Athletics

Barry Davies MBE

Barry Davies MBE

Barry is a legendary commentator with one of the most-recognisable voices in Britain. He has covered a wide range of sports in a long career, primarily for the BBC. Although he is best known for his football commentary, Davies has commentated on numerous other sports, including badminton, beach volleyball, cycling, ice hockey, ice skating, tennis, gymnastics, hockey and athletics, and primarily in the BBC’s Olympics coverage, where he twice (Sydney 2000 and Athens 2004) commentated on the opening and closing ceremonies of the Summer Games. He was also the ‘Voice of the Boat Race’ between 1993 and 2004, until the BBC lost the rights to cover the event, and the presenter of Maestro in the 1980s, a series of interviews with retired sporting legends. About Barry Davies was educated at Cranbrook School—which also numbers commentators Brian Moore and Peter West Continue Reading »

Beth Tweddle MBE

Beth Tweddle MBE

Beth has raised the performance levels and standards of British gymnasts: she is a three-time world champion, having won the 2010 World Championships and 2006 World Championships on the uneven bars and the 2009 World Championships on the floor. Tweddle was the first gymnast from Britain ever to win a medal at the World and European Championships, and is considered to be the most successful British gymnast of all time. She is also a seven-time British National Champion, having won the title every year between 2001 and 2007. Additionally, she is a three time Olympian, competing in the 2004 Athens, 2008 Beijing, and 2012 London Olympic Games, where she took home a bronze. About At an early age Beth’s family moved to England and she now lives in Bunbury and trains in the Park Road gym in Liverpool, where she Continue Reading »

Brendan Foster CBE

Brendan Foster CBE

Brendan was a world-class middle-distance runner who has gone on to become a TV personality and the driving force behind the Great North Run. He was educated at St Joseph’s Grammar School and the University of Sussex. Foster’s athletic career saw him compete in three Olympic Games, claiming Britain’s only track and field medal – bronze in the 10,000m – at the 1976 Montreal Olympics. In 1974 he won the European Championships 5000m, beating Olympic champ Lasse Viren en route to gold. In the same year he also broke the 3000m world record on his home track, Gateshead Stadium. Also that year, Foster was awarded the BBC’s prestigious Sports Personality of the Year award. He also won 10,000m gold at the 1978 Commonwealth Games in Edmonton and, in 1973, broke the world record for two miles at Crystal Palace. Foster Continue Reading »

Carl Lewis

Carl Lewis

Carl is one of the greatest athletes the world has ever seen. He is known for his world records in running as well as his records in the long jump. He started participating in long jump events when he was just 13 years old. He received the James E. Sullivan Award for the best athlete in 1981 and in the World Championships in 1983, he made his mark by winning in the 100m sprint, long jump and the 4 x 100m relay events. Carl Lewis then went on to become the indisputable champion in the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics. Carl went on to repeat his spectacular performance of 1983 in Rome in 1987, and then in the 1988 Seoul Olympics he went on to win 4 more golds. As a result of his outstanding performances he was named Athlete of the Continue Reading »

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Charles van Commenee

Dutch athletics coach, Charles van Commenee, is a world leading expert on performance management. Serving as Head Coach of British Athletics from 2008 to 2012, he was the mastermind behind the most successful night in GB Olympic history.     Coaching Career Charles first became involved in coaching at the age of eighteen and began teaching children while studying for a degree in physical education. After completing his military service in 1981, he dedicated himself to coaching full time and, in 1987, was appointed as the coach for the Dutch javelin team. Building upon his coaching success, he was promoted to technical director of combined events and throws by the Dutch athletics federation, in 1992. Coaching Denise Lewis In 1994, Charles van Commenee started working with British athlete Denise Lewis. Under Charles, Denise would go on to become champion at Continue Reading »

