The inside and personal story of the key moments from sporting history
When West Brom went to China
In 1978, first division football side, West Bromwich Albion F.C., became the first professional British club to visit communist China. The visit came as the communist country wanted to improve relations with the West after the death of Chairman Mao Zedong. The team played five exhibition matches, including one against the Chinese national team in Beijing in front a crowd of 90,000 people. Alex Last spoke to West Brom legend, Brendon Batson, about his memories of the historic tour. (Photo: The team sightseeing at the Great Wall of China. Credit: BBC)
02/12/2023 • 9 minutes 9 seconds
The lost tapes of a Manchester United hero
In 1994, Manchester United goalkeeper Les Sealey sat down to record his memoir.
He'd played a key role in helping Alex Ferguson win his first trophy as United's manager in 1990.
No takers were found for Les' story and the cassette tapes were stored away in a friend's attic. Les died from a heart attack in 2001 at the age of 43.
More than twenty years on, the tapes have been re-discovered and turned into a book called "On Days Like These: The Lost Memoir of a Goalkeeper."
Matt Pintus has been listening through the tapes for Sporting Witness.
(Photo: Les Sealey raises his arms aloft. Credit: Getty Images)
25/11/2023 • 9 minutes 53 seconds
The creation of chessboxing
In 2003, Dutch artist Iepe Rubingh, came up with the idea of combining two of his passions – chess and boxing. Using the cerebral strategy of chess along with the physicality of boxing, the winner is decided by either a checkmate or knockout.
Ashley Byrne speaks to Jean-Louis Veenstra, who fought Rubingh at the inaugural World Chessboxing Championship in Amsterdam.
This is a Made in Manchester production for the BBC World Service.
(Photo: Ricky Rock and Jack Page in the ring during the Chessboxing 2012 Season Finale in London. Credit: Getty Images)
18/11/2023 • 9 minutes 1 second
Lindsey Jacobellis: Almost
In 2006, Lindsey Jacobellis was riding high in the world of snowboarding and arrived at that year’s Winter Olympics in Turin in Italy, a firm favourite to win gold in the inaugural Snowboard Cross event.
What followed was the most infamous moments of that year’s games, as Lindsey’s Olympic dream came crashing down in a split second. Nearly 20 years later, Lindsey speaks to Jorja McAndrew to talk through the events on the mountainside and whether she’s been able to move on from it.
This is a TBI Media Production for the BBC World Service.
(Photo: America's Lindsey Jacobellis in action on last jump during the Ladies' Snowboard Cross Finals at Bardonecchia in Italy. Credit: Getty Images)
11/11/2023 • 9 minutes 10 seconds
Egypt’s Africa Cup of Nations hat-trick
In January 2010, Egypt beat Ghana 1-0 in the final of the Africa Cup of Nations to complete an unprecedented treble, having won in 2006 and 2008.
It was also the seventh time they won the cup, a feat unmatched by any of their rivals in the African Confederation.
Justice Baidoo speaks to Egyptian fullback Ahmed Fathy and Ghanaian defender Samuel Inkoom. This is a Made in Manchester production for BBC World Service.
(Photo: Egypt celebrates beating Ghana 1-0 in the final of the Africa Cup of Nations at Universitaria Stadium on January 31st 2010 in Luanda, Angola. Credit: Liewig Christian/Corbis via Getty Images)
04/11/2023 • 8 minutes 58 seconds
England win the Rugby World Cup
In 2003, England beat Australia in Sydney to win the Rugby World Cup.
The match was famous for England's fly-half, Jonny Wilkinson, kicking the winning points in the dying seconds.
England's coach, Sir Clive Woodward, and Australia's captain, George Gregan, recount that night to Ben Henderson.
(Photo: Sir Clive Woodward lifts the Rugby World Cup trophy. Credit: Joe Mann/Offside via Getty Images)
28/10/2023 • 8 minutes 58 seconds
Meeting Mr Pilates
Joseph Pilates developed a system of strengthening exercises which are now practised all over the world. He called it "contrology", but it's now better known as just Pilates.
We hear from Mary Bowen, one of the Pilates Elders, who studied with Joseph Pilates and his wife Clara in New York in the 1950s.
(Photo: Joseph Pilates, inventor, physical fitness guru and founder of the Pilates exercise method demonstrates a technique on his 'Bednasium' in his 8th Avenue studio on October 4, 1961 in New York City, Credit: I.C. Rapoport/Getty Images)
21/10/2023 • 9 minutes 50 seconds
1964: When surfing came to Australia
Nearly 60 years ago, New South Wales in Australia hosted the first official World Surfing Championships. The competition attracted around 200 entries, including surfers from France, USA, South Africa, England, Peru and New Zealand.
The event was held in May at Sydney's Manly Beach and pulled in a crowd of up to 60,000 people.
Australian finalist Mick Dooley speaks to Patrick Kiteley about competing in the competition and how the weekend heralded a new wave of surf lovers in his country, making it a catalyst for the phenomenon the sport has become there today.
(Photo: Bernard 'Midget' Farrelly surfing during the First World Championships held at Manly beach, Sydney, Australia, on Sunday May 17 1964. Credit: Australian National Maritime Museum Collection. Gift from Dawn and Jack Eden)
14/10/2023 • 11 minutes
The Netherlands beat England at the Home of Cricket
The Netherlands embarrased England at Lord's on the opening day of the 2009 T20 Cricket World Cup. The top scorer for the Dutch was Tom de Grooth and he speaks to Matthew Kenyon about the famous victory.
(Photo: Tom De Grooth of Netherlands plays a reverse shot watched by James Foster of England during their ICC World Twenty20 Cup match at Lord's cricket ground in London, on June 5, 2009. Credit: Ian Kington/AFP via Getty Images)
07/10/2023 • 9 minutes 47 seconds
Cara Honeychurch's tenpin strike
Australian tenpin bowler Cara Honeychurch on her incredible streak of becoming World Champion and Bowler of the Year in 1996, then winning three golds at the Commonwealth Games in 1998 in Kuala Lumpur.
She speaks to Ashley Byrne in this Made in Manchester production for BBC World Service.
(Photo: Cara Honeychurch bowling in Melbourne, Australia in 2003. Credit: Jeff Crowe / Sport the Library)
30/09/2023 • 9 minutes 49 seconds
The first hijabi figure skater
In 2012, Zahra Lari from the UAE, made history by becoming the first figure skater to compete in a hijab. When she was 17 she took part in her first international competition, and although her routine went well, the judges deducted points for her headscarf.
After the competition, she met with the International Skating Union and convinced them that the rules should allow the hijab to be worn, with no further deductions being made.
(Photo: Zahra Lari of UAE competes during FBMA Trophy for Figure Skating 2017 at Zayed Sports City on 5 January, 2017 in Abu Dhabi. Credit: Getty Images)
23/09/2023 • 9 minutes 46 seconds
Chuck Wepner: The real-life Rocky who floored Ali
When part-time fighter Chuck Wepner is given a shot to fight heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali in 1975, no one gives him a chance.
But his heroism in the ring knocked down all expectations, including those of the champ, and inspired a cinematic saga in the process.
He speaks to Ben Wyatt about the build up and the big fight itself.
This is a Comuniqé production for the BBC World Service.
(Photo: Chuck Wepner takes a swing at Muhammad Ali in the second round of their heavyweight title bout in March 1975. Credit: Getty Images)
16/09/2023 • 9 minutes 48 seconds
Rugby's greatest upset
In 2015, Japan’s Rugby Union team pulled off one of the greatest sporting upsets of all time, when they beat South Africa in their opening match of the World Cup in England.
The Brave Blossoms’ win over one of the giants of world rugby would have been unimaginable before the team’s remarkable transformation under its captain Michael Leitch and head coach Eddie Jones.
Michael Leitch spoke to Theo Whyte about the match, and how a last minute decision changed Japanese rugby forever. This is a Whistledown production for BBC World Service.
(Photo: Karne Hesketh of Japan scores the winning try during the 2015 Rugby World Cup Pool B match between South Africa and Japan at the Brighton Community Stadium on September 19th 2015. Credit: Getty Images)
09/09/2023 • 9 minutes 47 seconds
The first cricket helmet
In 1977 English batsman Dennis Amiss became the first cricket player in the modern game to wear protective headgear. Derided and taunted by spectators, as well as some players, the pioneering use of head protection revolutionised pitch safety. He speaks to Wayne Wright about the profound effect in had on the sport. This is a Made in Manchester Production for the BBC World Service.
(Photo: 10th June 1974: Dennis Amiss in action against India in the first test at Old Trafford. Amiss was later to a wear cricket helmet for protection from 1977. Credit: Getty Images)
02/09/2023 • 9 minutes 45 seconds
Pat Rafter wins The US Open
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. Pat Rafter talks to Ashley Byrne about the victories and his career. The programme is a Made-In-Manchester Production.
(Photo: Pat Rafter in action during the Men's Singles Final at The US Open in Flushing, New York on September 7th, 1997. Credit: Getty Images)
26/08/2023 • 10 minutes 49 seconds
Cricket's Blackwash test series
In 1984, the West Indies celebrated a 5-0 test series defeat of England on British soil - a historic cricketing victory that became known as Blackwash.
But for Windies fans, it was more than just a record score-line. It was also recognition at a time when many British Caribbean communities were suffering racism, unemployment and poverty.
They flooded onto the pitch to celebrate, unfurling a banner in bold painted letters which read ‘Blackwash’.
It had a huge impact, as West Indies fast bowler Michael Holding tells Jane Wilkinson.
(Photo: Blackwash banner, The Oval, 1984. Credit: Allsport/Getty Images)
19/08/2023 • 9 minutes 13 seconds
The first female NBA referee
In 1997, Violet Palmer made history by becoming the first female referee in the NBA.
During her career she faced sexism and discrimination.
Violet tells Gill Kearsley about the anticipation and excitement of refereeing her first match.
(Photo: Violet Palmer in 2013. Credit: Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
12/08/2023 • 9 minutes 44 seconds
Nigeria's path to the Women's World Cup
The Nigerian national women’s football team were the first African team to reach the inaugural FIFA Women’s World Cup Tournament in China in 1991. Justice Baidoo speaks to Nkiri Okosieme – who captained the hastily assembled squad – and hears how they overcame opposition to claim their tournament spot.
This programme is a Made in Manchester Production for the BBC World Service.
(Photo: Nigeria goalkeepr Oyeka Anna Agumanu and Omon-Love Branch try to stop German Heidi Mohr's attack during the group C match on November 17, 1991 at the Jiangmen stadium at first FIFA World Championship for Women's Football. Credit: Getty Images)
05/08/2023 • 9 minutes 53 seconds
First women's Tour de France
To mark the final stages of this year's Tour de Femmes, Marianne Martin talks about winning the first official women’s Tour De France in 1984. She rode the 1,080km course in 29 hours, 39 minutes, and two seconds over 18 days – a remarkable feat considering she’d had anaemia earlier in that year.
The 1984 men’s champion Laurent Fignon won prizes valued at more than $225,000. Marianne Martin was awarded a trophy and $1,000.
This is a Made in Manchester production for BBC World Service is presented by Ashley Byrne.
(Photo: Marianne Martin with her team mates in Paris after winning the Tour de France in 1984. Credit: Graham Watson)
29/07/2023 • 9 minutes 57 seconds
The first Women's World Cup sticker album
Panini have been making World Cup sticker albums since 1970, but in 2011 they decided to make the first one for the women's tournament being held in Germany. Only available in the host country, they sold more than 4.5 million packets of stickers in two weeks. They had to print a million more stickers to keep up with demand. Roxanne König from Panini in Germany speaks to Uma Doraiswamy about how the album was created and its popularity.
(Photo: Panini stickers for the FIFA Women's World Cup Germany 2011. Credit: Getty Images)
20/07/2023 • 9 minutes 55 seconds
Chris Lewis shocks Wimbledon
In the summer of 1983, New Zealand tennis player Chris Lewis reached the Wimbledon men’s singles final, despite being ranked 91 in the world. Although it shocked the tournament, Lewis had been targeting it since he was 11 years old, when he watched tennis greats including Rod Laver and Tony Roche play in his home country.
(Photo: Chris Lewis (left) of New Zealand and John McEnroe of the USA during the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championship Final held in June 1983 at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in London. Credit: Getty Images)
08/07/2023 • 9 minutes 55 seconds
The first Homeless World Cup
On 6 July 2003, the first matches of the Homeless World Cup kicked off in Graz, Austria. The idea came from Mel Young and Harald Schmied. Mel talks to Kurt Brookes about the first tournament and how it continues to help change perceptions about homelessness.
A Made in Manchester Production for BBC World Service.
(Photo: Scotland play Poland in the Homeless World Cup played in Graz, Austria. Credit: Homeless World Cup Foundation)
01/07/2023 • 10 minutes 7 seconds
Shun Fujimoto - Japan's injured Olympic hero
At the 1976 Olympics, the Japanese gymnast Shun Fujimoto horrified the world by continuing to compete in the team event despite breaking his knee during the floor exercise. Determined not to let down his team-mates, Fujimoto braved almost unbearable pain to achieve good scores on the pommel horse and rings, and help Japan to gold. Shun Fujimoto relives his agony with Ashley Byrne. The programme is a Made-In-Manchester Production for the BBC World Service and was first broadcast in 2016.
(Photo: Shun Fujimoto on the rings. Credit: Colorsport/Shutterstock)
24/06/2023 • 9 minutes 56 seconds
Mitchell Johnson's Ashes
After being ridiculed by the English fans and media following his dismal performance in the 2010-2011 Ashes series, Australian fast bowler Mitchell Johnson proved himself on home ground in 2013 by destroying England’s batting order. Taking 37 wickets and being named Player of the Series, Johnson dominated the tests which became known as Johnson's Ashes.
He speaks to the BBC as part of their coverage of the 2023 Ashes series.
(Photo: Mitchell Johnson of Australia celebrates after taking the wicket of Alastair Cook of England during day three of the Fourth Ashes Test Match between Australia and England at Melbourne Cricket Ground on December 28, 2013 in Melbourne, Australia. Credit: Getty)
17/06/2023 • 9 minutes 56 seconds
Jana Navotna - from choker to champion
In 1993, the Czech player Jana Novotna threw away a huge lead in the ladies' final at Wimbledon but captured the hearts of tennis fans by breaking down in tears on the shoulder of the Duchess of Kent, the tournament's patron. Five years later, Novotna was back on Centre Court..and this time she won. She tells her story to Kirsty McQuire. The programme is a Sparklab Production for the BBC World Service and was first broadcast in 2015
(Photo: Czech tennis player Jana Novotna is consoled by the Duchess of Kent after losing the women's singles final at the 1993 Wimbledon Championships, held at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in London, England, 3rd July 1993. Credit: Getty Images)
15/06/2023 • 9 minutes 59 seconds
Man Vs Horse
Can a man ever beat a horse in a foot race? Every year since 1980, a small town in Wales has been trying to find out.
Laurence Bassett speaks to long distance runner Huw Lobb and race creator Gordon Green about the 2004 race when, for the first time, two legs outran four.
This is a TBI Media production for the BBC World Service.
(Photo: Huw Lobb winner of the Man v Horse race stands with the fastest rival horse Kaybeejay and rider Zoe White from Llandrindod Wells after the 2004 race. Credit: PA)
10/06/2023 • 8 minutes 57 seconds
Albert Johanneson: The first black FA Cup finalist
In 1965, South African Albert Johanneson became the first black player of any nationality to take part in the FA Cup final. Willie Bell remembers what he was like as a Leeds United teammate. This is a Made in Manchester production for the BBC World Service.
(Photo: Leeds United left-winger Albert Johanneson, March 1965. Credit: Getty Images)
03/06/2023 • 9 minutes 4 seconds
The Arsenal 'Invincibles'
In May 2003, Arsenal started on an unbeaten run that would last for 49 Premier League games.
The team became known as 'The Invincibles'.
They were the first team to go unbeaten all season since Preston North End in 1888.
Former Arsenal defender, Lauren, and British comedian, Alan Davies, speak to Matt Pintus about that team.
(Photo: Arsenal celebrate winning the 2003/2004 Premier League. Credit: Getty Images)
27/05/2023 • 10 minutes 11 seconds
Kabaddi’s Asian Games golden debut
The 2010 Asian Games in China saw women’s kabaddi included at the event for the first time. Deepika Joseph was the youngest person ever to represent her country in the sport.
Kabaddi is an Indian contact sport which involves holding your breath while chanting kabaddi, kabaddi, kabaddi.
Deepika speaks to Reena Stanton-Sharma about competing and triumphing in the tournament and how winning gold helped to change the public’s perception of female sports in India.
