The Olympics have not even started, yet their faces are already inescapable. Step on to the London Underground, open a newspaper, turn on the television, and the women of 2012 are staring out at you.
Jessica Ennis, Rebecca Adlington, Victoria Pendleton: their names are becoming as familiar as those of Premiership footballers. The queen is Ennis, the heptathlete who is already the unofficial face of the Games, and whose lucrative sponsorship deals are expected to bring her riches of close to £1m before she even steps on to the track.
It is already being whispered about by sports pundits and Olympic officials alike: our female competitors look set to do the unthinkable and claim more medals than our male athletes for the first time, toppling them from the top of the British podium.