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Sporting Witness

BBC

In the run-up to the London 2012 Olympic Games we bring you a new programme telling the inside story of the key moments from sporting history, that seized the world's attention. Sporting Witness will use archive material and personal recollections from the athletes themselves and those who knew them. The programme will cover well-known Olympic stories - including some that you may not have heard before - but which have mythical status in their home countries.

In the run-up to the London 2012 Olympic Games we bring you a new programme telling the inside story of the key moments from sporting history, that seized the world's attention. Sporting Witness will use archive material and personal recollections from the athletes themselves and those who knew them. The programme will cover well-known Olympic stories - including some that you may not have heard before - but which have mythical status in their home countries.
More Information

Location:

United Kingdom

Networks:

BBC

Description:

In the run-up to the London 2012 Olympic Games we bring you a new programme telling the inside story of the key moments from sporting history, that seized the world's attention. Sporting Witness will use archive material and personal recollections from the athletes themselves and those who knew them. The programme will cover well-known Olympic stories - including some that you may not have heard before - but which have mythical status in their home countries.

Language:

Aboriginal


Episodes

Mika Hakkinen's F1 Horror Crash

11/1/2018
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In November 1995, Finnish driver Mika Hakkinen suffered one of the most dramatic crashes in Formula One history when his rear tyre exploded during the Australian Grand Prix catapulting his car into the air and leaving him severely injured. Hakkinen was saved by the roadside medical team who performed an emergency tracheotomy. He went on to win two F1 world championships. Mika Hakkinen talks to Kurt Brookes. The programme is a Made-In-Manchester Production. PHOTO: Mika Hakkinen (BBC)

Duration:00:09:04

Paintball

10/27/2018
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In 1981, the first game of the shooting sport, Paintball, was played by American outdoorsman, Charles Gaines, and eleven of his friends in the woods in the American state of New Hampshire. Paintball is now enjoyed by millions of people around the world and has also spawned a multi-million-dollar industry making protective body gear, goggles and paint-guns. Charles Gaines talks to Anya Dorodeyko about how Paintball started. PHOTO: A Paintball player in action (Getty Images)

Duration:00:09:11

The Czech Gymnast Who Defied The Soviet Union

10/20/2018
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At the Mexico City Olympics in 1968, the great Czechoslovak gymnast Vera Caslavska staged a protest that made almost as many headlines at the time as the now much better-known "Black Power Salute". To make a stand against Moscow's crushing of the Prague Spring, Caslavska turned her head away on the podium as the Soviet anthem was played. The gymnast paid a heavy price - spending the rest of her life in menial jobs and suffering from depression. Tom Reynolds talks to Caslavska's friend,...

Duration:00:08:54

The Black Power Salute

10/13/2018
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In October 1968, two American sprinters, Tommie Smith and John Carlos, staged one of the most iconic protests in sport at the Mexico City Olympics. The two athletes raised their gloved fists in the air at the medal ceremony for the 200 metres as a way of protesting against racism. Simon Watts reports. The programme was first broadcast in 2016. PHOTO: Tommie Smith, centre, and John Carlos, right, on the Olympic podium (AFP)

Duration:00:09:10

The Transplant Games

10/6/2018
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In 1978, the first international sporting event was held for athletes who'd undergone organ transplants. The brainchild of a British surgeon called Dr Maurice Slapak, the Transplant Games aimed to convince the public that patients could go on to live active lives. Caroline Heywood talks to Dr Slapak and to John Murray, who took part in the Games after a successful kidney transplant. The programme is a Made-In-Manchester Production. PHOTO: John Murray taking part in the Transplant Games...

Duration:00:08:53

Harold Abrahams

9/29/2018
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In 1924, the British sprinter, Harold Abrahams, won the 100 metres at the Paris Olympics - a famous victory depicted in the film, Chariots of Fire. Simon Watts tells his story using interviews in the BBC archives. (Photo: Harold Abrahams winning the 1924 Olympics. Credit: Getty Images)

Duration:00:09:19

Vijay Amritraj and the Davis Cup

9/22/2018
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In 1974, India had its best chance of winning the Davis Cup, the most prestigious team event in international tennis. But Prime Minister Indira Gandhi withdrew the team on principle because the final was due to be played against apartheid South Africa. Farhana Haider talks to the legendary Indian player, Vijay Amritraj, who was in the team with his brother, Anand. (Photo: Vijay Amritraj. Credit: ITN/Shutterstock)

Duration:00:10:55

Tom Gregory - The 11-Year-Old who Swam the Channel

9/15/2018
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In September 1988, 11-year-old South London schoolboy Tom Gregory set a world record that still stands for being the youngest swimmer to cross the English Channel. He has just published a memoir entitled "A Boy In The Water". Tom Gregory talks to Simon Watts. (Photo: Tom Gregory. Credit: Penguin Books)

Duration:00:08:58

Pat Rafter

9/11/2018
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In September 1997, the Australian tennis player Pat Rafter was the surprise winner of the US Open. Dismissed as a “fluke” victory by John McEnroe, Rafter returned to Flushing Meadows the following year to retain the title and also became world number one. One of the most modest men in sport, Pat Rafter talks to Ashley Byrne. The programme is a Made-In-Manchester Production. PHOTO: Pat Rafter in action (Getty Images)

Duration:00:08:53

Larisa Latynina

9/1/2018
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In 1956, the Soviet gymnast Larisa Latynina wowed the world when she won four gold medals at the Melbourne Olympics. She went on to dominate the sport for the next decade, becoming a Soviet hero in the process, and she is the second most successful Olympian of all time – beaten only by Michael Phelps. Larisa tells Ashley Byrne about the rigorous training methods in the Soviet Union and how she had to keep a pregnancy secret from her coach. The programme is a Made-In-Manchester Production....