(Photo: Deepika Joseph (centre) at the 16th Asian Games in 2010. Credit: Liu Jin/AFP./Getty Images)
20/05/2023 • 10 minutes 27 seconds
Battle of Bramall Lane
On 16 March 2002, Sheffield United vs West Bromwich Albion, at Bramall Lane, became the only match in English football history to be abandoned, due to a shortage of players.
After three Sheffield players were sent off, two got injured, meaning they were down to six men.
Rachel Naylor speaks to referee Eddie Wolstenholme, who was forced to call the game off.
(Photo: Referee Eddie Wolstenholme, caught in the middle of a melee between Sheffield United and West Bromwich Albion players, at Bramall Lane. Credit: Press Association)
13/05/2023 • 10 minutes 25 seconds
The start of the J.League
On 15th May 1993, the first match of Japan's first professional football league kicked off at the National Stadium in Tokyo. This new "J.League" replaced the previous version, which was composed of corporate teams of amateur and semi-professional players, and was seen by the Japanese Football Asociation as a means of qualifying for and eventually hosting a World Cup. Former Yokohama Marinos manager Hidehiko Shimizu tells Kurt Brookes about that first match and how it changed Japan's views on football. This is a Made in Manchester production for BBC World Service.
(Photo: Nagoya Grampus Eight play Yokohama Marinos in a J.League match. L-R Junji Koizumi, Gary Lineker and Masami Ihara. Credit: Getty)
06/05/2023 • 10 minutes 23 seconds
Indian weightlifting’s ‘Iron Lady’
In 2000, Indian weightlifter Karnam Malleswari became the first woman from her country to win an Olympic medal, lifting an astonishing 240kg across two categories. Nicknamed the Iron Lady, Malleswari quickly became a household name in India. She speaks to Dan Hardoon about her upbringing in a small Andhra Pradesh town, the taboos she broke to pursue her chosen career, her rapid rise to stardom, and her reflections on a landmark moment for Indian women in sport. This is a Whistledown production for BBC World Service.
(Photo: Karnam Malleswari competing in the Sydney Olympics in 2000. Credit: Getty)
29/04/2023 • 8 minutes 58 seconds
Bomb scare at The Grand National
On 5th April 1997, the 150th Grand National horse race was meant to take place at the Aintree racecourse near Liverpool. But the IRA sent 2 coded bomb threats which meant the world famous steeplechase had to be abandoned. Managing Director of the course at the time, Charles Barnett, tells Uma Doraiswamy what it was like to be the man responsible for safely evacuating 70,000 people and trying to get the race back on track.
(Photo: A sign instructs the public on the evacuation procedure due to the IRA bomb scare which postponed The Grand National in April 1997. Credit: Getty)
13/04/2023 • 10 minutes 20 seconds
Ernst van Dyk: Ten-time Boston Marathon winner
On April 21st, 2014, wheelchair athlete Ernst van Dyk clinched a record-breaking 10th win at the Boston Marathon - a bittersweet achievement coming just a year after terrorists bombed the 2013 race. But before Ernst dominated Boston, he spent over a decade training and competing before achieving marathon and Paralympic success. Ernst has been telling Wayne Wright about how he achieved his Boston dream.
This programme is a Made in Manchester Production for the BBC World Service.
(Photo: Ernst van Dyk about to cross the finishing line at the 2014 Boston Marathon. Credit: Getty)
06/04/2023 • 9 minutes 1 second
The Marseille bribery and match fixing scandal
It has been 30 years since Champions League winners Marseille were relegated from the French top division for bribery and match fixing.
The champions were accused of offering bribes to players from fellow French side, Valenciennes.
Jean Marie Veniel was the referee who first blew the whistle on the scandal.
He has been sharing his memories with Matt Pintus.
(Picture: Marseille celebrate after winning 1993 Champions League. Credit: Getty Images)
30/03/2023 • 10 minutes 26 seconds
First women's Six Nations Rugby Championship
Nathalie Amiel was a star of French rugby for more than fifteen years, from when she started playing internationally aged 15.
She was part of the French team which won the Five Nations, as well as the European Championship four times. The 2002 season was her final one, she finished off her career winning the first ever women's Six Nations Championship.
Nathalie has been speaking to Laura Jones.
(Photo: Nathalie Amiel playing for France. Credit: Nathalie Amiel)
23/03/2023 • 9 minutes 54 seconds
Ammo Baba: Iraq's footballing hero
Ammo Baba was a beloved player, whose heading ability was legendary and who scored Iraq's first ever international goal. As a coach, Ammo Baba won many regional trophies for the Iraqi team and stood up to Saddam Hussein's sadistic son, Uday.
In 2009, thousands of Iraqis gathered at the National Football Stadium to attend the funeral of the player and coach, Emmanuel Baba Dawud, better known as Ammo Baba.
His brother, Banwal Baba Dawud, spoke to Ashley Byrne in 2016. The programme is a Made In Manchester Production.
(Picture: Ammos Baba's funeral. Credit: Getty Images)
16/03/2023 • 9 minutes
Irene Van Dyk: Netball’s goal shooting star
In 2012 Irene helped lead her New Zealand team Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic to victory, beating the Melbourne Vixens in the ANZ Championships. She later went on to play for New Zealand’s national team, the Silver Ferns.
Originally from South Africa, she initially faced a hostile media who didn’t accept her as a New Zealand player, but with her success she eventually became a national treasure. She is the most-capped netballer of all time.
Irene has been speaking to Alex Collins.
(Photo: Irene Van Dyk playing in the All Star Celeb Slam in Novermber 2020 Credit: Getty)
09/03/2023 • 8 minutes 58 seconds
The boxing referee who started a riot
In 1988, New Zealand referee Keith Walker facilitated a fight between South Korean boxer Byun Jung II and Bulgarian boxer Aleksandr Khristov. The Bulgarian won the match 4 -1, but when the bell rang, the ring erupted into chaos, with the referee defending himself from the punches that were being thrown his way.
Soon afterwards, he decided to quit refereeing. Vicky Carter spoke to Keith Walker.
(Photo: South Korean assistant boxing coach Lee Chung-Ha grabs New Zealand referee Keith Walker. Credit: Staff/AFP via Getty Images)
02/03/2023 • 9 minutes
The first Basketball World Cup
In 1950, Argentina hosted the inaugural Basketball World Cup for ten teams from around the world.
Argentina beat the USA 64–50 in the final in Buenos Aires on 3 November.
Rachel Naylor speaks to Ricardo González, Argentina's captain.
(Photo: Ricardo González in 2023. Credit: María Eva González)
23/02/2023 • 8 minutes 59 seconds
Muay Thai: World champion Sylvie Von Duuglas-Ittu
American Sylvie Von Duuglas-Ittu started Muay Thai fighting in Boulder, Colorado. It was a trip to Thailand that made her realise that if she wanted to progress in the sport, she would have to move there permanently to train and fight.
She quickly became one of the best fighters in the martial art, surpassing 200 fights; something no other western fighter has achieved in Thailand. She became WBC Muay Thai minimum weight world champion in 2023.
Sylvie has been speaking to Wayne Wright for this Made in Manchester production.
(Photo: Sylvie Von Duuglas-Ittu in training for a fight. Credit: Kevin Von Duuglas-Ittu)
16/02/2023 • 10 minutes 38 seconds
The Vatican's mini-World Cup
In 2007, the first ever Clericus Cup was played, with trainee priests from the Vatican City's seminaries competing.
It was an effort to present a different image of football, following various Italian scandals.
Don Davide Tisato, the captain of the winning team and a former professional footballer, has been speaking to Laura Jones, along with Felice Alborghetti from the Centro Sportivo Italiano.
(Photo: Davide Tisato lifting the Clericus Cup with his team Redemptoris Mater. Credit: Centro Sportivo Italiano Archive)
09/02/2023 • 10 minutes 14 seconds
First women's cyclo-cross world championship
In 2000, female riders were able to take part in the cyclo-cross world championship for the first time.
There has been a men’s event since 1950, but took another half century for female riders to be allowed to take part.
Cyclo-cross involves races on grassland and sand, which includes steep gradients and often sees riders forced to jump off and run with their bikes across muddy sections of the course.
Matthew Kenyon has been talking to Dutch rider Daphny van den Brand about the sport, her campaign and that first ever global showpiece in the Dutch town of Sint Michielsgestel.
(Photo: Daphny van den Brand. Credit: Getty Images)
02/02/2023 • 9 minutes 46 seconds
Calciopoli: The Juventus scandal
In 2006, Italy's most successful team, Juventus, were relegated from the Italian top division due to their involvement in the Calciopoli match-fixing scandal.
The decision to demote Juventus came just days after Italy had won the 2006 World Cup in Germany.
Journalist Paddy Agnew covered the case extensively from his base in Rome. He has been sharing his memories of that time with Matt Pintus.
(Photo: Juventus managing director Luciano Moggi pictured in 2006. Credit: Getty Images)
26/01/2023 • 10 minutes 28 seconds
Tiger Woods wins his first major
At the age of 21, Tiger Woods won the US Masters in 1997 by dominating the tough golf course in Augusta. Despite turning professional only a few months before, he destroyed the competition, winning the tournament by 12 strokes. He was the first black man to win the Masters at the Augusta National Golf Club, which had only allowed their first black member in 1990. This incredible win was the start of him becoming golf's most transcendent superstar.
(Photo: Tiger Woods receives the Masters green jacket from 1996 Masters champion Nick Faldo after Woods won the 1997 Masters tournament 13 April 1997 at Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia. Credit: Getty Images)
19/01/2023 • 10 minutes 7 seconds
First woman to win Olympic gold in windsurfing
Top New Zealand windsurfer Barbara Kendall was run over by a power boat at Christmas 1991 and told she should not sail again. She refused to believe the doctors and became the first woman to win a gold medal in windsurfing at the Olympics.
Barbara has been speaking to Laura Jones.
(Photo: Barbara with her gold medal on the podium at the Barcelona Olympics. Credit: Barbara Kendall)
12/01/2023 • 10 minutes
Kenya's first Winter Olympian
In 1998, a Kenyan farmer called Philip Boit became one of the first Africans to compete in the Winter Olympics. In the 10-kilometre cross-country skiing final he faced the legendary Norwegian, Bjorn Daehlie. It was a race that would unite the two athletes and inspire future Winter Olympians across Africa. Maddy Savage spoke to both skiers in 2014.
(Photo: Bjoern Daehlie of Norway congratulates Philip Boit of Kenya after Boit finished the mens 10k cross country race at Snow Harp during the 1998 Winter Olympic Games in Nagano, Japan. Credit: Getty Images)
05/01/2023 • 9 minutes 2 seconds
The Maccabiah Games
The first Maccabiah Games, a multi-sport event for Jewish athletes, were held in 1932.
They now take place every four years in Israel.
Rachel Naylor speaks to Carina Benninga, who won a gold medal in 1989, as captain of the Dutch hockey team.
(Photo: Carina Benninga, top row, second from left, and the Dutch hockey team at the Maccabiah Games in 1989. Credit: Carina Benninga)
29/12/2022 • 9 minutes 6 seconds
The Mongol Rally: Racing in one of the greatest road trips on Earth
In 2004 the Mongol Rally was created; a global road trip where drivers race over 16,000 km from England to Mongolia. There’s no set route and you have to use a car with a tiny engine.
A year later it was introduced to the wider world for the first time and Richard Birch from England took on the challenge with his friends, all in an old Fiat Panda.
Richard tells Vicky Carter about his memories of the journey across Europe, Russia and Asia.
(Photo: Two cars competing in the Mongol Rally in 2004 in Mongolia. Credit: The Adventurists)
22/12/2022 • 8 minutes 59 seconds
Nicol David: How to be a number 1 squash player for 9 years
Malaysian Nicol David talks to Uma Doraiswamy about the moment she became world number 1 in squash and how she stayed there for 9 years in a row. When she first started playing, her racquet was bigger than she was. Through her hard work and perseverance, she dominated the game winning titles and trophies throughout her career.
(Photo: Nicol David of Malaysia during the Women's Squash Singles Final at the Asian Games in August 2018. Credit: Getty Images)
15/12/2022 • 9 minutes 1 second
Ruud Krol: The World Cup meets Total Football
Dutch football start Ruud Krol tells Matthew Kenyon about the Netherlands’ campaign at the 1974 World Cup. The team, coached by Rinus Michels and featuring the great Johan Cruijff, stunned the football world with the quality of their performance, as they brought the ‘Total Football’ philosophy which Michels had instituted at Ajax to the global stage. They are still remembered as one of the greatest ever international teams.
(Photo: German Gerd Muller beats Ruud Krol (12) and Arie Haan to score in the World Cup final on 7th July 1974 in Munich. Credit: Getty Images)
08/12/2022 • 9 minutes 3 seconds
Zaire's infamous World Cup free-kick moment
In 1974, Zaire became just the third African nation to take part in football’s World Cup. Having been crowned African champions earlier that same year, the team known as the Leopards had big hopes for a successful tournament in West Germany. However, their campaign is predominantly remembered for a 9-0 defeat and a moment viewed by many as something comedic. Mwepu Ilunga’s decision to run out of a defensive wall and smash the ball downfield as opponent’s Brazil prepared to take a free-kick has become part of World Cup folklore, but the true reasons behind the defender’s apparent rush of blood to the head are likely to be less amusing. Ian Williams speaks to Mohamed Kalambay, part of Zaire’s 1974 squad, to try to discover the truth of it all.
(Photo: The Zaire team line up to face Brazil in their final group game of the 1974 World Cup in Gelsenkirchen, West Germany. Credit: Getty Images)
01/12/2022 • 10 minutes 5 seconds
Kuwait at the 1982 World Cup
With the the Middle East's first football World Cup underway, we look back to when Kuwait made its first and only appearance at the World Cup in 1982. The amateur side put in respectable performances against France and England. But press attention focused on the Kuwaitis’ team mascot, a camel called Haydoo, who became such a fan favourite that he even inspired a hit song. Sumaya Bakhsh talked to Kuwait's captain at the tournament, Saad Al-Houti, about how Haydoo came to represent national pride for a team that had been dismissed by the foreign media as a bunch of camel-herders. This programme was first broadcast in 2021.
(Photo: Kuwait players celebrate during the 1982 World Cup. Credit: Getty Images)
24/11/2022 • 8 minutes 58 seconds
When Diana Ross missed a penalty at the World Cup
In 1994, the USA hosted the FIFA World Cup for the first time. The choice of host nation was a controversial one because, at that time, the US didn't have an active professional football league. Alan Rothenberg was the man in charge of organising the competition. He decided to book Motown legend, Diana Ross, to headline the opening ceremony in Chicago. Her penalty miss in front of 67,000 fans became an iconic moment in World Cup history. Alan has been sharing his memories of the tournament with Matt Pintus.
(Photo: Diana Ross performs at the World Cup opening ceremony. Credit: Getty Images)
17/11/2022 • 9 minutes 3 seconds
The Golden Girls of Zimbabwe
In 1980, the newly independent nation of Zimbabwe was invited to enter a women's hockey team at the Olympic Games in Moscow. Despite their unfamiliarity with the pitches - and each other - the players won an unexpected gold medal and were nicknamed the Golden Girls. In 2016, Claire Bowes talked to Liz Chase, one of the victorious Zimbabweans.
(Photo: Zimbabwe's women's hockey team display their gold medals. Credit: Patricia McKillop via Alamy)
10/11/2022 • 8 minutes 59 seconds
Tonton Zola Moukoko: The best Championship Manager player ever
For millions of gamers all over the world Tonton Zola Moukoko is a cult hero. The Swedish-Congolese footballer found fame as a brilliant player in the computer game series Championship Manager. But in the real world, things were very different. He never managed to break into Derby County’s first team and in his personal life there were moments of immense tragedy. He has been sharing his story with Matt Pintus.
(Photo: Tonton in front of screenshot of Championship Manager. Credit: Tonton Zola Moukoko)
03/11/2022 • 8 minutes 59 seconds
The day we beat the All Blacks
In October 1972, Llanelli rugby club, a semi-professional side made up steel workers, teachers and dockworkers in south Wales, took on the most decorated international side in rugby history – the All Blacks, and won.
Former Wales head coach and Llanelli local Gareth Jenkins was just 21 when he played against New Zealand's iconic rugby team. He tells Isaac Sneade how the match unfolded.
This is a One Tribe TV production for the BBC World Service.
(Photo: Llanelli playing the All Blacks in October 1972. Credit: Andrew Richards)
27/10/2022 • 8 minutes 58 seconds
How baseball helped bridge the US-Cuba divide
In March 1999 the Baltimore Orioles became the first US Major League team to play in Cuba for more than 40 years. Fans in Cuba eagerly awaited the fixture, and the game was played in a carnival atmosphere, with Fidel Castro looking on from the crowds. It was hailed as a success of sporting diplomacy.
