IT has been delayed by a year, and will be staged behind closed doors due to Covid-19, but the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games officially begin tomorrow.

Team GB is going for glory despite the unusual circumstances, and Somerset will be well represented on the global stage.

Among those athletes is Maddie Hinch, who says Team GB’s hockey players need to “write their own history” in Tokyo.

Originally from West Chiltington in Sussex, Hinch attended Hazelgrove School in Sparkford, before going on to study at King’s College, Taunton, between 2002 and 2007.

Her shoot-out heroics propelled the nation to gold medal glory at Rio 2016, the goalkeeper saving all four Dutch penalties after a 3-3 draw in the final.

But only six players remain from that unforgettable triumph, as Team GB prepare to kick off their title defence against Germany on Sunday.

The 32-year-old said: “I look back on 2016 and it really gives me a smile on my face.

“It was positive and we wrote a real history with that group - but it’s a different group now.

“It’s important that we try and write our own history with this group and write our own story again.

“I’m just looking forward to seeing what this younger group can do - we’re going out with a bit of a target on our backs, but we’re proud to do so and we’re going to defend our title.”

Another 32-year-old wearing Team GB colours this summer is gymnast Laura Gallagher, who is making her Olympic debut in Tokyo.

Hailing from Westonzoyland, near Bridgwater, Gallagher quit the sport in 2016 after a succession of injuries.

But she returned shortly afterwards, and her sixth-place finish at the 2019 World Championships booked her place in the trampoline gymnastics events, which run from July 29 to July 31.

Also making his debut is swimmer Brodie Williams, 22, who started out at his hometown club - Street & District - before moving on to Millfield School.

Williams took bronze as part of the 4x100m freestyle squad at the 2018 European Championships, and he met the selection criteria for his Olympic debut in the 400m individual medley at British Swimming trials earlier this year.

He trains in Bath, which has become a real hub for British swimmers, with much of the squad selected for Tokyo being based there.

One of those is James Guy, a 25-year-old who won two relay silver medals at Rio 2016, and he is also among the cohort of ex-Millfield pupils selected.

Helen Glover (rowing), Ollie Lindsay-Hague (rugby sevens) and Jazmin Sawyers (long jump) also attended the school.

Truro-born Glover is a two-time Olympic champion alongside Helen Stanning, but after the Rio Olympics she retired from rowing.

The 35-year-old has had three children, but returned to the boat in 2021 and will partner Polly Swann.

Lindsay-Hague captained Millfield before going on to make his rugby sevens debut for England at the age of 19.

He helped Team GB win sevens silver in Rio, and the 30-year-old is now set for his second Games.

Jazmin Sawyers, 27, will compete in the long jump, having recorded a 6.90m personal best in June and followed up by retaining her British title.

The Olympics closing ceremony takes place on Sunday, August 8, after which it will be the Paralympians’ turn to show what they can do, from August 24 to September 5.

Among those selected for the Paralympic Games is Lucy Shuker, a wheelchair tennis player who trained at Taunton Tennis Club and lived at Ash Priors.

She is going for a third consecutive medal in Tokyo, having won bronze in the women's doubles alongside Jordanne Whiley in both 2012 and 2016.