Team GB’s Tokyo Olympic Village HQ is flying the flag – with ‘Union Jack’ deck chairs for sunbathing.
Images taken inside the camp also show evocative black and white photos of Tokyo’s 1964 Games on display.
They show some golden memories of when our stars of yesteryear made history.
The message to the team of today is simple – go out and make some unforgettable memories of your own.
Badminton player Lauren Smith, one of our most decorated players of all time, gave a guided online video tour of the facilities with her partner on and off the court, Marcus Ellis.
She jokes that she hopes the now infamous environmentally friendly cardboard beds will take their weight. The Team GB lovebirds are in a shared flat which has stunning views out of Tokyo’s waterfront.
They also have a number of gifts, including a touching card with a message from school children back home. The entire HQ is full of homespun memorabilia and furniture, including patriotic Union flag pouffe stools to make our athletes feel welcome.
Lauren has given pride of place in her new abode to the Team GB Lion mascot – who they have already christened ‘Lionel’.
“He is really cute,” said the Carlisle-born 29-year-old, at her second Games after Rio. “We have an incredible block, with Olympic rings – and an incredible view. The Union Jack deck chairs are out.
“This is home for the next few weeks.”
There are also Union flags hanging from 11 floors of the Team GB Olympic village apartment block. Inside, there is a performance floor – complete with physio beds – where the team can warm up and exercise.
The stars of 1964 featured in the camp include long jumpers Lynn Davies and Mary Rand.
Known as ‘Lynn the Leap’, Welshman Davies, the son of a coal miner, was from the rugby heartlands of Bridgend. A jump of 8.07m ensured the Olympic title. Afterwards, with typical modesty, he said the wind and rain had helped him into the history books.
With her fifth jump out of six, Rand broke the world record to become the first British woman to win Olympic track and field gold. She won silver in the pentathlon, and completed her ’64 Games collection with a bronze in the 4 x 100m relay.
Her room mate Anna Packer was the surprise 800m winner, and said of Rand: “She was the most gifted athlete I ever saw.
“There has never been anyone like her since, and I don’t believe there ever will.”
Yet Packer had a remarkable versatility herself.
She made her international debut as a long jumper in 1960 but made the European Championship 200m final in 1962, and the Commonwealth Games 80m hurdles final. She tried out the 400m in 1963 and ran 53.6 seconds in just her fourth race.
In Tokyo, her focus was the 400m.
Almost as an after-thought, she entered the 800 metres – and won. Feeling tired, she had considered missing the final to go shopping. But she was inspired by her fiance, athlete Robbie Brightwell, who finished fourth in the 400m final and was down at missing a medal.
She retired from competition at just 22, married Robbie and had three sons. One became a 400m runner, the other two became professional footballers.
Brit Ken Matthews became Olympic champion in the Men’s 20km Walk. Future Liberal Democrat leader Menzies Campbell competed in the 200m.
Lauren has represented England in the women’s doubles and mixed team events at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow where she won a bronze and silver medal respectively.
Then in 2018 on Australia’s Gold Coast, she claimed silver in the mixed doubles and the women’s doubles as well as bronze in the mixed team.
Since her Commonwealth Games heroics, she’s built great momentum heading into the Olympic Games in Tokyo, winning gold at the 2019 European Games in Minsk in the mixed doubles.
She earned an automatic qualification place in the mixed doubles alongside Marcus Ellis. And she will also compete alongside Chloe Birch in the women’s doubles as she fights on two fronts in Tokyo.