Cuban baseball star Enrique Diaz was in the national team that day. He tells Witness about the highlight of his sporting career.
(Photo: Cuban and American flags. Credit: Getty Images)
20/10/2022 • 8 minutes 57 seconds
China's first golf champion
Shanshan Feng was the first Chinese golfer ever to win a major championship back in 2012 and she also became number one in the women's world golf rankings. She won bronze in the Olympics in Rio 2016. She speaks to Wayne Wright about her distinguished career. This is a Made in Manchester production for the BBC World Service.
(Photo: Shanshan Feng. Credit: IMG China)
13/10/2022 • 10 minutes 21 seconds
The bizarre twist in South Africa’s ultramarathon
At the 1999 Comrades ultramarathon, South Africa’s most gruelling road race, runner Nick Bester and his teammates notice something suspicious, as they run the 90km race from Pietermaritzburg to Durban.
Nick speaks to Craig Boardman about his experience in the race including winning it in 1991. However, it was a bizarre twist in 1999s race that stands out for him.
(Photo: Starting line at the 1999 Comrades ultramarathon in Pietermaritzburg. Credit: The Comrades Marathon Association)
06/10/2022 • 10 minutes 20 seconds
How I helped bring down Lance Armstrong
It has been 10 years since seven time Tour de France winner, Lance Armstrong, was given a lifetime ban from cycling for doping.
Journalist David Walsh dedicated 12 years of his life trying to prove that Armstrong had cheated his way to victory. The Sunday Times reporter refused to believe Lance Armstrong when he said he didn’t take performance enhancing drugs.
He has been telling his story to Matt Pintus.
(Photo: Lance Armstrong winning the 2004 Tour de France. Credit: Getty Images)
29/09/2022 • 10 minutes 19 seconds
Derartu Tulu: Africa's first black female Olympic champion
At the Barcelona Olympics in 1992, Derartu Tulu, from Ethiopia, became the first black African woman to win a gold medal.
She speaks to Rachel Naylor about winning the 10,000 metres and beating South Africa's Elana Meyer.
(Photo: Ethiopia's Derartu Tulu (L) and Elana Meyer of South Africa join hands in a victory lap after the women's 10,000m final at Barcelona Olympics in 1992. Credit: Getty Images)
22/09/2022 • 10 minutes 21 seconds
Rose Reilly played football for AC Milan as she was banned from playing professional football in her home nation of Scotland. She was the most successful female player in Serie A. Yet despite these achievements, after she criticised the Scottish Football Association, they banned her for life. In 1984, Rose represented the Italian national women's team. She speaks to Michael Rossi about her determination to play the game she loved.
(Rose Reilly playing football for Reims in 1974. Getty Images)
15/09/2022 • 10 minutes 26 seconds
Kosovo’s first Olympic medal
At the Rio 2016 Olympics, judoka Majlinda Kelmendi competed to bring home the first medal for Kosovo since the small country gained independence. A two-time World Champion from a nation that had endured years of oppression and war, she had previously had to compete under the Albanian flag. The Olympics recognised Kosovo in 2014, and in 2016 she went on to win the gold medal. It was a moment of great symbolic importance for the young nation, whose statehood remained disputed on the international stage.
(Majlinda Kelmendi of Kosovo celebrates winning the gold medal in Rio 2016. Getty Images)
08/09/2022 • 9 minutes
In 1988, the Canadian sprinter Ben Johnson was disqualified 48 hours after winning the Olympic 100 metre final and setting a new world record. It was one of the biggest doping scandals in the history of sport. Simon Watts introduces Ben Johnson interviews from the BBC archives.
(Getty: Ben Johnson wins the 100 metres final at the Seoul Olympics)
01/09/2022 • 8 minutes 58 seconds
Coaching the world's best tennis players
Rick Macci was one of Serena and Venus Williams' first tennis coaches. He flew across America to see them play in Compton in Los Angeles when they were still children. He speaks to Uma Doraiswamy about the moment he knew they were going to be world number ones and dominate the sport.
(Photo: Rick Macci with Venus Williams and her father Richard. Credit: Getty Images)
25/08/2022 • 10 minutes 14 seconds
The most controversial three seconds in basketball history
It's 50 years since the Soviet Union and the USA battled out the 1972 Olympic men's basketball final. It ended up being one of the most controversial matches in history. The Americans thought they were champions, but the Soviets won it at the death in very unusual circumstances. The USA team have never accepted their silver medals. Ben Henderson spoke to Ivan Edeshko, who made the game-winning ‘golden pass’ for the USSR.
(Photo from Bettmann via Getty Images: USSR players celebrate beating the USA in the 1972 Olympic men's basketball final)
18/08/2022 • 10 minutes 37 seconds
Sydney Olympics’ vault fault
At the Sydney Olympics in 2000, one mistake with a piece of gymnastics equipment changed the course of a final. It wasn't properly acknowledged at the time and even now, is one of the biggest Olympic mistakes that barely anyone has heard about. Australian former gymnast Allana Slater describes how she spotted the error.
(Getty Images: Allana Slater competing on the vault)
11/08/2022 • 10 minutes 32 seconds
Nick Skelton's bid for gold
British showjumper Nick Skelton competed in six Olympic games in his quest to win a medal, even coming back from a career ending injury. Having started riding when he was three years old, Nick won many titles, and it was the lure of the Olympics that kept him competing.
(Getty Images: Nick Skelton at the 2012 Olympics)
04/08/2022 • 10 minutes 44 seconds
The first Women's Euros
Between 1982 and 1984, UEFA held the first European Competition for Women's Football. 16 teams battled it out across Europe.
The final was between Sweden and England.
Rachel Naylor speaks to the Swedish captain Anette Börjesson.
(Photo: Anette Börjesson (left) shakes hands with England captain Carol Thomas before the second leg of the 1984 final in Luton. Credit: Empics/Peter Robinson)
28/07/2022 • 10 minutes
Yohann Gene - The Tour de France's first black cyclist
After 14 years training and riding in a variety of tours, cyclist Yohann Gene from Guadeloupe, finally earned approval from his coach and was selected to race in the 2011 Tour De France. He then made history by becoming the first black man to finish the brutal race.
(Getty Images: Yohann Gene in the Tour de France)
21/07/2022 • 10 minutes 9 seconds
Britain's Golden Relay
Despite being hampered by injury in Athens 2004, Darren Campbell helps the British 4x100 metre relay team cause one of the greatest upsets in Olympic history.
(Getty: Darren Campbell at the Athens 2004 Olympics)
14/07/2022 • 10 minutes 8 seconds
Nadine Angerer: Germany’s penalty-saving heroine
In July 2013, a record crowd of 41,000 people watched as Germany beat Norway in the women's European championship final in Sweden. The victory meant that Germany had won an unprecedented six European Championships in a row. Goalkeeper, Nadine Angerer, was Germany’s star player and captain for that tournament. She has been telling her story to Matt Pintus.
(Photo: Nadine Angerer in action at the 2013 European Championships. Credit: Getty Images)
07/07/2022 • 10 minutes 8 seconds
Jens Voigt: Riding the Tour De France on a child's bike
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)
30/06/2022 • 10 minutes 18 seconds
The longest tennis match of all time
The story of how a Wimbledon first round tie between John Isner and Nicolas Mahut in 2010 became the longest tennis match in history, stretching over three days. Matt Pintus has been speaking to the match umpire, Mohamed Lahyani.
PHOTO: John Isner, Nicolas Mahut and Mohamed Lahyani (Getty Images).
23/06/2022 • 9 minutes 53 seconds
Baseball's bionic man
The story of baseball pitcher Tommy John's elbow injury in 1974 and the revolutionary surgery that was named after him. He became known as the Bionic Man.
15/06/2022 • 9 minutes 2 seconds
Diving into the world's largest iceberg
In 2000, Jill Heinerth was already a renowned diver, known for her exploits mapping vast underground cave networks in Florida. Filming for a National Geographic documentary brought a new and unprecedented challenge; a vast iceberg known as B-15 had broken away from an ice shelf in Antarctica, providing a unique chance to explore its networks of underground caves. Braving sub zero temperatures and the treachery of constantly shifting ice, Jill became the first person to ever enter one of these caves - a historic milestone in diving. She tells her story to Emily Finch.
PHOTO: The B-15 iceberg (Wolfgang Kaehler/LightRocket via Getty Images)
02/06/2022 • 8 minutes 58 seconds
Protesting against the US National Anthem
In 1996 Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf was one of the most promising and talented basketball players in the NBA. That was before he stopped standing with his teammates when American flag was raised and the national anthem played at the start of each game. Uma Doraiswamy spoke to him and heard how his meteoric rise was cut short because of his principles.
Photo: Mahmoud Abdul Rauf at a game in March 1996 (Getty Images)
02/06/2022 • 10 minutes 17 seconds
The Miracle of Istanbul
In May 2005, Liverpool came from 3-0 down at half-time to beat AC Milan in the Champions League final, in what became known as “The Miracle of Istanbul”. Dietmar Hamann helped turn the game around for Liverpool when he was substituted on for the second half. Ben Henderson spoke to him about his memories from the night, and what happened at half-time to inspire one of the most famous comebacks in Champions League history.
Thanks to BBC Radio Merseyside for commentary from the match.
PHOTO: Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard raises the Champions League trophy (Getty Images)
26/05/2022 • 8 minutes 59 seconds
Ryneldi Becenti - Native American basketball hero
It's 25 years since Ryneldi Becenti became the first Native American to play in the women's NBA when she made her debut for the Phoenix Mercury. Basketball is a big sport on Native American reservations and success made Becenti a hero in her community. In 2019, Lucy Burns spoke to Ryneldi Becenti about her career and her challenging family background.
Photo: Ryneldi Becenti playing for Arizona State University (courtesy Arizona State University)
19/05/2022 • 9 minutes 3 seconds
The footballer trapped in Syria
Olaniyi Gideon is a professional footballer, who had played in the UAE and had trials for clubs in the UK; his efforts to keep his dream alive found him playing for a Syrian club in 2011 when the country descended into civil war. He tells Bukky Fadipe about the fraught escape he was forced to pull off after the club he was playing for abandoned him and the other players who weren't Syrians. The programme is a Whistledown Production.
PHOTO: Olaniyi Gideon, with the ball, in a team phot taken in Syria (personal collection)
12/05/2022 • 9 minutes 10 seconds
Man City win their first Premier League
In May 2012, Manchester City won their first Premier League title with a nail-biting extra-time victory in the last game of the season. In a goal that made football history, Argentine striker Sergio Agüero rocketed the ball past the QPR keeper in the 94th minute. Uma Doraiswamy talks to Manchester City defender, Micah Richards, about his memories of the match.
PHOTO: Sergio Agüero lifting the Premier League trophy (Getty Images)
05/05/2022 • 9 minutes 4 seconds
Jahangir Khan: The king of squash
In the 1980s, Pakistani squash player Jahangir Khan became a legend in his sport by going undefeated for five years. But, as Shumaila Jaffery discovers, to become unbeatable, Khan had to overcome childhood illness and family tragedy. This programme was first broadcast in 2015.
(Photo: Jahingar Khan in action. Credit: Steve Line/SquashPics)
21/04/2022 • 9 minutes 2 seconds
Cricket in North Korea
In 2008, a group of cricketers went on what is believed to be the first tour of North Korea. The Shanghai Cricket Club arranged at their own expense to play the first - and only - edition of the Pyongyang Cricket Friendship Cup. Although initially baffled by the sport, some of the North Korean players showed a surprising amount of talent. Jo McDermott talks to Jon Newton, the president of Shanghai cricket club - and the man who brought cucumber sandwiches to a pariah state.
PHOTO: Action from the Pyongyang Cricket Friendship Cup (Courtesy of Jon Newton)
14/04/2022 • 9 minutes 2 seconds
The Mozart of Table Tennis
Swedish table tennis player Jan-Ove Waldner is a living legend in his own country -- and in China. Known as the “Mozart of Table Tennis”, Jan won every major title in a sport traditionally dominated by the Chinese, including a career-defining win at the Olympic games in 1992 - where he became the first and only table-tennis gold medallist from a non-Asian country. At one point, Waldner was said to be more widely recognised in China than President Bill Clinton. He talks to Ashley Byrne about a career that spanned three decades. The programme is a Made-in-Manchester Production.
PHOTO: Jan-Ove Waldner in action in 2004 (Getty Images)
07/04/2022 • 8 minutes 59 seconds
In 2002, free diver Tanya Streeter attempted to set a No Limits world record by diving down to 160m and resurfacing, all on a single breath. She would have to survive the pressures of the deep and hold her breath for 3 and a half minutes. It almost went wrong. Tanya Streeter spoke to Alex Last in 2015.
PHOTO: Tanya Streeter on her record-breaking dive (Buzz Photo/Alamy Stock Photo)
31/03/2022 • 9 minutes 3 seconds
The women cross-country skiers who fought to race
In March 1981, women were allowed to compete officially in the Vasaloppet race in Sweden - one of the world's most popular cross-country skiing events. Vasaloppet officials had previously suggested that women would not be strong enough to complete the course and extra toilet facilities might need to be built for them. Female skiers responded with a concerted campaign to get into the historic race, which included trying - unsuccessfully - to take part disguised as men. Maddy Savage talks to Swedish Olympian Meeri Bodelid, who posted the fastest women's time in the historic 1981 Vasaloppet race.
(Photo: Meeri Bodelid competing in 1981, courtesy of the Vasaloppet Race)
24/03/2022 • 9 minutes 1 second
Saving Fabrice Muamba
It's 10 years since one of the most dramatic moments in the history of Premiership football. Fans around the world held their breath when the Bolton midfielder Fabrice Muamba went into cardiac arrest and collapsed on the pitch. His heart stopped for 78 minutes. Uma Doraiswamy has been speaking to cardiologist Dr Andrew Deaner, who ran from the stands to help save Fabrice Muamba's life.
PHOTO: The medical team treating Fabrice Muamba (Getty Images)
17/03/2022 • 9 minutes 2 seconds
Kelly Gallagher, a visually-impaired skier from Northern Ireland, won Team GB's first Winter Paralympic gold at the 2014 games in Sochi. She talks to Nick Holland about her career in one of the most thrilling alpine sports, and her bond with her guide, Charlotte Evans.
PHOTO: Kelly Gallagher competing at Sochi (Getty Images)
10/03/2022 • 8 minutes 58 seconds
The first Winter Paralympic Games
The first Winter Paralympics were held in the Swedish town of Örnsköldsvik in 1976. Nearly two-hundred competitors came from 16 countries. Rachel Naylor speaks to two blind skiiing competitors with very different experiences - Finnish multi-gold medallist, Pertti Sankilampi, and Londoner Mike Brace, who learnt his sport shortly before the Games.
PHOTO: Paralympic skier Larry Kuntz in the 1970s (Getty Images/Denver Post)
03/03/2022 • 8 minutes 57 seconds
The Queen of Paralympic Snowboarding
Bibian Mentel-Spee became a national hero in the Netherlands after campaigning for snowboarding to become part of the Winter Paralympics and then winning Gold the first time the event was held, at Sochi in 2014. Mentel-Spee had switched to Paralympic sport after cancer forced her to have a leg amputated. She would win two more gold snowboarding medals at the next games in Pyeongchang in 2018, just weeks after another gruelling round of cancer treatment. Mentel-Spee died in 2021. Matthew Kenyon speaks to her husband, Edwin Spee, and to Canadian Paralympic snowboarder, Michelle Salt.
PHOTO: Bibian Mentel-Spee in action in 2014 (Getty Images)
27/02/2022 • 8 minutes 57 seconds
Dan Jansen - from tragedy to triumph
In February 1988, the American speedskater, Dan Jansen was told on the day of his Winter Olympic final that his sister had died of cancer. Stricken by grief, he then fell during his race. It took Dan Jansen another six years - and five more races - before he finally won gold and completed one of the most emotional laps-of-honour in Olympic history. He spoke to Simon Watts in 2014.
PHOTO: Dan Jansen (Getty Images)
17/02/2022 • 9 minutes 5 seconds
Morten Andersen: The NFL Hall of Fame kicker
Morten Andersen arrived in the US at the age of 17 knowing nothing about American football. He went on to become a record-breaking NFL kicker and was later inducted into the Hall of Fame. Alex Last speaks to Morten about his remarkable career and hears why the kicker is one of the most under-appreciated skill positions in American football.
Photo: Kicker Morten Andersen of the New Orleans Saints kicks on a hold by Tommy Barnhardt, Oct 1991 (George Gojkovich/Getty Images)
10/02/2022 • 10 minutes 48 seconds
Vonetta Flowers: The first black Winter Olympic champion
Vonetta Flowers became the first black athlete to win a Winter Olympic gold, when her US pair won the two-woman Bobsleigh event in 2002. Flowers started her career as a sprinter and long-jumper, but switched to bobsledding after failing to make the American summer Olympic team. She was a natural for the brake-woman role and formed a successful team with driver, Jill Bakken. Vonetta Flowers speaks to Iain Mackness. The programme is a Made-In-Manchester production.