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Chrissie Wellington MBE

Chrissie is an English triathlete and the current Ironman Triathlon World Champion. She holds all three world and championship records relating to ironman-distance triathlon races. She is the first British athlete to hold the Ironman Triathlon World Championship, and remains undefeated over the Ironman distance. Wellington won the World Championship in three consecutive years (2007–2009), but was unable to start the 2010 World Championship race because of illness, then regained the title in 2011. Before her distinguished career in athletics, Chrissie worked for the British government as an adviser on international development for Rural Reconstruction Nepal, and on development projects in Nepal. International development remains one of her passions. Chrissie Wellington is the only triathlete, male or female, to have won the World Championship less than a year after turning professional. Wellington is one of only three women to have achieved Continue Reading »

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Christine Ohuruogu MBE

Christine is one of Britain’s greatest middle-distance runners, specialising in the 400 metres; the event for which she is the former Olympic, World and Commonwealth Champion. Her victory in the Beijing Games was the 50th gold medal for Great Britain in Athletics at Olympic Games. She also won the 400 metres at the 2007 World Championships and a silver medal at the 2012 Olympics in London. Her personal best time of 49.61 seconds ranks her third amongst British women 400 m runners, behind Kathy Cook and Katharine Merry. Born to Igbo Nigerian parents in Newham, east London, she was raised less than one mile from the 2012 Summer Olympics stadium in Stratford. Ohuruogu studied at University College London, where she graduated in Linguistics in 2005. She is also a member of Newham and Essex Beagles Athletics Club. In 2003 Ohuruogu Continue Reading »

Clare Balding OBE

Clare Balding OBE

Clare is a BBC sports presenter, journalist and jockey, best known for presenting the BBC’s horse racing and rugby coverage. Her presenting style is characterized by her passion for sport. She has reported from five Olympic Games, for BBC Radio in Atlanta and for BBC Television in Sydney, Athens, Beijing and London. She has presented two Paralympic Games, the Winter Olympics from Turin and Vancouver as well as the Commonwealth Games from Melbourne and Delhi. She is the face of the BBC’s rugby league coverage, having presented Grandstand from a Rugby League Challenge Cup semi-final, and having been so impressed by the vibrancy and physical challenge of the sport she asked to cover further rugby league events. She was educated at Downe House in Berkshire, where she was Head Girl and a contemporary of comedienne Miranda Hart. While at university she was President of the Cambridge Union Society in Easter 1992 and graduated in 1993 with a 2:1 honours degree. Clare Balding Continue Reading »

Daley Thompson CBE

Daley Thompson CBE

Daley was the first athlete to win Olympic, World, Commonwealth and European titles and hold a world record. Given the difficulty of the decathlon, which requires proficiency in ten events, the winner is considered an all-round athletics champion, and Daley Thompson became only the second person in Olympic history to claim the decathlon gold twice. Daley is a former British Decathlete and Olympic Gold medalist. He is also a former professional footballer, and motivational speaker. Daley won the decathlon gold medal at the Olympic Games in 1980 and 1984, and broke the world record for the event four times. Thompson competed in his first decathlon in 1975 and in 1976 he won the AAA title and was 18th at the Montréal Olympic Games. The following year, he won the European Junior title and in 1978 won the first of his three Commonwealth titles. In Continue Reading »

Dame Kelly Holmes DBE MBE

Dame Kelly Holmes DBE MBE

Dame Kelly is a much admired former athlete. She specialised in the 800 metres and 1500 metres events, and in a truly memorable sporting year she took gold for both distances at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens. Kelly has set British records in numerous events and still holds the records over the 600, 800, 1000, and 1500 metres distances. Holmes began competing in middle distance events in her youth. She joined the British Army but continued to compete at the organisation’s athletics events. She turned to the professional athletics circuit in the early 1990s and in 1994 she won the 1500 m at the Commonwealth Games and took silver at the European Championships. Athletics Success Holmes won the 1500 m at the 2002 Commonwealth Games and the 800 m bronze at the Munich European Championships that year. The 2003 track Continue Reading »

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