Duration:00:09:09

Wayne Gretzky And "The Trade"

8/25/2018
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In August 1988, Canada was plunged into a mixture of shock and grief when the legendary ice-hockey player Wayne Gretzky was sold to a team in America. The controversial deal between the Edmonton Oilers and the Los Angeles Kings became known simply as “The Trade”. In 2011, Madeleine Morris spoke to Bruce McNall, the owner of the LA Kings at the time. PHOTO: Wayne Gretzky (Getty Images)

Duration:00:09:05

Gaza's First Olympic Athlete

8/18/2018
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Sanaa Abu Bkheet is an 800m runner who became the first athlete from the Gaza Strip to represent Palestine at the 2004 Athens Olympics. She was also the first woman to lead the Palestinian delegation at the Games. Sanaa still lives in the Gaza Strip, where she spoke to Mike Lanchin about her long and difficult journey to the biggest sporting stage in the world. Photo: Sanaa Abu Bkheet at home in Gaza City (BBC 2018)

Duration:00:09:06

Imran Khan

8/11/2018
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With Imran Khan set to become the next prime minister of Pakistan, we look back at Imran’s cricketing career and particularly his greatest triumph – Pakistan’s victory over England in the 1992 World Cup final. Simon Watts introduces the sporting memories of Imran Khan, as recorded in the BBC archives. (Photo: Imran Khan in action in 1989. Credit: Getty Images)

Duration:00:08:55

Kay Cottee - Australian Sailing Hero

8/4/2018
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In 1988, the Australian Kay Cottee became the first woman to sail around the world solo and non-stop. Cottee survived being washed overboard in the Southern Ocean before returning to a hero’s welcome at Sydney Harbour. Simon Watts introduces her memories of nearly 200 days at sea. The producer is Maria Jevstafjeva. PHOTO: Kay Cottee (Rex Features/Shutterstock)

Duration:00:09:08

Graeme Obree - The Flying Scotsman

7/28/2018
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In July 1993, Scotsman Graeme Obree broke cycling’s prestigious world hour record – riding on a home-made bike nicknamed “Old Faithful”. The revolutionary design, which included parts of a washing machine, helped Obree cover more than 51 kilometres in 60 minutes. He talks to Ian Williams. PHOTO: Graeme Obree in a later race (AFP/Getty Images)

Duration:00:09:10

Jens Voigt - Riding the Tour De France On a Child's Bike

7/21/2018
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In July 2010, the German cyclist Jens Voigt crashed while descending a mountain in the Pyrenees during the Tour De France. With his bike destroyed and his team support cars a long way up the road, Voigt borrowed a child’s bike and rode the next 15 kilometres on it. He talks to Ashley Byrne. (Photo: Jens Voigt in action at the 2010 Tour De France. Credit: Getty Images)

Duration:00:10:55

The 1986 World Cup Final

7/14/2018
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The victory of Diego Maradona's Argentina over West Germany in Mexico's Azteca stadium in June 1986 was one of the most memorable World Cup finals in recent times. Argentina was leading 2-0 but the West Germans fought back, before a sublime Maradona move sealed the match for the South Americans. Mike Lanchin has been speaking to the former Argentina defender, Jose Luis Brown, who scored his only international goal in the game; and to Argentine football expert, Marcela Mora y Araujo, who...

Duration:00:09:00

Goran Ivanisevic's Wimbledon Wildcard Win

7/7/2018
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In July 2001, the Croatian Goran Ivanisevic became the first wildcard player to take the Men’s Singles crown at Wimbledon. Ivanisevic had lost three previous finals and fallen to number 125 in the world rankings, but managed to win an epic five-set match against Pat Rafter of Australia. The final was played on a Monday because of a rain delay and had one of the best atmospheres in Wimbledon history. Simon Watts introduces the memories of Ivanisevic and Rafter. PHOTO: Goran Ivanisevic with...

Duration:00:08:56

Lev Yashin - The Soviet Union's Goalkeeping Hero

6/30/2018
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The 2018 World Cup in Russia is honouring the former Soviet goalkeeper, Lev Yashin, by featuring him on the tournament poster. Yashin - nicknamed the "Black Panther" - revolutionised goalkeeping, winning the prestigious Golden Boot trophy. He also helped lead the Soviet Union to several famous victories in the 1950s and 60s, but later died young and in very poor health. Simon Watts introduces the memories of Yashin's widow, Valentina Yashina. The material in the programme was gathered by BBC...

Duration:00:08:56

'Muggsy' Bogues - Shortest Player in the NBA

6/23/2018
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In June 1987, there was a major shock at the NBA draft when the Washington Bullets picked the shortest man ever to play top-tier American basketball, Tyrone “Muggsy” Bogues. Measuring just 5 foot 3 inches (160cm), Muggsy went on to have a successful career, earning the respect of his taller colleagues with his aggressive play and ability to snatch the ball. Muggsy Bogues talks to Janet Ball. (Photo: Muggsy Bogues in action. Credit: Getty Images)

Duration:00:09:07