(Photo: Vonetta Flowers celebrating her Olympic victory in 2002. Credit: Getty Images)
03/02/2022 • 8 minutes 59 seconds
India's Luge pioneer
Shiva Keshavan was the first Indian to compete in one of the most dangerous events at the Winter Olympics – the luge. At the 1998 games in Japan, the 16-year-old was the only athlete in the Indian team and had to lead himself out in the opening ceremony in Nagano. Shiva Keshavan took part in a further five Winter Olympics and is credited with boosting awareness of snow sports in India. In 2020, he spoke to Farhana Haider.
(Photo: Shiva Keshavan in action in 2010. Credit: Getty Images)
27/01/2022 • 9 minutes 4 seconds
Novak Djokovic: The road to success
Aged thirteen, Novak Djokovic appeared at coach Nikola Pilic's tennis academy near Munich. He would soon become Pilic's star pupil thanks to his incredible self-discipline and natural tennis brain. Twenty grand slams later, the Serbian star is still in touch with Nikola Pilic, and regards him as one of his mentors. Nikola Pilic speaks to Petra Zivic.
PHOTO: Novak Djokovic in 2008, the year he won his first tennis major (Getty Images)
20/01/2022 • 9 minutes 2 seconds
Skiing in Afghanistan
In 2011, the rugged mountains of Bamiyan province in central Afghanistan became the backdrop of something as unlikely as it was uplifting - an international ski scene. As Bamiyan was then relatively safe for tourists, a new travel agency, supported by a development NGO, started offering holidays to skiers seeking a unique adventure. A ski school was also set up for local villagers keen to learn, including Alishah Farhang, who went on to become one of Afghanistan's top skiers. However, as he tells Viv Jones, his hopes of competing in the Winter Olympics have been shattered by the return of the Taliban.
PHOTO: Competitors take part in the start of the fourth Afghan Ski Challenge in February 2014 (Shefayee/AFP/Getty Images).
06/01/2022 • 8 minutes 55 seconds
Yale women rowers protest
In 1976, the Yale women's rowing team stripped naked to demand equal treatment for women's sport. The protest attracted national attention in the USA and helped force universities to make the same funding and facilities available to women athletes as to men. Catherine Davies talks to two of the Yale protestors, Christine Ernst and Ginny Gilder.
(Photo: The 1976 Yale women's rowing team in action. Credit: Getty Images).
30/12/2021 • 10 minutes 9 seconds
Nigeria's Paralympic heroine
At the 2016 Paralympics in Rio, Nigerian shotputter, Lauritta Onye, became a social media sensation thanks to her cart-wheeling gold-medal celebration dance. Onye has dwarfism and has never grown beyond four foot one, or 125 centimetres. She suffered social stigma in Nigeria and at one point ended up selling DVDs on the street in order to survive. But a taster session of Paralympic sport would transform her life. She talks to Ian Williams .
PHOTO: Lauritta Onye competing at the Rio Paralympics (Getty Images)
23/12/2021 • 9 minutes 59 seconds
Bangladesh's football heroes
In 1971, the Bangladeshi football team made history at the height of the country's war of independence when they played a series of matches in India. The games were the first to be played under the flag of a nation that was still not officially recognised and helped raise money for Bangladesh's independence struggle. Farhana Haider talks to star striker Kazi Salahuddin, who was smuggled into India so he could take part in the matches.
Photo:The Shadhin Bangla Football Dol "Free Bengal Football Team", 1971. Credit: Kazi Salahuddin.
16/12/2021 • 10 minutes 6 seconds
The Tibetan football team
In 2001, a group of Tibetan exiles and a Danish ex-footballer teamed up to create the Tibetan national football team, in the face of many obstacles, including threats from China. Robert Nicholson talked to Michael Nybrandt and team captain Sonam Wangyal about their first ever game against Greenland. A Whistledown Production, first broadcast in 2017.
PHOTO: The Tibetan team lining up for their match against Greenland (Getty Images)
09/12/2021 • 8 minutes 59 seconds
The football wages revolution
In 1961, England’s top players threatened strike action in order to force the Football League to scrap its limit on wages of 20 pounds a week. Their victory was a turning point for the sport as it ushered in the modern era of football mega-salaries. In 2011, Lucy Williamson spoke to the late Jimmy Armfield, a former star defender for Blackpool and England captain.
PHOTO: The late Jimmy Armfield in the early 1960s (Getty Images)
03/12/2021 • 9 minutes 2 seconds
In November 2009, Zenyatta became the first – and only – mare to win the Breeders Cup Classic, one of the most prestigious horse races in America. Undefeated in all but one of her races, Zenyatta became wildly popular with the public; she was as well-known for her dance moves in the paddock as she was for coming from behind to snatch victory at the last moment. Zenyatta’s jockey, Mike Smith, talks to Jonathan Holloway. The programme is a Made-In-Manchester Production.
PHOTO: Zenyatta and Mike Smith in action in 2010 (Getty Images)
25/11/2021 • 9 minutes 44 seconds
The woman who rowed the Atlantic
In December 1999, the American Tori Murden McClure became the first woman to row across the Atlantic Ocean single-handed. It was the culmination of a dream that had brought her close to death many times as she capsized again and again during a hurricane on a previous attempt. She was inspired to keep trying by working with the great boxer Muhammad Ali. Tori Murden McClure talks to Claire Bowes.
Photo: Tori Murden McClure in the 'American Pearl' 1999 (courtesy of Sector Sport Watches and Tori Murden McClure)
18/11/2021 • 10 minutes 56 seconds
Lebanon's match-fixing scandal
In 2011, the Lebanese national football team reached the final phase of World Cup qualification for the first time, sparking wild celebrations among the fans. But within months, the game in Lebanon was engulfed in a huge match-fixing scandal focusing on a suspicious-looking goal in a match against Qatar, as well as domestic fixtures. In 2013, 24 Lebanese players were found guilty in an investigation ordered by FIFA and the national side’s World Cup campaign fizzled out. Alex Eccleston reports. The programme is a Whistledown Production.
PHOTO: The Lebanese team ahead of a World Cup qualifier in 2012 (Getty Images)
15/11/2021 • 9 minutes 38 seconds
At the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles, South African-born Zola Budd collided with the home favourite, Mary Decker, in the final of the women’s 3,000 metres. Decker was left weeping on the ground, while Budd was booed by the crowd and had to leave the US with a police escort after receiving death threats. Simon Watts introduces the memories of Zola Budd as recorded in the BBC archives.
PHOTO: Zola Budd, left, with Mary Decker in the 1984 Olympic final (Getty Images)
04/11/2021 • 10 minutes 3 seconds
The Dumptruck: King of sumo
In the 1980s, a Hawaiian-born wrestler took the traditional world of Japanese sumo by storm. Known as the Dumptruck because of his huge size, he won legions of fans and paved the way for the internationalisation of the sport. The Dumptruck shares his love of Sumo - and Hawaiian hula music - with Will Yates. The programme is a Whistledown Production, first broadcast in 2014.
Photo: The Dumptruck in his prime. (Credit: Getty Images).
28/10/2021 • 9 minutes 2 seconds
Jackie Joyner-Kersee - Heptathlon Queen
In 1988, the American athlete, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, put in one of the greatest performances in the history of women’s athletics at the Seoul Olympics. She set a world record that still stands in the Heptathlon and won a second gold medal in the individual High Jump event. Jackie Joyner Kersee talks to Ashley Byrne.
PHOTO: Jackie Joyner-Kersee at the 1988 Olympics (Getty Images)
21/10/2021 • 8 minutes 58 seconds
Born to Run: Mexico's Tarahumara Indians
In 2006, Scott Jurek, one of the world's best ultramarathon runners, travelled to the remote canyons of Northern Mexico to race the best athletes from an ancient Mexican tribe. The Tarahumara have a tradition of running huge distances and they gave Jurek one of his toughest races, inspiring the best-selling book, Born To Run. Scott Jurek talked to Simon Watts in 2014.
(Photo: Scott Jurek with Tarahumara runner, Arnulfo Quimare. Credit: Luis Escobar)
14/10/2021 • 9 minutes 1 second
Japan's Keirin cycling phenomenon
In the year 2000, the Japanese track cycling sport of Keirin made its Olympic debut at the Sydney Games. Wildly popular in Japan, Keirin races begin with the cyclists following a motorized pacer, who gradually cranks up the speed until the riders are released into a final frenetic sprint. Ashley Byrne talks to former Japanese cyclist, Shinichi Ota, about trying to win the first gold medal in the sport his country invented. The programme is a Made-In-Manchester Production.
PHOTO: A Keirin race at the 2016 Olympics (Getty Images)
07/10/2021 • 10 minutes 7 seconds
Cameroon's Triple Jump Queen
In 2004, the Cameroonian triple-jumper Francoise Mbango made headlines around the world when she competed in the Athens Olympics with her head shaved. Mbango wanted to show solidarity with her mother, who was undergoing chemotherapy treatment for cancer. Mbango won a gold medal and went on to retain her title at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. She talks to Ian Williams about how motherhood inspired her journey to the very top of world sport.
PHOTO: Francoise Mbango after her Olympic victory in 2004 (Getty Images)
30/09/2021 • 9 minutes 44 seconds
The Queen of Women's Beach Volleyball
America’s Misty May-Treanor is the winner of three Olympic gold medals and the most successful women’s beach volleyball player of all time. Misty formed an almost unbeatable team with Kerri Walsh-Jennings, but she faced a tough personal battle at the London games in 2012, which she had decided would be her last competition because of persistent knee and Achilles tendon injuries. Misty May-Treanor talks to Jeremy Inson about her challenges on and off the court. The programme is a Whistledown Production.
PHOTO: Misty May-Treanor in action at London 2012 (Getty Images)
16/09/2021 • 10 minutes 29 seconds
The struggle for women's football in Afghanistan
In the early 2000s, Afghan women and girls set up the country's first football teams. Now the Taliban has returned and women's sport has been banned. We speak to Shamila Kohestani, former captain of the Afghan women's team, about why she fought to play and why in Afghanistan, football was more than a game.
Photo: Woman's face painted with flag of Afghanistan (Getty Images)
09/09/2021 • 9 minutes 21 seconds
India's first Paralympic champion
In 1972, war veteran Murlikant Petkar won India's first ever Paralympic gold medal at the Heidelberg Games. Petkar had been shot and paralysed seven years earlier in a battle during the war with Pakistan, but then took up sprint swimming. He spoke to Adrian Moorhead in 2016. The programme is a Sparklab Production for BBC World Service.
(Photo: Murlikant Petkar with his medals)
02/09/2021 • 9 minutes 58 seconds
Hou Bin wows the world
At the opening ceremony of the 2008 Paralympics in Beijing, Chinese athlete Hou Bin stunned the huge global audience with an amazing feat of strength. As the world held its breath, he used a rope to haul himself, his wheelchair and the Olympic flame 39 metres into the air to light the cauldron. Hou Bin talks to Ashley Byrne. A Made In Manchester Production.
PHOTO: Hou Bin climbing to the top of the Olympic stadium (Getty Images)
19/08/2021 • 9 minutes 52 seconds
Kenya's Paralympic Record-Breaker
In 1995, promising Kenyan runner Henry Wanyoike suffered a stroke and lost his sight. After initially feeling depressed, Henry learnt how to run tethered to a guide and went on to a set a series of long-distance running records for the blind. Henry Wanyoike talks to Alex Last.
(Photo: Henry Wanyoike, right, with his guide on a run in 2013. Credit: Getty Images)
12/08/2021 • 9 minutes 41 seconds
The Golden Couple of the first Tokyo Olympics
At the Tokyo 1964 Olympics, British sweethearts Ann Packer and Robbie Brightwell became household names all over the world when they both competed in the running events. Ann would win a gold medal at her least favourite distance, the 800 metres, while Robbie had to make do with a silver in the 4x400 relay. As this was the amateur era, the couple retired after their first and only Olympic to get married and work as school-teachers. They talk to Ashley Byrne. The programme is a Made In Manchester Production.
PHOTO: Ann Packer and Robbie Brightwell pictured with their Olympic medals in 1964 (Getty Images)
05/08/2021 • 9 minutes 46 seconds
Zamzam Farah - Somalia's inspiring runner
At the London 2012 Olympics, Somalia sprinter Zamzam Farah became a crowd favourite after finishing last in her 400-metre heat by a whopping 27 seconds. Zamzam had grown up in war-torn Mogadishu, where she had to dodge violence from the militant Al-Shabab group while training on the so-called "Road of Death". Zamzam competed with her body fully covered, but, after the Olympics, her family in Somalia received death threats because of what Al-Shabab considered unacceptable behaviour for a Muslim woman. She remained in the UK and won asylum. Zamzam Farah talks to Ian Williams.
PHOTO: Zamzam Farah competing at the 2012 Olympics (Getty Images)
29/07/2021 • 9 minutes
The first Tokyo Olympics
The first Olympic Games in Japan were held in 1964, less than 20 years after the country lost the Second World War. The bombed-out centre of Tokyo had been virtually rebuilt following the Allied Occupation, and the Japanese took the opportunity to showcase new technology such as the Bullet Train and colour TV broadcasts. Ashley Byrne talks to wrestling gold medallist, Yojiro Uetake, about his memories of the games. The programme is a Made In Manchester Production.
PHOTO: Japanese student Yoshinori Sakai about to light the Olympic Cauldron in October 1964 (Keystone/Getty Images)
22/07/2021 • 9 minutes 47 seconds
Stacy Dragila - Queen of the Women's Pole Vault
At the 2000 Sydney games, women were able to compete in the Pole Vault at the Olympics for the first time. It followed the emergence of a generation of vaulters led by America’s Stacy Dragila, who proved that women could master an event traditionally regarded as too physically demanding and too technically difficult for them. Stacy Dragila went on to win the first women’s Olympic gold medal in her discipline. She talks to Simon Watts.
PHOTO: Stacy Dragila competing in 1999 (Getty Images)
15/07/2021 • 9 minutes 58 seconds
In the late 1970s and early 80s, Sweden’s Bjorn Borg was the biggest star in world tennis and arguably the sport’s first sex symbol. Always besieged by young female fans, Borg won five Wimbledon championships in a row and enjoyed a famous rivalry with John McEnroe, which culminated in an epic tie-break in the 1980 final. But Bjorn Borg would then shock the world of sport by retiring in 1983 at the age of just 26. Simon Watts brings together Borg’s Wimbledon memories, as recorded in the BBC archive.
PHOTO: Bjorn Borg at Wimbledon in the 1970s (BBC)
08/07/2021 • 9 minutes 45 seconds
France’s Euro 2000 triumph
In July 2000, France became only the second team to hold the World Cup and European Championship titles at the same time. Already the reigning World Champions, a French side featuring all-time greats such as Zinedine Zidane and Didier Deschamps struggled to break down their Italian opponents. But everything changed in the final moments of a dramatic final, as midfielder Robert Pires tells Steve Hankey. The programme is a Whistledown Production.
01/07/2021 • 9 minutes 35 seconds
The Panenka penalty
In June 1976, Czechoslovakia won the men’s European football championship with probably the most famous penalty kick in history. During a penalty shootout against West Germany, midfielder Antonín Panenka waited for the goalkeeper to dive and then casually chipped the ball down the middle of the goal. The technique is now known as a “Panenka” and has been copied by everyone from Zinedine Zidane to Leo Messi. Antonín Panenka talks to Ian Williams.
24/06/2021 • 9 minutes 36 seconds
Football's Coming Home
In June 1996, an England team led by Paul Gascoigne went on an impressive run as hosts of the European championships – with the terrace anthem “Football’s Coming Home” becoming the soundtrack for a summer of national euphoria. But the tournament would end in English tears when future national manager Gareth Southgate missed the decisive penalty in an agonising semi-final shoot-out against Germany. Alex Capstick talks to England midfielder Darren Anderton about how the country embraced a team previously best known for its boozy off-field antics.
PHOTO: Paul Gascoigne celebrating a famous goal against Scotland (Neil Munns/PA)
17/06/2021 • 9 minutes 2 seconds
The Van Basten wonder goal
In June 1988, Holland finally won a major international football tournament when they defeated the Soviet Union in the final of the 1988 European Championship. The Dutch sealed victory with an almost-impossible volley by striker Marco Van Basten. Matthew Kenyon talks to Arnold Muhren, the veteran midfielder who set up one of the greatest goals in football history.
