Olympic fever is nearly here. The opening ceremony for Rio 2016 kicks off on Friday, although it will actually be midnight in the UK by the time the Maracana Stadium springs into life as Brazil’s second city is four hours behind London.
Expect a carnival atmosphere as Brazilian culture is celebrated in all its colourful, vibrant, rhythmic glory, with London 2012 handing over the baton to kickstart the 'greatest show on earth'.
Team GB’s hopes in track and field are once again pinned on Mo Farah, Jessica Ennis-Hill and Greg Rutherford – the stars of Super Saturday four years ago.
Young guns Adam Gemili, Dina Asher-Smith and Katarina Johnson-Thompson are also expected to shine, while away from the track there are high hopes for the Brownlee brothers, Max Whitlock, Claudia Fragapane, Adam Peaty, Keri-Anne Payne and Team GB’s rowing and cycling teams.
We’ve put our own little property spin on the Olympics by taking a look at the state of the housing market in the hometowns of some of Team GB’s best medal hopes, from Sheffield and Milton Keynes to London and Liverpool.
The poster-girl of London 2012, Ennis-Hill lived up to the pressure at her first Olympic games and stormed to gold medal glory in the heptathlon with a British and Commonwealth record score, beating her nearest opponent by 306 points and confirming herself as the darling of UK athletics.
She has since got married and had a baby, but she made a remarkable return – just a year after giving birth – to take gold at the Beijing World Athletics Championships in 2015. She is favourite to retain her Olympic crown in Rio, but will face tough competition from fellow Brit Katarina Johnson-Thompson.
Ennis-Hill was born in Sheffield and still lives and trains in the Steel City. With an average asking price of around £175,000, Sheffield is certainly one of the more affordable locations in the UK. The city is largely made up of detached, semi-detached and terraced housing, as well as an array of new builds, flats and modern apartments.
House prices in Sheffield have risen by approximately 10% since 2010, but haven’t moved much in the last year.
One of Jessica Ennis-Hill’s main rivals is expected to be the 23-year-old from Liverpool, who has progressed year by year since finishing 15th at London 2012 at the tender age of 19.
She is the current holder of the British high jump record and the British indoor long jump record, and won Pentathlon gold at the 2015 Indoor Champions in Prague.
Johnson-Thompson was born in Woolton, Liverpool, where the average asking price for a home is currently just shy of £220,00, with semi-detached homes by far the most popular type of property.
In the last year houses prices have increased by around 8%, while the average property rent in this area is close to£750pcm.
Another star of the London 2012 Olympics, where he stormed home to gold medal glory in the 5,000 metres and 10,000 metres, Farah was born in Somalia but moved to London from Mogadishu when he was eight.
He was brought up in Hounslow, West London, and attended school in Isleworth before heading to Feltham Community College.
Known for his “Mobot” celebration, keen Arsenal fan Farah is the UK’s greatest ever distance runner – a World, European and Olympic champion, no less.
With an average asking price of around the £350,000 mark, Hounslow can definitely be counted as one of London’s more affordable suburbs.
Popular with those who work at nearby Heathrow and those looking for cheaper homes, Hounslow is mostly made up of flats, semi-detached homes and terraced properties.
Flats, as you would expect, are the most affordable (with an average price of £237,045), while the average value of a semi-detached home currently stands at £447,238.
Like anywhere in London, Hounslow has experienced considerable price rises in recent years – up by around 15% in the last 12 months and over 30% on levels seen in 2013.
A long jump gold medal winner in 2012 – part of that unforgettable night now immortalised as Super Saturday – Rutherford has also topped the podium at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, the World Championships and the European Championships.
Since his success in London, he has embraced his new-found fame with celebrity appearances on editions of The Cube, The Chase, The Million Pound Drop Live and The Great Sport Relief Bake Off.
He grew up in Bletchley, Milton Keynes (best known, of course, for Bletchley Park, where the German Enigma code was cracked during the Second World War by Alan Turing and his team). The average price for a home here is currently just over £230,000, up by around 7% since last year and a massive 30% on 2013.
The average price of a property to rent, meanwhile, is just over £1,000 pcm, but that is likely to get you a two, three, maybe even four bedroom house. In other words, you get plenty of bang for your buck when it comes to rental properties in Bletchley.
The UK’s two most successful triathletes, the Brownlee brothers – Alistair and Jonny – have helped to put the sport on the map. Alistair is the current Olympic, European and Commonwealth champion, while his younger brother Jonny, who won bronze at London 2012, is a Commonwealth Games gold and silver medal winner and has also been a Triathlon World Champion and World Sprint Triathlon champion.
It would be an understatement to say that the Brownlee brothers dominate the sport. Their exploits have also helped to cause a surge in interest in duathlons and triathlons – with people all over the UK taking part in events.
Both were born and bred in Yorkshire in the Dewsbury, Bramhope, Leeds, Bradford area – and still live and train there now.
Prices vary in this region, with cheaper homes tending to be in the city, while the more expensive homes are located in the surrounding towns and villages.
Bramhope, for example, has an average asking price of almost £450,000, while in Leeds (£180,000) and Bradford it’s much lower (£120,000).
We’ve looked at just a few of the many athletes who will be competing at the pinnacle of their sport in the next few weeks – if Team GB can repeat the success of Beijing and London, we will be in for another very impressive medal haul!