for Great Britain came against Germany in the FIH Pro League in 2019.

Oliver Wynne-Griffith (@olliewg1994)

Member of Team GB Rowing team Ollie Wynne -Credit:Olympics
Member of Team GB Rowing team Ollie Wynne -Credit:Olympics

Guildfordian rower Oliver won bronze at Tokyo 2020 and since has switched from strokeside to bowside - a major technical shift in his rowing. He races in a pair with childhood friend Tom George and has won a silver at the 2023 European Rowing Championships and then followed this with silver at the 2023 World Rowing Championships.

Rowing is part of his family legacy, with Ollie’s Great Grandfather competing in the men’s eight at the 1932 Los Angeles Olympics. Ollie is also one of the UK’s three million colour blind individuals, which has never stopped him from pursuing his sporting dreams.

Freya Black (@freya.blackk)

Redhill raised sailor Freya Black is making her Olympic debut in the Women’s Skiff 49erFX category. Black began sailing to tag along with her two older sisters and is now on her own Olympic sailing journey with Olympian Saskia Tidey.

Black and her sailing partner Tidey placed 5th in the 2023 World Sailing Championships, qualifying their boat for Paris, in which the Olympic sailing is taking place in Marseille. Black studies philosophy and politics at the University of Exeter, taking a break due to Olympic preparation but aims to return after the Games.

Will Calnan

Team GB Sailing Team Announcement, Eurostar Terminal at St Pancras International Station on the 11th October 2023. Photo by Team GB
Team GB Sailing Team Announcement, Eurostar Terminal at St Pancras International Station on the 11th October 2023. Photo by Team GB

From Chobham, hockey player, Will is a former pupil of St Andrew’s School in Woking, followed by Cranleigh School. He studied business management at Kingston University. After making his international debut in 2018, he was instrumental in England’s bronze at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham and the forward is now set for his Olympic debut, after travelling to Tokyo as a reserve. Alongside hockey, he plays guitar in London-based indie band French Dogs.

Harriet Taylor (@hattietay)

Men's Hockey Team Announcement for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, Will Calnan -Credit:Olympics
Men's Hockey Team Announcement for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, Will Calnan -Credit:Olympics

Harriet first started rowing on a taster course at Sir William Perkin’s School in Chertsey, when she was in year 7. She spent her gap year in Melbourne, rowing and coaching, and then went to Syracuse University in the US to row.

Taylor is competing at her second Olympics after qualifying as part of the women’s eight for Paris 2024 after placing fourth at the 2023 World Rowing Championships. She also won silver at the 2023 and 2024 Europeans.

Conor Williamson

Member of Team GB Rowing team Hattie Taylor -Credit:Olympics
Member of Team GB Rowing team Hattie Taylor -Credit:Olympics

At 20 years old, Esher ’s Conor Williamson is the youngest of the men’s hockey team. Having had great success playing for Surbiton, his international breakthrough came in 2023. At the 2023 England Hockey Awards Williamson was crowned England’s Junior Player of the Year.

Williamson made his England debut at the 4 Nations Invitational in Barcelona and a month later played in all of England’s matches in the 2023 EuroHockey Championships, reaching the final against The Netherlands.

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