Anne wishes Team GB good luck as she remembers her own Olympic journey

The Princess Royal has recalled the thrill of competing in the Olympics as she sent a good luck message to Team GB.

Anne was the first member of the British royal family to take part in the Games when she rode the Queen’s horse, Goodwill, in the equestrian three-day event in Montreal in 1976.

In a video message to the athletes ahead of the Tokyo event, she spoke of the anticipation and excitement she felt stepping onto the Olympic stage, as she told Team GB the nation would be cheering them on.

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The princess, who is president of the British Olympic Association, expressed her sadness at not being able to travel to Japan to watch the Games.

“As your president, I would like to wish you every success for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games,” she said.

“Although I am sad not to be there in person, I and the whole nation will be cheering for you and proudly supporting you from home.

“I do remember from my own Olympic journey the anticipation and excitement of stepping onto the Olympic stage.

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“But also the single-minded focus on what you need to do.

“I know that you have all worked incredibly hard for this moment, during the most challenging of times, and I hope you will find the Team GB environment a support and an inspiration for you.

“This is your Olympics. It will be different, but not in its importance to you. Savour it, and above all, enjoy it.”

Anne told Team GB she looked forward to celebrating their achievements with them in the autumn.

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Delayed by a year because of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Tokyo Games are set to kick off on July 23, with more than 375 athletes from Team GB are poised to compete.

Six British athletes have been forced to quarantine after being deemed close contacts of an individual who tested positive for coronavirus following their flight to Japan.

Anne has a long-held association with the Olympics.

She has been president of the British Olympic Association and Team GB since 1983, a member of the International Olympic Committee since 1988, and was involved in London’s successful bid to host the 2012 Olympic Games.

Anne came 24th in the individual eventing in 1976, while the team came ninth.

More than 35 years later at the London 2012 Games, her daughter Zara Tindall won the eventing team silver and Anne presented her with her medal.