10/06/2021 • 10 minutes 1 second
Denmark's shock Euros win
In June 1992, Denmark’s top footballers were relaxing on the beach when they received an urgent call to take part in the Euro 92 tournament. The Danes had failed to qualify for the championship, but were now needed as replacements for Yugoslavia, a country that no longer existed because it had descended into civil war. In a surprise to everyone, including themselves, Denmark then went on to win the tournament, defeating Holland and West Germany on the way. Will Yates talks to midfielder John Jensen, who scored one of the Danish goals in the final. The programme is a Whistledown Production, first broadcast in 2016.
(Photo: The Danish team celebrate. Credit: Getty Images)
03/06/2021 • 9 minutes 47 seconds
Indonesia's badminton heroine
In 1992, badminton legend Susi Susanti won the first ever Olympic Gold medal for Indonesia. It was the first time that badminton had been included as an Olympic sport in the games, giving them a special significance for Susi's badminton-obsessed home country. For Susi, it was also a moment when she could show her national pride as an Indonesian who hailed from the nation's ethnic Chinese minority. She talks to Jill Achineku. The programme is a Whistledown Production.
PHOTO: Susi Susanti in action (AFP/Getty Images)
06/05/2021 • 8 minutes 57 seconds
In March 2011, Anthony Robles won a national college wrestling title in the United States despite being born with only one leg. Relying on upper-body strength and a unique sense of balance, Robles went undefeated throughout the entire season and was voted the outstanding wrestler of the NCAA finals. He also holds the world record for the most pull-ups in one minute. Anthony Robles talks to Ian Williams.
PHOTO: Anthony Robles in action at the 2011 finals (Getty Images)
29/04/2021 • 9 minutes 59 seconds
The Scottish club that toppled Real Madrid
In the early 1980s, Aberdeen went from Scottish footballing obscurity to the very top of the European game, beating mighty Real Madrid to win the 1983 European Cup Winners' Cup. The sporting fairy-tale made the reputation of Sir Alex Ferguson, before he went on to manage Manchester United. Alex Capstick spoke to former Aberdeen assistant manager Archie Knox and former midfielder Neale Cooper. Neale Cooper died in 2018.
PHOTO: Alex Ferguson and Archie Knox with the European Cup Winner's Cup (Courtesy Aberdeen F.C.)
22/04/2021 • 9 minutes 5 seconds
The athlete who changed the rules on sex tests
In the 1980s, the Spanish hurdler Maria-Jose Patiño was forced to quit athletics after a sex test revealed she had male chromosomes due to a rare genetic condition called Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome. Often facing hostile press coverage, Patiño fought a two-year battle to change the international rules – successfully proving that her chromosome pattern did not improve her athletic performance and that her body was the same as any other woman’s. Patiño was allowed to compete again in female athletics and her case is now seen as a milestone in the continuing controversy over genetic variation in sport. Maria-Jose Patiño talks to Jo Casserly.
PHOTO: Maria-Jose Patiño in the 1980s (Personal Collection)
15/04/2021 • 9 minutes 22 seconds
Kuwait at the football World Cup
In 1982, Kuwait made their first and only appearance at the football World Cup, with their amateur side putting up respectable performances against France and England. But press attention focused on the Kuwaitis’ team mascot – a camel called Haydoo, who became such a fan favourite that he even inspired a hit song. Sumaya Bakhsh talks to Kuwait captain, Saad al-Houty, about how Haydoo came to represent national pride for a team that had been dismissed by the foreign media as a bunch of camel-herders.
PHOTO: Saad al-Houty (Personal Collection)
08/04/2021 • 9 minutes
Ghana's runaway sprinters
In 1990, two of Ghana’s most talented sprinters, Gus Nketia and Laud Codjoe, escaped from their national team’s accommodation at the Commonwealth Games in Auckland. The pair had made friends in New Zealand and wanted to flee from a country with an increasingly repressive government. They were helped by an extended Maori family, who hid them in the New Zealand backcountry and helped them apply for citizenship. Gus Nketia later became the New Zealand record-holder at 100 metres. Tom Roseingrave reports. The programme is a Whistledown Production.
PHOTO: Gus Nketia (l) in the year 2000 (Getty Images)
01/04/2021 • 8 minutes 55 seconds
Fighting for women's boxing
In the 1980s, the American boxer, Gail Grandchamp, launched a long campaign for the right to take part in amateur competitions in the USA. Representing herself and raising money through part-time jobs, Gail was eventually successful in 1992 - blazing a trail for women boxers the world over. She spoke to Rebecca Kesby in 2016.
PHOTO: Gail Grandchamp squaring up (The Berkshire Eagle)
25/03/2021 • 9 minutes 6 seconds
When Col Gaddafi's son played football in Italy's Serie A
In 2003, Italian top-flight side Perugia made a new and unusual signing: Al-Saadi Gaddafi, the son of Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi. It was seen as a publicity stunt by headline-hungry Perugia owner Luciano Gaucci, with Gaddafi making just one Serie A appearance, as a substitute in a win against Juventus in 2004. But Gaddafi made a big impression off the field and was renowned for his playboy lifestyle and outrageous spending habits. Former Perugia teammates Jay Bothroyd and Zeljko Kalac talk to Robert Nicholson about one of modern football's most surreal episodes. The programme is a Whistledown Production.
PHOTO: Al-Saadi Gaddafi (centre) training with his Perugia team-mates (Getty Images)
18/03/2021 • 9 minutes 1 second
Zimbabwe's Paralympic pioneer
At the 2000 Paralympic Games in Sydney, Zimbabwean sprinter Elliot Mujaji won his country’s first ever Paralympic gold medal when he sprinted to victory in the 100 metres. Mujaji had been a promising runner as a teenager, but suffered severe burns and the amputation of his right arm while working in a part-time job as an electrician. Mujaji then faced a tough battle to get sponsorship in a country where there was virtually no support for Paralympic athletes. He talks to Ashley Byrne. The programme is a Made-In-Manchester Production.
PHOTO: Elliot Mujaji at the 2004 Paralympics (Getty Images)
04/03/2021 • 8 minutes 58 seconds
The Gay Games
In 1982, the first ever Gay Games were held in San Francisco. Attracting a large crowd and featuring more than 1000 athletes from more than 100 countries, the event was organised by a group of LGBT activists, including former Olympians, to raise awareness about homophobia in sport. The Gay Games are now held every four years at venues around the world. Ashley Byrne speaks to organiser Sara Waddell Lewinstein and athlete Rick Tomin. This programme was first broadcast in 2010.
PHOTO: An athlete at the Gay Games (Getty Images)
25/02/2021 • 9 minutes 12 seconds
The first woman to play in the NHL
French Canadian Manon Rhéaume became the first, and only, woman to play in the National Hockey League. In 1992 she was signed by the Tampa Bay Lightning as a goaltender after a successful performance in training camp. Manon tells Rebecca Kesby how she started playing ice hockey at the age of 5 with her brothers, and why she loves playing in goal with pucks flying at her at well over 100km an hour. Manon Rhéaume played in the men professional league for 5 years and represented Canada in the Women's game.
(Photo: Manon Rhéaume for the Tampa Bay Lightning in 1992. Credit: Manon Rhéaume's private collection)
18/02/2021 • 11 minutes 19 seconds
Nova Peris - Australia's first aboriginal Olympic champion
In 1996, Nova Peris became the first aboriginal Australian to win an Olympic gold medal when the “Hockeyroos” women’s hockey team took victory at the Atlanta games. Peris’s mother was one of Australia’s so-called Stolen Generation – the aboriginal children separated from their families by the state – and Peris experienced racial abuse herself during her sporting career. After triumphing in hockey, she switched to athletics and took another gold medal at the Commonwealth Games in the 200 metres sprint. Nova Peris talks to Robert Nicholson. The programme is a Whistledown Production.
PHOTO: Nova Peris at the 1996 Olympics (Getty Images)
11/02/2021 • 9 minutes 56 seconds
The NFL's Rooney Rule
In 2003, the NFL introduced a landmark diversity policy requiring American football teams to interview ethnic minority candidates for positions as head coaches or general managers. Known as the “Rooney Rule”, the policy was the result of organised pressure from black coaches and former players, led by former NFL champion, John Wooten. Initially seen as a success, the Rooney Rule has been influential not just in sport, but in the corporate world. John Wooten talks to Farhana Haider.
PHOTO: John Wooten in his playing days in the 1960s (Getty Images)
04/02/2021 • 10 minutes 4 seconds
Mianne Bagger - Golf's transgender pioneer
In 2004, Mianne Bagger of Denmark became the first transitioned woman to play in a professional golf tournament when she played in the Australian women's open in Sydney. It was a landmark moment for trans sport and made headlines around the world. Mianne Bagger talks to Robbie Wojciechowski.
PHOTO: Mianne Bagger in action in 2010 (Getty Images)
28/01/2021 • 8 minutes 58 seconds
The woman who won the Paris-Dakar rally
In January 2001, the German driver, Jutta Kleinschmidt, became the first - and only - woman to win the Paris-Dakar rally, one of the biggest events in motorsport. She talks to Simon Watts. The programme was first broadcast in 2017.
PHOTO: Jutta Kleinschmidt celebrating her victory in 2001 (Getty Images)
14/01/2021 • 10 minutes 14 seconds
Brad Snyder - From the battlefield to Paralympic gold
In 2011, US Navy bomb disposal officer Brad Snyder was blinded by an IED while serving in Afghanistan. Formerly a successful college swimmer, Snyder used sport as part of his recovery and exactly a year later took two gold medals at the London Paralympic Games. He talks to Ashley Byrne. The programme is a Made-In-Manchester Production.
PHOTO: Brad Snyder with one of his gold medals (Getty Images)
06/01/2021 • 8 minutes 58 seconds
Cameron Hughes - sports entertainer
Since the 1990s, Canadian Cameron Hughes has entertained millions of sports fans with a unique routine based on dad-dancing in the stands and giving out t-shirts. He’s managed to make a professional career out of firing up teams in the NBA, the NFL and NHL ice hockey. Simon Watts talks to Cameron Hughes about his autobiography "King of Cheer", and a job that involves a surprising amount of training.
PHOTO: Cameron Hughes in action in Las Vegas (L.E. Baskow/Lefteye Images courtesy of Cameron Hughes)
31/12/2020 • 10 minutes 8 seconds
Joey Dunlop - Northern Ireland's motorsport hero
In 2000, the Northern Irish motorbike racing champion, Joey Dunlop, was killed in a high-speed crash in Estonia. Dunlop was loved by fans across the sectarian divide for his fearless riding and modest personality. Tens of thousands of people attended the funeral for a champion who also gave up his free time to take aid to orphanages in Eastern Europe. Matt Murphy talks to Stephen Watson, a friend of Joey Dunlop and BBC Northern Ireland presenter.
PHOTO: Joey Dunlop at the Isle of Man TT in 1996 (Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
17/12/2020 • 10 minutes 23 seconds
Stop the Springboks
In the winter of 1969 to 70, anti-apartheid campaigners disrupted 24 matches during a tour of the British Isles by South Africa’s Springboks rugby team. For the first time, the activists used direct-action tactics – running onto the pitch, throwing smoke bombs and even super-gluing the locks of the South Africans’ hotel rooms. The successful campaign forced the cancellation first of a planned tour by the South African cricket team later in 1970, and then of all future visits by South African teams until the end of apartheid. Simon Watts talks to Peter Hain, who organised the protests and later became a British cabinet minister.
PHOTO: An anti-apartheid demonstration outside a Springboks rugby match in central England in November 1969 (Getty Images)
10/12/2020 • 9 minutes 3 seconds
Learie Constantine - West Indies cricket pioneer
In the 1920s, Learie Constantine became the first West Indian cricketer to sign a professional contract in England. He was a star of the domestic and international game thanks to his athletic all-round performances with bat and ball. Learie Constantine is also credited with helping improve race relations in Britain and later became the first black person to be awarded a peerage. Simon Watts introduces the memories of Learie Constantine as recorded in the BBC archives.
PHOTO: Learie Constantine in action (Getty Images)
03/12/2020 • 9 minutes 52 seconds
Maradona and the "Hand of God" goal
To mark the death of legendary Argentine striker, Diego Maradona, we revisit the 1986 World Cup and two goals which he famously scored against England in the quarter-final. The first is now known as the “Hand of God” and the second as the “Goal of the Century”. England forward Gary Lineker watched both goals go in and in 2012 he shared his memories with Fred Dove. The programme is a Whistledown Production.
PHOTO: The "Hand of God" goal (Allsport/Getty Images)
26/11/2020 • 9 minutes 54 seconds
Judit Polgar - the chess champion who defied stereotypes
In 1991, the Hungarian chess prodigy, Judit Polgar, became the youngest Grandmaster ever at the age of 15. She speaks to Robert Nicholson about her unconventional childhood and how her extraordinary career defied expectations for female players. This programme was first broadcast in 2015.
PHOTO: Judit Polgar (EPA)
19/11/2020 • 9 minutes 2 seconds
The 'Blind Maradona'
The Argentine blind footballer Silvio Velo is considered one of the greatest players of all time in his sport. Captain of Argentina since 1991, Velo has won two world championships, earning himself the nicknames “The Blind Maradona” and later “The Blind Messi”. He is still scoring goals in his late forties and is credited with boosting the profile of blind sport in South America. Silvio Velo talks to Dan Hardoon. The programme is a Whistledown Production.
(Photo: Silvio Velo in action. Credit: Getty Images)
12/11/2020 • 9 minutes
India's Queen of the Oceans
In 2004, the Indian long-distance swimmer Bula Choudhury became the first woman to complete the challenge of crossing straits of the world’s seven seas. Choudhury is a former Indian national swimming champion in the pool, who was inspired to switch to the open ocean by a traditional Bengali folk tale. Her challenge took her to five continents, although she says one of her hardest swims was in the cold waters of the English Channel. Bula Choudhury talks to Maya Mitter. The programme is a Made-In-Manchester Production.
PHOTO: Bula Choudhury (personal collection)
05/11/2020 • 10 minutes 1 second
Natalia Partyka - Youngest paralympian
In 2000, Poland’s Natalia Partyka became the youngest ever athlete to take part in the Paralympic Games when she competed in the table tennis tournament in Sydney at the age of 11. Now established as one of the greatest para-athletes of all time, she’s gone on to win five gold medals and also to take part in competitions for able-bodied athletes, including the London 2012 Olympics. She talks to Steve Hankey about her remarkable career. The programme is a Whistledown Production.
PHOTO: Natalia Partyka at the 2008 Paralympics in Beijing (AFP)
29/10/2020 • 8 minutes 55 seconds
Viv Anderson - first black England footballer
In November 1978, Viv Anderson became the first black footballer to play a full England international. The son of Jamaican immigrants, Anderson had to endure racial abuse from opposing fans to achieve his dream of reaching the very top of the professional game. He went on to win the European Cup twice with Nottingham Forest and to become Sir Alex Ferguson’s first signing at Manchester United. Viv Anderson talks to Rebecca Kesby.
PHOTO: Viv Anderson on his England debut (Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
22/10/2020 • 12 minutes 36 seconds
Surfing the world's biggest waves
The story of how the legendary surfer, Garrett McNamara, pioneered riding the colossal 100ft waves at Nazaré on the Portuguese coast. At Nazaré in 2011 he broke the world record for the biggest wave ever surfed, officially judged to be 78ft (23.8m). Nazaré has since become a centre of big wave surfing. Garrett McNamara spoke to Alex Last about how he first came to surf Nazaré and why he risks his life to ride giant waves.
Photo: Garrett McNamara riding his record breaking wave at Nazaré in November 2011 - recognised at the 2012 WSL Big Wave Awards (Credit:WSL/Ribiero)
15/10/2020 • 13 minutes 56 seconds
Africa's football revolution
In 1999, ASECS Mimosas, one of the biggest teams in Ivory Coast, shocked the world of African football by fielding a team of youth players in the final of the African Super Cup. The youngsters had been handpicked and trained by French coach Jean-Marc Gillou, and with their speed and tactical sophistication they inflicted a shock defeat on the Tunisian side, Esperance. The ASECS Mimosas team is credited with modernising the African game, and bringing African talent to the attention of the biggest clubs in Europe. Robert Nicholson talks to Kolo Toure, who played in that African Super Cup final and later starred for Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester City. The programme is a Whistledown Production.
PHOTO: Kolo Toure (right) with his brother Yaya Toure in 2002 (Arsenal FC via Getty Images)
08/10/2020 • 9 minutes 1 second
South Africa's black rowing hero
At the 2012 Olympic Games in London, Sizwe Ndlovu became the first black African to win a gold medal in rowing. Ndlovu grew up in a township in South Africa but then won a scholarship to a predominantly white high school where he embraced the sport as a way of dealing with his new environment. Ndlovu was part of the South African lightweight coxless four team in London, who clinched their victory with virtually the last stroke of the race. He talks to Darin Graham.
