Home Advantage Can Make A Difference
Home advantage is seen in every sporting discipline, from football to Formula One to fencing, but how much difference can it make?
In Olympic competition it has shown itself in good ways and bad, having a whole nation behind you can't hurt (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HbEeLsctzNg) but neither will having a few boxing judges in your corner (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cJYBV9BXQNY).
There are technical advantages to being at home. Team GB receive automatic qualification places in many events, the athletes don't have to travel here, cross time zones or acclimatise. But the biggest factor is no doubt the raised interest, participation and competition within each sport in the lead up to the games.
But just how much advantage will team GB garner from having the home fans to cheer them on? We think it will be small pieces here and there, a quarter of a second for Rebecca Addlington in the Women's 800 Freestyle, a couple of points for Tom Daley over a diving competition, a couple less kicks in the head for Jade Jones in the Taekwondo.
Add up all the small bits and if this same group of Athletes in the same condition with the same training were competing in the Paris 2012 Olympics we'd be expecting 21 gold medals instead of 24, so get cheering! It's you making the difference.