Britain Seeks 'Giant' Steps at 2012 Olympics

Heightened emphasis for London Games has yielded taller jocks
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 29, 2008 8:24 PM CST
Chris Gregory, left, and Olympian, Steve Redgrave, right, promote the the Sporting Giants training program at at City Hall, London, Thursday, Feb. 28, 2008. Answering a nationwide appeal for tall people...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – A, ahem, heightened push to make Britain's sports teams more competitive by the time London hosts the 2012 Olympics has added 52 new athletes to the country’s handball, rowing, and volleyball squads, the Telegraph reports. The “Sporting Giants” program sought tall applicants—over 6-foot-3 for men and 5-11 for women—from all walks of life to try their hand at a new sport.

"I was working with a bricklayer when my dad phoned, saying he'd heard about 'Sporting Giants' and that I would be good at handball,” said Stuart Campbell, a new addition to that sport’s squad. Over 5,000 in all applied, a response that shows promise for one UK talent manager: "This was a mild shake of the tree and look what we found." (Read more sports stories.)