PHOTO: Sizwe Ndlovu celebrating victory (Getty Images)
01/10/2020 • 9 minutes
In 2000, the aboriginal runner, Cathy Freeman, became the star of the Olympic Games in Sydney. After being given the honour of lighting the Olympic cauldron, she was under huge pressure to win the 400 metres in front of her home crowd. Freeman delivered in style - and went on an emotional victory lap parading both the aboriginal and Australian flags. Presented by Simon Watts
Picture: Cathy Freeman celebrating her 400m victory in 2000, Credit: Getty Images
24/09/2020 • 8 minutes 55 seconds
Cycling's 'Everesting' challenge
During the Coronavirus lockdown, many cyclists have become obsessed with a challenge known as Everesting, where riders go up and down their local hill until they’ve covered the equivalent to climbing the 8848 metres of the world’s highest mountain. One early Everesting ride dates back to 1994, when it was completed on a mountain near Melbourne by George Mallory, the grandson of the famous climber of the same name. Mallory’s achievement later inspired an Australian cycling club to turn Everesting into an organised challenge, which has now been completed by thousands of amateur and professional cyclists across the world. Simon Watts talks to George Mallory and to Andy Van Bergen, the organiser of the Everesting club.
PHOTO: Chinese cyclist JJ Zhou attempts to "Everest" on Mount Everest itself (Picture: Andreas Illmer)
10/09/2020 • 11 minutes 23 seconds
Lucy Ejike - Nigeria's powerlifting hero
Lucy Ejike is Nigeria’s most successful female paralympian and the winner of gold medals in para-powerlifting at three different Paralympic Games. Ejike’s twenty-year career has been marked by her rivalry with her friend Fatma Omar of Egypt, whom she finally defeated with a world-record lift at the 2016 games in Rio. She talks to Iain Mackness. The programme is a Made-In-Manchester Production.
PHOTO: Lucy Ejike in 2017 (Getty Images)
03/09/2020 • 8 minutes 58 seconds
Tasha Danvers - motherhood and elite performance
In August 2008, Britain’s Tasha Danvers won a surprise bronze medal in the 400-metres hurdles at the Beijing Olympics. Danvers had been through years of emotional struggles – and public criticism – after deciding to have a child while at the peak of her career. She talks to Sharon Hemans about the pressures she faced as an elite athlete and mother.
PHOTO: Tasha Danvers in action in 2006 (Getty Images)
27/08/2020 • 9 minutes
Chak de India!
In August 2002, the Indian women’s field hockey team won an unlikely gold medal against the favourites, England, at the Commonwealth Games in Manchester. The players had struggled to be taken seriously in a country that prioritises men’s sport, but they fought their way past New Zealand and South Africa to reach a final that turned on a dramatic refereeing decision. The women’s story later inspired the hit Bollywood film, Chak De India (or Come On, India!), which is credited with improving attitudes to women’s sport in India. Tom Roseingrave talks to the Indian goal-keeper, Helen Mary Innocent. The programme is a Whistledown Production.
PHOTO: The Indian players celebrating with one of their coaches, Gurdial Bhangu (Getty Images)
20/08/2020 • 9 minutes 4 seconds
Tears of a weightlifter
In August 2008, the weightlifter Matthias Steiner created one of the most emotional moments of the 2008 Olympics when he sank to the floor in floods of tears after winning a gold medal. Steiner had lost his wife in a car accident shortly before the games and dedicated the victory to her. He had to lift eight kilos more than his previous personal best in order to win. Matthias Steiner talks to Ashley Byrne. The programme is a Made-In-Manchester Production.
PHOTO: Matthias Steiner taking gold (Getty Images)
13/08/2020 • 8 minutes 58 seconds
The first woman to climb Everest
In 1975, the Japanese mountaineer, Junko Tabei, became the first woman to reach the summit of Mount Everest. As well as being an achievement in its own right, Tabei had to defy the cultural norms of a country where women were not expected to be world-class mountaineers. Louise Hidalgo talks to Setsuko Kitamura, who was on Tabei’s Everest climb, and to her friend and biographer, Yumiko Hiraki.
Picture: Junko Tabei (left) with Ang Tsering standing in front of the southern wall of Mount Everest at the start of the climb that would result in the two of them reaching the summit. (Credit: Bettmann/Getty Images)
06/08/2020 • 9 minutes 4 seconds
Coe vs Ovett
At the 1980 Olympics in Moscow, the world was gripped by the intense rivalry between the British middle-distance runners, Sebastian Coe and Steve Ovett. Ovett won the 800 metres, which was Coe’s favourite distance; but just a few days later, Coe struck back by winning the 1500 metres, Ovett’s preferred event. Alex Capstick talks to Sebastian Coe, now Lord Coe, about his memories of the Moscow Games.
PHOTO: Sebastian Coe win the Olympic 1500 metres in 1980 (Getty Images)
30/07/2020 • 9 minutes 2 seconds
Afghanistan's cricket heroes
In 2010, Afghanistan’s national cricket team scored a historic first by qualifying for the World Twenty20 Finals in the West Indies. Started just a few years earlier, the Afghan side consisted mainly of players who’d learned the game while in refugee camps in Pakistan. Their success lifted the mood of their war-torn nation. Charlotte North talks to Afghan all-rounder, Raees Ahmadzai. The programme is a Whistledown Production.
PHOTO: The Afghan team preparing for a match in the West Indies (Getty Images)
23/07/2020 • 9 minutes 2 seconds
Beckham in Hollywood
In July 2007, David Beckham, then one of the most famous footballers in the world, made his debut for Major League Soccer team, LA Galaxy. The star-studded game attracted Hollywood royalty and huge media attention from around the world. Beckham would eventually win two MLS titles with LA Galaxy and he’s credited with raising the profile of his sport in America. Ian Williams talks to the man who signed Beckham, LA Galaxy president Alexi Lalas.
PHOTO: David Beckham's presentation for LA Galaxy in 2007 (Getty Images)
16/07/2020 • 8 minutes 58 seconds
In July 1992, Andre Agassi became a tennis superstar when he won the Wimbledon men’s title at the age of 21. But beneath the showman image, Agassi was in private turmoil – in pain from a back problem, depressed and secretly hating his sport. Later in his career, Agassi would even smoke crystal meth. Simon Watts tells his story using BBC archive interviews.
PHOTO: Andre Agassi in action at Wimbledon (Getty Images)
09/07/2020 • 9 minutes 2 seconds
Greece's stunning football triumph
In July 2004, Greece pulled off one of the biggest shocks in football history by winning the European Championship with a 1-0 victory over Portugal. The Greeks had never previously scored a point in tournament football, but fought their way to the final thanks to set-pieces and a well-marshalled defence. Charlotte North talks to the Greek goal-scorer, Angelos Charisteas. The programme is a Whistledown Production.
PHOTO: Angelos Charisteas celebraring with the Euro 2004 trophy (Getty Images)
02/07/2020 • 9 minutes 2 seconds
Cheerleading's first World Championships
In 2004 the first Cheerleading World Championships, or Worlds, were held at the Walt Disney World resort in Florida. It was a big moment for All Star Cheer – a new sport made up of demanding group routines of coordinated tumbles and stunts, rather than supporting a sports team from the sidelines. Lucy Burns talks to Ambrel Brannon, a member of the winning Cheer Athletics senior girls' squad, about a sport that’s becoming increasingly popular around the world.
PICTURE: A cheerleader is thrown in the air (Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
25/06/2020 • 10 minutes 3 seconds
Clyde Best: A black footballing pioneer
Bermuda-born Clyde Best came to England as a teenager in 1968 and went on to play for West Ham United alongside the likes of Bobby Moore and Geoff Hurst. Best made a name for himself as a talented goal-scorer in more than 200 appearances for the Hammers, but he faced constant racist abuse from fans, and on occasion, from opposition players. Now in his 60s, Clyde Best has been telling Mike Lanchin about how he stood up to the racists in English soccer.
Photo: Clyde Best on the ball, 4th March 1972. Credit: Mirror Group Newspapers/Mirrorpix/Getty Images)
18/06/2020 • 9 minutes 10 seconds
Rulon Gardner - Wrestling Hero
At the 2000 Olympics, American Rulon Gardner pulled off the greatest shock in the history of modern Greco-Roman wrestling when he beat the Russian Aleksander Karelin. Karelin had not been defeated for 13 years and had already prepared a party to celebrate his latest gold medal. The win made Gardner a hero in America and is credited with sparking a boom in the popularity of his sport. He talks to Ashley Byrne. The programme is a Made-in-Manchester Production.
PHOTO: Rulon Gardner (Getty Images)
11/06/2020 • 8 minutes 59 seconds
Ibtihaj Muhammad - Fencing in a hijab
In 2016, the Muslim-American fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad made history by becoming the first US athlete to wear a hijab at the Olympic Games. After facing questions about her hijab and political views throughout her career, Ibtihaj was trailed by the global media throughout the Rio games. She overcame a shaky start to win a bronze medal in the team sabre event. Ibtihaj Muhammad has since written a popular autobiography and even inspired a hijab-wearing Barbie doll. She talks to Farhana Haider.
PHOTO: Ibtihaj Muhammad (Getty Images)
04/06/2020 • 9 minutes 2 seconds
Tofiri Kibuuka - Africa's paralympic pioneer
The blind African paralympian Tofiri Kibuuka has the unique distinction of competing successfully for two different countries in two different events. In 1976, Kibbuuka represented Uganda in cross-country skiing at the inaugural winter Paralympics in Sweden. To escape the Idi Amin regime, Kibbuka then took Norwegian nationality and switched to middle-distancing running, taking part in three successive summer Paralympics. A pioneer of blind sport in Africa, he talks to Steve Hankey. The programme is a Whistledown Production.
PHOTO: Tofiri Kibuuka (personal collection)
28/05/2020 • 9 minutes 2 seconds
Fausto Coppi - Il Campionissimo
The Italian cyclist, Fausto Coppi, is considered one of the greatest riders of all time – known as “Il Campionissimo”, he was a two-time winner of the Tour De France and five-time winner of the Tour of Italy. But in his home country he is remembered equally for an affair with a married woman called Giulia Occhini, which scandalized the nation in the 1950s. Alicia Gioia talks to Faustino Coppi, Fausto Coppi’s son with Guilia Occhini, and to veteran Italian sports journalist, Gianpaolo Oremezzano.
PHOTO: Fausto Coppi in 1951 (Getty Images)
14/05/2020 • 9 minutes 11 seconds
The 'Crazy Gang' win the FA Cup
In May 1988, Wimbledon secured a shock victory over a great Liverpool side in the 1988 FA Cup Final. Known as the "Crazy Gang" because of their physicality and tough attitude, the Wimbledon players went one-nil up after 37 minutes and somehow kept the lead thanks to some typically uncompromising defending. Alex Capstick talks to Wimbledon goal hero, Lawrie Sanchez.
(Photo: Lawrie Sanchez, centre left, celebrating with his Wimbledon team-mates. Credit: Getty Images)
07/05/2020 • 9 minutes
Defying the Taliban
In December 2012, Maria Toorpakai Wazir reached the top 50 of women’s squash after an extraordinary struggle to become a professional player. Born in the tribal areas of Pakistan, Maria’s family disguised her as a boy until she was a teenager so she could try sport. After the Taliban discovered her true identity, Maria was threatened and she went into hiding until a Canadian former squash champion got her out of Pakistan. She talks to Ashley Byrne. The programme is a Made-In-Manchester Production.
PHOTO: Maria Toorpakai Wazir (Getty Images)
30/04/2020 • 8 minutes 58 seconds
In 1972, the Northern Irish athlete Mary Peters became a hero across the sectarian divide in her country by winning the gold medal in pentathlon at the Munich Olympics. At the age of 33, Peters was coming to the end of her career but she took victory in the final 200-metre sprint by just one tenth of a second, setting a World Record in the process. Mary Peters talks to Ian Williams.
PHOTO: Mary Peters in action (Getty Images)
23/04/2020 • 13 minutes 10 seconds
In the 1980s, a group of French teenagers created a sport with no equipment, no coaches and no rules. Called Parkour, the idea is to convert your local town into an obstacle course by jumping across rooftops, vaulting walls and hanging off ledges. Parkour is now so popular that it has featured in a Madonna video and a James Bond film. Claire Bowes talks to one of Parkour's founders, Sebastien Foucan.
PHOTO: Sebastien Foucan in action (Courtesy Sebastien Foucan)
16/04/2020 • 8 minutes 58 seconds
Why I designed the prosthetic running leg
When sports enthusiast Van Phillips lost his foot in a water-skiing accident, he decided to design a prosthetic leg that would allow him to keep running. He used carbon graphite which was light, flexible and strong. His invention would revolutionise para-sports. He tells Rebecca Kesby how he was determined to improve the clumsy prosthetic legs available in the 1980s, to allow amputees to feel the freedom of physical speed and strength again.
(Photo: The Flex-Foot Cheetah prosthetic running leg. Credit Össur)
09/04/2020 • 10 minutes 7 seconds
The perfect bull-ride
In 1991, Wade Leslie stunned the world of professional rodeo by becoming the first – and only – cowboy to achieve a perfect score of 100 points for a bull-ride. Leslie stayed in full control of an angry 1500-pound bull called Wolfman at a meeting in Oregon. He talks to Jonathan Holloway. The programme is a Made-In-Manchester Production.
PHOTO: Wade Leslie (courtesty Wade Leslie)
02/04/2020 • 8 minutes 57 seconds
SPORTING WITNESS – IRONMAN’S IRON WOMAN (26th MARCH). In 1982, Julie Moss made headlines when she crawled to the finish line of the Ironman World Championship in Hawaii after collapsing just metres from the end of her race. It was her first competitive triathlon and she came second, but as Julie explains to Rebecca Kesby, that heroic fight for the line changed her life, and her attitude to the sport. The moment also inspired a surge in popularity for Ironman - until then a little known event.
PHOTO: Julie Moss at the finish line (Copyright, Carol Hogan Photojournalism)
26/03/2020 • 9 minutes 1 second
The remarkable life of Eva Szekely
During World War Two, the Hungarian swimmer, Eva Szekely, was saved from the Holocaust because of her father's quick thinking and her own talent for swimming. Eva Szekely would go on to break six world records and become an Olympic gold medallist at the 1952 Helsinki games. She died in February 2020. Louise Hidalgo tells her story using archive interviews with Eva Szekely held at the USC Shoah Foundation in the United States.
Picture: Eva Szekely on her way to victory at the 1952 Olympics (Credit: Empics/PA)
12/03/2020 • 8 minutes 58 seconds
Colin McRae: Rally legend
In 1995, the Scottish driver Colin McRae became the youngest ever winner of the World Rally Championship after a dramatic victory in the last race of the season in North Wales. McRae’s no-holds-barred driving style later inspired a video game that brought rallying to a wider audience. He died in a helicopter crash in 2007. His brother, Alistair McRae, talks to Jonathan Holloway.
(Photo: Colin McRae. Credit: Getty Images)
05/03/2020 • 8 minutes 59 seconds
Kenya's first Winter Olympian
In 1998, a Kenyan farmer called Philip Boit became one of the first Africans to compete in the Winter Olympics. In the 10-kilometre cross-country skiing final he faced the legendary Norwegian, Bjorn Daehlie. It was a race that would unite the two athletes and inspire future Winter Olympians across Africa. This programme was first broadcast in 2014.
PHOTO: Bjorn Daehlie and Philip Boit (Getty Images)
20/02/2020 • 8 minutes 58 seconds
Nancy Greene: The 'Tiger' of women's skiing
In February 1968, the Canadian skier Nancy Greene pulled off a flawless performance at the Winter Olympic Games, winning the Giant Slalom by a record-breaking margin of 2.6 seconds. Greene was nicknamed “Tiger” because of her attacking style, and the commanding victory made her one of the most popular Canadian sportswomen of all time. Nancy Greene talks to Freddy Chick.
(Photo: Nancy Greene is cheered by her Canadian team-mates in 1968. Credit: Getty Images)
13/02/2020 • 8 minutes 58 seconds
Knocking down Mike Tyson
In February 1990, a little-known fighter called James “Buster” Douglas pulled off arguably the biggest shock in boxing history by beating the previously undefeated Mike Tyson to take the world heavyweight title. The fight was expected to be such a foregone conclusion that only one casino agreed to take bets on a "Buster Douglas win, but the outsider battered “Iron Mike” again and again with his jab and eventually knocked him down. Buster Douglas talks to Ned Carter Miles. The programme is a Just Radio Production.
