Clegg: Nation gripped by Olympics

The country is gripped by Olympic fever, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has said as he delivered his own pep talk to Team GB.

He told the nation's Olympians they could expect the support of the whole country as they battle to claim a record gold medal haul at the Games in London.

Speaking at Team GB's welcome ceremony at the Olympic village, Mr Clegg said: "The nation is gripped by Olympic fever in a way it never, ever has been.

"Because, when you host the Games, you don't just support your team in the normal way. Something deeper happens.

"These Games belong to everyone. We are all hosting the world. Our experiences are all tied together and, when everything is said and done, those experiences will make up a history we all share.

"In a way, the team goes even wider than this room - it extends to the people out there.

"So if I leave you with one thought tonight, as you and your teams embark on the final leg of this journey, let it be this: the people of Britain won't just be watching you - they'll be right there with you.

"They'll be following you into battle, sharing in your dreams, standing alongside you in any disappointments. And when you triumph, as you will, revelling in your joy."

Mr Clegg added: "There is strength in numbers, something every team player knows.

"In your most challenging moments, draw strength from the people out there. You embody a nation's hopes; you have captured its imagination; and the people of Britain will be there by your side, supporting you, every step of the way."