The Princess Royal presided over a "very special" fundraising ball that saw Team GB athletes begin their countdown to Tokyo 2020. Princess Anne, who is president of the British Olympic Association, is herself an Olympian, having ridden the Queen’s horse Goodwill in the equestrian three-day event at the 1976 Montreal Olympics.
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Among the 300 guests at the event at East London’s Old Billingsgate were Team GB stars both past and present, including former skeleton racer and Olympic gold medallist Amy Williams, sailors Eilidh McIntyre and Hannah Mills – a reigning Olympic champion – Olympic silver medal-winning modern pentathlete Samantha Murray and former rower Dame Katherine Grainger – one of Britain's most decorated Olympians, with one gold and four silver medals.
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Princess Anne handed out awards on the night
The event, which raises funds for Team GB athletes, their training and travel, celebrates the achievements of both winter and summer championships, although this year saw an obvious focus on Tokyo 2020. HELLO! was granted exclusive access to this year’s ball, which was hosted by former GB Olympic sprinter Jeanette Kwakye.
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Chemmy Alcott was also in attendance
Olympic skier Chemmy Alcott told HELLO! that one of the highlights of the night was when Princess Anne presented Team GB’s four-man bobsleigh team with their bronze medals from the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. John Jackson, Bruce Tasker, Stuart Benson and Joel Fearon finished fifth behind two Russian teams, who were subsequently disqualified for doping.
"It’s such an important evening to come and mingle with the Team GB supporters, and it’s great to catch up with friends," said Chemmy. "It’s extra special tonight as the bobsleigh boys finally got the medal they deserved, and I wanted to be here as a winter athlete to support them, and also wish all the athletes luck for the Tokyo Olympics."
For news on the full event, pick up the latest copy of HELLO!, out now