PHOTO: Buster Douglas in 1990 (Getty Images)
06/02/2020 • 9 minutes 1 second
Rocky Bleier: The legendary comeback
How a wounded Vietnam war veteran became an NFL Super Bowl champion. Rocky Bleier was a young American football player beginning his career in the NFL with the Pittsburgh Steelers. But in 1968 he was drafted into the US Army to serve in the VIetnam war. He was injured in combat and his career appeared over. But Rocky fought his way back to become a member of the legendary Pittsburgh Steelers team that won four Super Bowls in the 1970s. Alex Last spoke to Rocky Bleier about his remarkable comeback.
:Photo: Rocky Bleier in 1975 (George Gojkovich/Getty Images)
30/01/2020 • 14 minutes 19 seconds
Stanley Matthews' Soweto team
In 1975 a group of young black soccer players from apartheid-era South Africa went on tour to Brazil. They were part of a team known as "Stan's Men", organised by the English soccer legend, Sir Stanley Matthews, in the black township of Soweto. Matthews had been helping train youngsters in South Africa since the 1950s, in defiance of the racist white government, and continued travelling there after his retirement from English soccer.
Mike Lanchin has been hearing the memories of Hamilton Majola, one of the players who traveled to Brazil with the team, and to Matthews' daughter Jean.
Photo courtesy of Jean Matthews.
23/01/2020 • 9 minutes 29 seconds
P.T. Usha - India's 'queen of track and field'
In the 1980s, P.T. Usha, a sprinter and hurdler from the southern Indian state of Kerala, became the first woman from her country to achieve major success in athletics. But in 1984 she missed out on a medal at the Olympic Games in Los Angeles by an agonising 100th of a second. P.T. Usha talks to Farhana Haider.
(Photo: P.T. Usha in action in the 1980s. Credit: Getty Images)
16/01/2020 • 9 minutes 3 seconds
Togo bus attack
In January 2010, a guerrilla group in Angola opened fire on the buses carrying the Togo football team as they travelled to the Africa Cup of Nations tournament. The machine-gun fire lasted 30 minutes and killed two members of the Togolese delegation. Ashley Byrne talks to Elitsa Kodjo Lanou, the Togo team’s technical director about a day that changed football in Africa. The programme is a Made-In-Manchester Production.
PHOTO: Togolese soldiers carrying the coffin of a victim of the attack (AFP/Getty Images).
09/01/2020 • 8 minutes 58 seconds
Wrexham's FA Cup giant-killing
In January 1992, Wrexham caused one of the biggest upsets in FA Cup history by beating reigning English champions Arsenal 2-1 in a third-round tie. At the time, Wrexham were languishing near the bottom of the Football League and struggling to survive financially. Jim Frank talks to one of the Welsh club’s goal-scorers, Steve Watkin.
PHOTO: The victorious Wrexham team in 1992 (Getty Images)
02/01/2020 • 9 minutes 10 seconds
The BBC's first female football reporter
In 1969 the BBC caused a sensation by allowing a woman to report on football on air for the first time. The reporter was Mary Raine, who covered a first division match between Chelsea and Sunderland that year, as well as the 1970 FA Cup final. She talks to Simon Watts about being the first woman to enter the all-male press box.
PHOTO: Mary Raine in Goal magazine in 1969 (BBC)
26/12/2019 • 9 minutes 4 seconds
The shot heard around the world
In November 1989, the USA qualified for the football World Cup for the first time in the modern era with a nail-biting 1-0 away win in Trinidad and Tobago. The winning goal was a 30-yard screamer scored by Paul Caligiuri, one of the few professionals in the American team. It is credited with boosting the popularity of the game in the US, and was nicknamed “The Shot Around the World”. Paul Caligiuri talks to Ashley Byrne.
(Photo: The US team at the 1990 World Cup. Credit: Getty Images)
19/12/2019 • 8 minutes 58 seconds
Arunima Sinha - Indian Mountain Climber
In 2013, Arunima Sinha became the first woman amputee to climb Mount Everest - just two years after suffering an horrific accident during an armed robbery on a train in the north of India. The accident robbed Arunima of a promising career in volleyball, but she was determined to prove to herself that she could still do anything. Iknoor Kaur tells her story. Production by Prabhat Pandey.
(Photo: Arunima Sinha celebrating her Everest climb. Credit: Getty Images)
12/12/2019 • 9 minutes
The Cold War's strangest sport
The end of the Cold War in 1989 spelt the demise of a little-known, but surprisingly popular sport behind the Iron Curtain – high-speed telegraphy competitions. With the help of two of Czechoslovakia’s best former Morse-coders, we revisit the inaugural World Championship in Moscow in 1983 when the Soviet Union rolled out the red carpet for teams from across the Communist bloc. Ashley Byrne reports. The programme is a Made-In-Manchester Production.
PHOTO: A Morse code machine in action (Getty Images)
05/12/2019 • 8 minutes 58 seconds
Nigeria's 'Superfalcons' wow the Women's World Cup
In 1999, Nigeria’s women’s football team – the Superfalcons – went on a dazzling run at the Women’s World Cup in the United States. The Nigerians became the first African side to reach the quarter-final stage, before losing an epic game against Brazil. The Superfalcons’ performance is now regarded as putting the women‘s game on the map in Africa. Emma Barnaby talks to former Nigerian goal-keeper, Judith Chime.
(Photo: Nigeria's Prisca Emeafu celebrates scoring against Brazil. Credit: Getty Images)
28/11/2019 • 9 minutes 7 seconds
The Blind Cricket World Cup
In 1998, India hosted the inaugural edition of the Blind Cricket World Cup – a format of the game based on sound. Seven nations took part in the tournament, which was supported by cricketing greats such as Kapil Dev and Sunil Gavaskar, and is credited with changing perceptions of the blind and partially-sighted in India. Claire Bowes talks to the founder of the Cricket World Cup, George Abraham.
PHOTO:Blind Pakistani cricketer Mohammad Fayyaz in action (Getty Images)
21/11/2019 • 9 minutes 10 seconds
Magic Johnson and HIV
In November 1991, the basketball legend Magic Johnson stunned America by announcing that he’d tested positive for HIV. Johnson’s determination to raise awareness about safe sex and the importance of testing is credited with changing the perception of the virus in the US. Ade Adepitan talks to Michael Mellman, the LA Lakers team doctor who broke the news to Magic Johnson. The programme is an Audio Always production.
PHOTO: Magic Johnson in 1992 (Ted Soqui/Sygma via Getty Images)
14/11/2019 • 9 minutes 3 seconds
The death of Robert Enke
In November 2009, the world of football was shocked by the death of German international goal-keeper Robert Enke, who killed himself after years of suffering from depression. In 2010, Eleanor Oldroyd spoke to Enke’s agent, Jorg Neblung, and friend and biographer, Ronald Reng, about what lay behind his death.
If you are affected by the issues in this programme you can find information about support organisations on the Befrienders Worldwide website: https://www.befrienders.org/
Image: Robert Enke in 2009 (Getty Images)
07/11/2019 • 10 minutes 8 seconds
New York Marathon women's protest
In October 1972, six women runners staged a sit-down protest at the start of the New York Marathon demanding the right to take part in the same race as male athletes. The protest got front-page press attention and is regarded as a milestone in the long-battle for equality by female distance runners in America. Adrian Moorhead talks to protest organizer Nina Kuscsick.
(Photo: The 1972 women's protest. Credit: Patrick A. Burns/New York Times)
31/10/2019 • 9 minutes 12 seconds
Chester Williams - South Africa's black rugby hero
In 1995, South Africa won an emotional victory as hosts of the Rugby World Cup shortly after the fall of Apartheid. Winger Chester Williams was the only black player in the team and became a personal friend of President Nelson Mandela. Williams’ death in September 2019 was widely mourned in South Africa and beyond. His friend and fellow rugby player Jerome Paarwater tells his story to Rebecca Kesby.
PHOTO: Chester Williams in action (Getty Images)
24/10/2019 • 14 minutes 26 seconds
The policeman who won the Rugby World Cup
In the 1980s, London-born policeman John Gallagher ended up playing for the All Blacks while living and working in New Zealand. After emergency classes in the famous Haka war dance, Gallagher became a key member of the Kiwi team which won the inaugural Rugby World Cup in Auckland in 1987. He tells his story to Ian Williams.
Photo: John Gallagher powers past the Welsh defence in the 1987 World Cup semi-final (Colorsport/Shutterstock)
17/10/2019 • 8 minutes 57 seconds
Muhammad Ali: The 'Last Hurrah'
In October 1980, Muhammad Ali came out of retirement in an attempt to regain a world heavyweight title at the age of 38. Ali’s opponent in a fight dubbed “The Last Hurrah” was his former sparring partner, Larry Holmes. To the horror of the crowd and the dismay of Holmes himself, an aging, unfit Ali was pummelled for 10 rounds until his trainer belatedly stopped the fight. Larry Holmes speaks to Ashley Byrne.
(Photo: Muhammad Ali in the ring in October 1980. Credit: Getty Images)
10/10/2019 • 8 minutes 58 seconds
India's long jump queen
In 2003, the Indian long-jumper Anju Bobby George became the first Indian to ever win a medal in the World Athletics Championships. The bronze medal made Anju a hero in a country with little tradition in athletics and an inspiration to future Indian sportswomen. Simon Watts tells her story. Produced by Prabhat Pandey.
PHOTO: Anju Bobby George in action (Getty Images)
03/10/2019 • 9 minutes 5 seconds
Western Samoa stun Wales
In 1991, Western Samoa pulled off one of the biggest upsets in Rugby World Cup history when they beat Wales 16-13 in front of a shocked home crowd at Cardiff Arms Park. The victory by the unfancied and under-resourced Western Samoan side thrust the tiny Pacific nation into the global spotlight. Winger Timo Tagaloa relives this historic win with Emma Barnaby. The programme is a Whistledown Production.
PHOTO: Welsh players try to tackle Pat Lam of Western Samoa (Simon Bruty/Allsport/Getty Images)
26/09/2019 • 9 minutes 1 second
Eamonn Coghlan and the four-minute mile at forty
In 1994, the legendary Irish middle-distance runner Eamonn Coghlan came out of retirement in a bid to become the first person over forty to run a sub-four minute mile. He talks to Ashley Byrne. The programme is a Made-In-Manchester Production.
PHOTO: Eamonn Coghlan, centre (Getty Images)
12/09/2019 • 9 minutes
The pole-vaulter who insulted the Soviet Union
At the 1980 Olympic Games in Moscow, the Polish pole-vaulter Władysław Kozakiewicz caused uproar by beating his Soviet rival to win the gold medal with a world-record jump. After being booed by the crowd throughout the event, Kozakiewicz sparked a diplomatic incident by making an obscene gesture to the stadium. An unrepentant Kozakiewicz talks to Robert Nicholson.
(Photo: Władysław Kozakiewicz. Credit: AFP/Getty Images)
05/09/2019 • 9 minutes
Ryneldi Becenti - Native American basketball star
Ryneldi Becenti became the first Native American to play in the women's NBA when she made her debut for the Phoenix Mercury in 1997. Lucy Burns speaks to Becenti about her life and career.
PHOTO: Ryneldi Becenti playing for Arizona State University (courtesy Arizona State University)
22/08/2019 • 9 minutes 1 second
David Steele: 'The bank clerk who went to war'
At the 1975 Ashes test at Lord's, 33-year-old David Steele became an unlikely hero to the English public on his test debut. With a mop of grey hair, glasses and a cap rather than a helmet, Steele defied the feared Australian pace attack of Dennis Lillee and Jeff Thomson. Christened “The Bank Clerk who Went To War” by the tabloids, Steele was sponsored by a local butcher at the rate of one lamb chop per run. He talks to Simon Watts.
(Photo: David Steele in 1975)
15/08/2019 • 9 minutes 5 seconds
Football glory unites Iraq
In 2007, the Iraqi football team sparked wild celebrations throughout the country after winning the Asian Cup in a tense final against Saudi Arabia in Jakarta. The Iraqi players were semi-professionals who were forced to prepare the tournament in Jordan because of a security crisis at home that was claiming tens of thousands of lives every year. Their shock semi-final victory over South Korea was marred by a suicide-bomb attack on celebrating supporters in Baghdad which kills dozens. Steve Hankey talks to Iraqi defender, Haider Hassan, and football journalist, Rafeq Alokaby. The programme is a Whistledown Production.
PHOTO: Iraqi captain, Younis Mohmoud, celebrates (AFP/Getty Images)
08/08/2019 • 9 minutes 3 seconds
The closest Tour de France ever
In 1989, American Greg Lemond won the Tour de France by just eight seconds – the narrowest margin in the 100-year history of the race. Lemond took victory by beating local hero Laurent Fignon in the final time trial on the Champs-Elysees. Greg Lemond talks to Ashley Byrne. The programme is a Made-In-Manchester Production.
PHOTO: Greg Lemond during the 1989 Tour (Getty Images)
25/07/2019 • 8 minutes 59 seconds
The football war
The World Cup qualifiers that preceded a brief but bloody conflict between El Salvador and Honduras in the summer of 1969. The war between the Central American neighbours was over land rights and a long-running border dispute. Mike Lanchin has been hearing from the former captain of the Salvadorean football team, Salvador Mariona.
Photo: Salvador Mariona shows a picture of the El Salvador national team during the World Cup Mexico 1970 (MARVIN RECINOS/AFP/Getty Images)
18/07/2019 • 9 minutes 6 seconds
Little Mo, tennis great
The American tennis player Maureen Connolly became the first woman to win the tennis Grand Slam in 1953. Nicknamed “Little Mo” after a US warship, Connolly dominated her sport and became a global celebrity, but her career was cut short by injury and she died an early death. BBC tennis commentator Gigi Salmon tells her story.
This programme is an Audio Always production.
Photo: Maureen Connolly with her Wimbledon trophy. Copyright: Maureen Connolly Brinker Tennis Foundation.
11/07/2019 • 8 minutes 52 seconds
USA wins the first Women's World Cup
The USA beat Norway 2-1 in the final of the first official FIFA World Cup for women, held in China in 1991. The competition helped lay the foundations for female soccer both in America and worldwide. Carin Jennings-Gabarra was part of America's so-called "triple-edged sword" of goal-scoring forwards; she won the Golden Ball Award as the best player of the tournament. She shares her World Cup memories with Mike Lanchin.
Photo: Michelle Akers-Stahl (C), Julie Foudy (L) and Carin Jennings (R) celebrating their victory in the 1991 FIFA Women's World Cup (Photo by TOMMY CHENG/AFP/Getty Images)
04/07/2019 • 9 minutes 8 seconds
Germany's 'Golden Goal' heroine
In 2003, Germany won the Women's World Cup for the first time thanks to a powerful extra-time header in the final against Sweden from defender Nia Künzer. Künzer's strike was a Golden Goal, which gave instant victory to the Germans and was later voted Goal of the Year in Germany, ahead of any efforts by men. Nia Künzer talks to Lucy Burns about a match that helped put the women's game on the map.
(Photo: Nia Künzer, centre, at the 2003 World Cup. Credit: Getty Images)
27/06/2019 • 8 minutes 59 seconds
Tony Hawk, skateboard king
In June 1999, the US skateboarder Tony Hawk made history by becoming the first person to perform a trick that was thought to be virtually impossible. At the X Games in San Francisco, Hawk successfully completed a “900” – flipping round two-and-half times before landing safely back on his board. Hawk’s feat was followed by the massively successful computer game Tony Hawk: Pro Skater, and is credited with sparking a boom in the sport. He talks to Freddy Chick. The programme is a Made-in-Manchester Production
20/06/2019 • 8 minutes 58 seconds
Japan's women footballers lift the nation
In 2011, the Japanese women's football team defied the odds to win the World Cup final against the overwhelming favourites, the USA. The players and coaching staff were inspired by the prospect of boosting Japan’s morale as it recovered from the devastating Fukushima earthquake, tsunami and nuclear accident. In 2017, Robert Nicholson spoke to Japan's star midfielder Mizuho Sakaguchi and coach Norio Sasaki.
Image: Japan captain Homare Sawa lifts the World Cup trophy in 2011 (Credit: Reuters/Action Images/Matthew Childs)
13/06/2019 • 9 minutes 8 seconds
Kenya's World Cup cricket fairytale
At the 2003 Cricket World Cup, Kenya caused an upset by reaching the semi-finals – the best performance ever by a non-test-playing side. Their run of success included a famous victory over Sri Lanka on home soil in Nairobi. Ian Williams talks to Kenya’s captain, Steve Tikolo.
Photo: Steve Tikolo leading Kenya on a lap of honour at the 2003 World Cup (Getty Images Sport)
05/06/2019 • 8 minutes 55 seconds
Liverpool - The kings of Europe
In May 1977 Liverpool won their first European Cup with a famous victory against Borussia Mönchengladbach at the Olympic Stadium in Rome. It was the start of a run that would bring the Anfield side another three wins in the next seven years. Alex Capstick talks to former Liverpool captain, Phil Neal, a four-time European Cup winner.
