You see here in Northern Ireland we are mentioned in the full name of Team GB (ie Great Britain and Northern Ireland) but our local sports stars do appear on two different teams; both GB and Ireland.
It was a dilemma I myself faced when I was a runner. At the tail end of the great period of GB middle distance runners if I remained on the flat I would struggle for a place on team GB, but had a better chance on team Ireland. So that was why I started to concentrate on the 3000m Steeplechase where there was less competition for a GB vest.
But today the Olympic torch makes its only non-Grecian visit outside the UK to Dublin and will have a ceremonial handing over between boxers at the border. So here are the Northern Ireland Olympians who will be going to London 2012.
managed the qualifying standard in the 100m women's breaststroke in the European Championships last month. She went on to win silver the 50m breaststroke an event not competed for in the Olympics. She is the only Irish women to have made the qualifying standard in that event so will be bound for London. She has also managed Olympic selection standards at four other events and may well feature in some of the others especially if Gráinne Murphy who has qualified for 800m freestyle decides not to go for either of the individual medley, or maybe the 200m freestyle but merely concentrate on the 400m and 800m.
200m backstroke. She took bronze in the European 200m backstroke short course championships at the end of last year. Setting a new Irish record in the process. She is also in the mix for having made the standard to be the one swimmer selected for the 200m freestyle with McMahon and Murphy.
women's team in London.
in the ring in London. All three are contenders once again. Barnes didn't qualify by getting to the last 8 of last year's worlds because, you guessed it, he came up against Shiming in the last 16.
sealing his place well ahead of the final qualifying tournament last month. He boxes out of St. John's Bosco Club in Belfast meaning that two different boxing clubs will be cheering on their boxers in London.
keeping her top 14 spot after the final qualifying event in April. She had come 5th in a World Cup event in Sofia, Bulgaria earlier in the year. She will take part in the -48kg category. She had been dogged by knee injury during the two year qualifying period so we can only hope she is fit and well when she takes her place on the ExCel London.
qualify in the Laser class for the Olympic regatta at Weymouth. He became the fourth boat to qualify under the Irish flag, the other three qualified in last years world Championships in Perth. Unfortunately for Espey a black flag at that event had denied Espey an easier time this May. But then again having to fight for that qualification to the last opportunity may only enhance his capabilities when the Olympic fleet first hear the starting gun.
10th place finish in the World Championships in Perth last December. The Bangor and Carrickfergus pair (McGovern is like Espey from Ballyholme Yacht Club) came together in 2009 after McGovern failed to qualify for 2008 with his brother Russell. McGovern is 2 years older at 24.
last month's European Championships and so will compete in the K1 boat at the Lee Valley White Water Centre. She came 13th the the World Championships in 2010 which is the best ever by an Irish paddler. She is based in Dublin where she runs her own clothing company which has helped to finance her Olympic dream having just missed out on Beijing.
World Championships in Melbourne, securing his place in London. He shows the dichotomy of Northern Irish sportspeople having already taken part in the Commonwealth Games for Northern Ireland in Delhi, 2010, earning Northern Ireland bronze in the team pursuit. Today just happens to be his 27th birthday.
Gleghorne from Antrim was trying to get Ireland to qualify, indeed he did a fine job being Ireland's top scorer, and indeed for his qualification tournament, with 9 goals. Though maybe one or two more may have got them into the play-off for that spot. However since 2011 he has been part of the GB set up earning 10 caps. The 27-year-old plays for East Grinstead and his hoping to make his Olympic Debut having switched between his possible allegiances between Games. Gleghorne didn't play in the test event in May
ruling himself out to seek possible future selection for GB. He was the first of the two to declare he was switching. However, both men are still awaiting the final announcement of the 16 selected plus the 4 reserves for the Games.
These are all the currently qualified Northern Irish Olympians there may yet be more. But as you can see some of them do have an interesting time in deciding who to represent and for some it hasn't been straightforward.