Gold Rush: Our Race to Olympic Glory – 19 July 2021 – 19/7/2021 – Monday – BBC

Series 1 Episode 3 of 3

As the London 2012 organisers face cynics foretelling international embarrassment, and the strategists at UK Sports try to work out how Team GB could beat the Olympic superpowers, the athletes prepare themselves for a competition that could define their legacy.

Having unexpectedly come fourth in Beijing, to do even better at London meant defeating one of the three ‘untouchable’ sporting superpowers: the USA, China and Russia. The athletes would have to put in the performances of their lives.

To boost our chances, the Sporting Giants programme sought to expand our pool of potential medal winners by turning amateurs into elite competitors. Helen Glover was plucked from teacher training and given a shot at Olympic rowing glory. At the same time, the Mission 2012 tracking system monitored sports’ progress towards inescapable medal targets. With so much money on the line, the scrutiny seemed prudent, but at what cost to the athletes who struggled under the immense pressure?

With the eyes of the world on London, 2012 would be a milestone year for the Paralympics – an opportunity to transform the perception of Paralympians as elite athletes and to demonstrate how far the movement had come since the empty stands at Atlanta 16 years earlier.

Featuring interviews with Victoria Pendleton, Sir Chris Hoy, Sir Mo Farah, Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill, Helen Glover, Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson, Nicola Adams and Ellie Simmonds, as well as former prime minister David Cameron, this film tells the story of the lengths we went to in search of Olympic glory, and the costs – paid in personal sacrifice – that made the gold rush possible.

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About Gold Rush: Our Race to Olympic Glory

How Britain turned its sporting reputation around over 16 years to triumph at the London 2012 Olympics. Told by our greatest athletes, national leaders and sports strategists.

This show is broadcast on BBC, also known as the British Broadcasting Corporation.

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