PHOTO: Tommy Smith, Ian Callaghan and Phil Neal with the European Cup (Getty Images)
30/05/2019 • 9 minutes 3 seconds
Spurs dream of European glory
in May 1984, Tottenham Hotspur took on Belgian side Anderlecht in a battle to win the UEFA Cup Final. It was played over two legs, with the final, dramatic game held at Tottenham's White Hart Lane stadium. It ended in a penalty shootout. Alex Last has been speaking to former Spurs legend and England international, Graham Roberts, about his memories of that historic night.
Photo: Tottenham Hotspur Captain Graham Roberts celebrates a goal against RSC Anderlecht during the 2nd leg of the UEFA Cup Final at White Hart Lane, London, 23rd May 1984.. (Photo by Bob Thomas/Getty Images)
23/05/2019 • 11 minutes 23 seconds
Secretariat - America's superstar racehorse
In 1973, Secretariat became the first horse to win the Triple Crown of American thorough-bred racing for 25 years, recording some of the fastest times ever recorded. Nicknamed “Big Red”, the colt was one of the most popular horses of all time – learning to pose for photographers and going on to sire 663 foals after he was put out to stud. Secretariat even inspired a Hollywood film in 2010. Ned Carter-Miles talks to Secretariat’s jockey, Ron Turcotte.
PHOTO: Secretariat in action (Getty Images)
16/05/2019 • 8 minutes 58 seconds
The Torino air disaster
In May 1949, a plane carrying the Torino football team crashed into a mountain near Turin killing 31 people. At the time, "Il Grande Torino" were the dominant team in Italy and Europe, but the club never really recovered from an accident that killed almost the entire squad. Sporting Witness hears from Carla Maroso, the widow of one of the Torino players, and life-long Torino fan Gianpaolo Oremezzano. This programme was first broadcast in 2016.
PHOTO: The ill-fated Torino squad (Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
09/05/2019 • 8 minutes 59 seconds
Desiré Wilson - Formula One winner
In April 1980, South African racing driver Desiré Wilson became the only woman to win a Formula One event when she took the chequered flag at Brands Hatch. But despite her obvious talent, Wilson faced opposition from some male drivers throughout her career and never attracted the sponsorship she needed for a proper shot at a Grand Prix career. She talks to Ashley Byrne. The programme is a Made-In-Manchester Production.
PHOTO: Desiré Wilson posing with a lion cub in 1979 (Graham Morris/Evening Standard/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
02/05/2019 • 8 minutes 58 seconds
In 2003, the British runner Paula Radcliffe set a famous world record of 2:15:25 at the London Marathon. It was the highlight of a career that also included a gold medal at the World Championships, but a series of failures at the Olympic Games. Simon Watts reports.
PHOTO: Paula Radcliffe in 2005 (Getty Images)
25/04/2019 • 8 minutes 45 seconds
Ashley Fiolek - Deaf motocross champion
In 2008, a deaf American rider called Ashley Fiolek won the first of four women’s motocross championships. Fiolek became the poster girl for one of the most dangerous forms of motor sport despite being short, wearing pink and not being able to hear her motorbike’s engine or her rivals. She talks to Claire Bowes.
PHOTO: Ashley Fiolek (Getty Images)
18/04/2019 • 9 minutes
Brian Lara's batting world record
In April 1994, West Indies batsman Brian Lara set a new world record of 375 for the highest ever score in test cricket. The milestone that made Lara a superstar came against England in Antigua, and took him three days of play. Simon Watts brings together the memories of Lara and England bowler Angus Fraser.
PHOTO: Brian Lara in action (Getty Images)
11/04/2019 • 9 minutes
The King of Comrades
Between 1981 and 1990, Bruce Fordyce won South Africa’s Comrades Marathon – one of the most famous races in Africa – a record nine times. He talks to Simon Watts about one of the ultimate tests of endurance and how he used the event to protest against the Apartheid regime.
PHOTO: The start of the Comrades Marathon (AFP/Getty Images)
04/04/2019 • 8 minutes 58 seconds
Marcus Trescothick and mental illness
In March 2008, the England batsman Marcus Trescothick announced that he was retiring from international cricket because of a long struggle with depression and anxiety. Trescothick’s decision shone new light on the pressure facing elite sportsmen and women. Simon Watts reports.
PHOTO: Marcus Trescothick in action (Getty Images)
28/03/2019 • 9 minutes
The man who ran around Australia
In 1983, the ultra-runner Ron Grant became the first person to run around Australia. On a 13,383 kilometre jog that took seven months, Grant overcame injuries, crew mutinies and serious financial debt, before being greeted by huge crowds at the start/finish line in Brisbane. He talks to Ashley Byrne. The programme is a Made-In-Manchester Production.
PHOTO: Ron Grant and fellow runners in 1983 (Victor Colin Sumner/Fairfax Media via Getty Images)
21/03/2019 • 8 minutes 53 seconds
Bangladesh's football heroes
In 1971, the Bangladeshi football team made history at the height of the country's war of independence when they played a series of matches in India. The games were the first to be played under the flag of a nation that was still not officially recognised and helped raise money for Bangladesh's independence struggle. Farhana Haider talks to star striker Kazi Salahuddin, who was smuggled into India so he could take part in the matches.
(Photo:The Shadhin Bangla Football Dol "Free Bengal Football Team", 1971. Credit: Kazi Salahuddin)
14/03/2019 • 9 minutes 17 seconds
The birth of skiing
At the beginning of the 20th Century, the British invented downhill skiing and introduced it to the Alps, creating both a new sport and the multi-billion-dollar tourist industry we know today. Using the BBC archives, Simon Watts introduces the memories of Sir Arnold Lunn, the inventor of modern skiing, and of British and Swiss racers from the early days of the sport.
(Photo: A skiing party in the 1920s, with Sir Arnold Lunn centre-right. Credit: Getty Images)
21/02/2019 • 9 minutes 7 seconds
Why I invented the sports bra
When Lisa Lindahl couldn't find a comfortable bra to run in, she decided to design one. In 1977 she and a friend fashioned the first modern sports bra out of two pairs of men's supportive underwear or 'jockstraps'. Lisa told Rebecca Kesby how they perfected their design with the newly available stretchy fabrics of the late 1970s, and went on to build a multi-million dollar company.
(Photo: An early advertisement for "Jogbra" 1979. Courtesy of Lisa Lindahl's private collection.)
14/02/2019 • 9 minutes 2 seconds
Paul Pritchard And The Totem Pole
In February 1998, Paul Pritchard, then one of the world's leading rock climbers, suffered a life-changing brain injury while attempting to ascend a fearsome route in Tasmania called the Totem Pole. After years of rehab, he returned to complete the climb in 2016 using a single arm to pull himself up. Paul Pritchard talks to Simon Watts.
PHOTO: Paul Pritchard on the Totem Pole (personal collection)
08/02/2019 • 10 minutes 50 seconds
South Africa Win The Rugby World Cup
In 1995, post-apartheid South Africa hosted, and won, the Rugby World Cup. It was a hugely unifying moment for the country. Hear from Francois Pienaar, captain of the victorious Springboks team about what it meant to him, and to the nation.
Image: Nelson Mandela presents Francois Pienaar with the Rugby World Cup trophy at Ellis Park in Johannesburg, 24 June 1995 (Credit: Philip Littleton/AFP/Getty Images)
07/02/2019 • 9 minutes 1 second
The Gay Games
In 1982, the first ever Gay Games were held in San Francisco. Attracting a large crowd and featuring more than 1000 athletes from more than 100 countries, the event was organised by a group of LGBT activists, including former Olympians, to raise awareness about homophobia in sport. The Gay Games are now held every four years at venues around the world. Ashley Byrne speaks to organiser Sara Waddell Lewinstein and athlete Rick Tomin.
PHOTO: An athlete at the first Gay Games (Getty Images)
24/01/2019 • 8 minutes 51 seconds
Diane Crump - Pioneering Female Jockey
In 1970, Diane Crump became the first woman jockey to compete in the Kentucky Derby – the most prestigious horse race in the United States. It was the climax of a pioneering professional career in which Crump was initially booed and heckled by race-goers and even by some male jockeys. She talks to Simon Jarvis. The programme is a Whistledown Production for the BBC World Service.
PHOTO: Diane Crump, centre (Getty Images)
21/01/2019 • 10 minutes 8 seconds
Mark Edmondson And The Biggest Upset In Tennis
In January 1976, the virtually unknown Mark Edmondson pulled off one of the greatest shocks in tennis history by winning the Australian Open on home soil. Ranked number 212 in the world, Edmondson had been working as a part-time hospital cleaner just weeks earlier. In the final, he defeated the all-time Aussie great, John Newcombe, and he remains the last Australian to win the Open title. Mark Edmondson speaks to Ashley Byrne.
PHOTO: Mark Edmondson (Getty Images)
10/01/2019 • 8 minutes 53 seconds
Lopez Lomong - From Lost Boy To The Olympics
In 2008, former refugee Lopez Lomong carried the flag for the USA at the Beijing Olympics, before competing in the 1500 metres. As a child, Lomong fled from a prison for child soldiers in South Sudan, eventually reaching a refugee camp in Kenya where he was one of the thousands of so-called “Lost Boys”. Lomong was later adopted by an American family, who encouraged his dream to reach the Olympic Games. In 2017, he talked to Simon Watts.
PHOTO: Lopez Lomong in 2008 (Getty Images)
27/12/2018 • 9 minutes 1 second
When British Football Went To China
A story of banquets, diplomacy and football. In 1978, first division side, West Bromwich Albion became the first professional British football club to visit communist China. The visit came as China began to open up to the West after the power struggle which followed the death of Chairman Mao. Alex Last spoke to West Brom legend, Brendon Batson, about his memories of the historic tour.
Photo: The teams head out onto the field in Beijing for West Brom's first game of the tour. (BBC)
20/12/2018 • 9 minutes 21 seconds
Usain Bolt - The Birth of a Legend
In 2008 Jamaica's Usain Bolt burst onto the athletics scene at the Beijing Olympics, winning both the 100 metres and 200 metres in world record times. Ian Williams talks to Bolt's coach, Glen Mills, and fellow Jamaican sprinter, Michael Frater, about the year Bolt became a global superstar.
(Photo: Usain Bolt at the 2008 Olympics, Getty Images)
13/12/2018 • 8 minutes 57 seconds
Ironman's Iron Woman
Refusing to give up - Julie Moss made history in 1982 when she crawled to the finish line, having collapsed just metres from the end of the Ironman World Championship in Hawaii. It was her first competitive triathlon and she came second, but as she explains to Rebecca Kesby for Witness - that heroic fight for the line changed her life, and her attitude to the sport. The moment also inspired a surge in popularity for Ironman - until then a little known event.
(Photo Copyright, Carol Hogan Photojournalism)
06/12/2018 • 10 minutes 24 seconds
The Fastest Man In The World Race
In 1997, the reigning 100m Olympic champion, Canada’s Donovan Bailey, and the reigning 200m champion, Michael Johnson of the USA, staged a unique two-man race to settle a dispute about who was really the world’s fastest man. Held over 150 metres at the Skydome arena in Toronto, the atmosphere was more like a boxing match and created massive media interest. Simon Watts talks to the eventual winner, Donovan Bailey, about a victory he considers every bit as sweet as Olympic gold.
PHOTO: Donovan Bailey, left, and Michael Johnson at promotional event (Getty Images)
29/11/2018 • 8 minutes 58 seconds
George Foreman - World Champion At 45
In November 1994, George Foreman shocked the sport of boxing by winning a second world title at the age of 45. Written off by the critics, Foreman held off a rain of punches from Michael Moorer, a man 19 years his junior, before landing a knockout punch in the tenth round. George Foreman talks to Ashley Byrne about his varied career.
PHOTO: George Foreman, left, in action against Michael Moorer (Getty Images).
22/11/2018 • 8 minutes 53 seconds
Mika Hakkinen's F1 Horror Crash
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)
01/11/2018 • 8 minutes 53 seconds
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)
27/10/2018 • 9 minutes 11 seconds
The Czech Gymnast Who Defied The Soviet Union
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, British competitor Mary Prestidge.
PHOTO: Vera Caslavska with her Olympic medals (Getty Images)
20/10/2018 • 8 minutes 54 seconds
The Black Power Salute
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)
13/10/2018 • 8 minutes 59 seconds
The Transplant Games
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 (personal collection)
06/10/2018 • 8 minutes 54 seconds
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)
29/09/2018 • 9 minutes 8 seconds
Vijay Amritraj and the Davis Cup
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)
22/09/2018 • 8 minutes 59 seconds
Tom Gregory - The 11-Year-Old who Swam the Channel
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)
15/09/2018 • 8 minutes 58 seconds
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)
11/09/2018 • 8 minutes 53 seconds
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.
PHOTO: Larisa Latynina (Getty Images)
01/09/2018 • 8 minutes 58 seconds
Wayne Gretzky And "The Trade"
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)
25/08/2018 • 8 minutes 54 seconds
Gaza's First Olympic Athlete
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)
18/08/2018 • 8 minutes 55 seconds
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)
11/08/2018 • 8 minutes 55 seconds
Kay Cottee - Australian Sailing Hero
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)
04/08/2018 • 8 minutes 57 seconds
Graeme Obree - The Flying Scotsman
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)
28/07/2018 • 8 minutes 59 seconds
Jens Voigt - Riding the Tour De France On a Child's Bike
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)
21/07/2018 • 8 minutes 53 seconds
The 1986 World Cup Final
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, José Luis Brown, who scored his only international goal in the game; and to Argentine football expert, Marcela Mora y Araujo, who watched in delight as her country secured the top trophy for a second time.
Photo: Diego Maradona holding the World Cup trophy. (Photo by Jean-Yves Ruszniewski/TempSport/Corbis/VCG via Getty Images)
14/07/2018 • 9 minutes
Goran Ivanisevic's Wimbledon Wildcard Win
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 the 2001 Wimbledon trophy (BBC)
07/07/2018 • 8 minutes 56 seconds
Lev Yashin - The Soviet Union's Goalkeeping Hero
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 Sport.
PHOTO: Lev Yashin in action at the 1966 World Cup (Getty Images)
30/06/2018 • 8 minutes 56 seconds
'Muggsy' Bogues - Shortest Player in the NBA
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)
23/06/2018 • 8 minutes 56 seconds
Senegal's Stunning World Cup Win Over France in 2002
Former Senegalese player Ferdinand Coly remembers the dramatic opening game of the 2002 football World Cup. It was the first time Senegal had reached the World Cup which was held in South Korea and Japan. France were the reigning World and European champions. The game marked the start of Senegal's run to the quarter finals.
Photo: Ferdinand Coly battles French player Emmanuel Petit for the ball, as Thierry Henry looks on. (Photo by Andreas Rentz/Bongarts/Getty Images)
16/06/2018 • 9 minutes 51 seconds
The World Cup's 'Greatest Save'
In the latest in our World Cup history series, we go back to 1970 when the English goalkeeper, Gordon Banks, made what’s regarded as the greatest save in the history of the tournament. In a match against Brazil, Banks somehow dived down quickly enough to stop a powerful header from the legendary Pele. He talks to Mina Rzouki.
(Photo: Gordon Banks saves from Pele. Credit: Getty Images)
09/06/2018 • 8 minutes 54 seconds
The Battle of Santiago
In the latest in a World Cup series, we go back to 1962 and probably the most violent match in the history of the tournament. Described by BBC commentator David Coleman as a "stupid and disgusting exhibition", the confrontation between Chile and Italy was marred by spitting, kicking and punch-ups between the players. It is now known as the Battle of Santiago. Richard Murie talks to the former Chilean defender, Humberto "The Cheetah" Cruz.
(Photo: The aftermath of a heavy challenge in the Battle of Santiago. Credit: Getty Images)
02/06/2018 • 8 minutes 53 seconds
Iran v the USA
Sporting Witness goes back to 1998 and a politically-charged showdown between the USA and Iran, in the second part of a World Cup series. Despite fears of a diplomatic incident, the match went smoothly, ending with an Iranian victory and warm handshakes between the rival players. Freddy Chick talks to Iranian-born Fifa official, Mehrdad Masoudi, the man in charge of ensuring a football match did not create a diplomatic crisis, and to the US captain, Thomas Dooley.
(Photo: The US and Iranian captains, Thomas Dooley and Ahmadreza Abedzadeh, shake hands before the game. Credit: Getty Images)
19/05/2018 • 8 minutes 53 seconds
East Germany's World Cup Moment
At the 1974 World Cup, the East and West German football teams clashed on German soil in Hamburg. The East Germans had crossed the Berlin Wall for the tournament and - in a moment never to be forgotten - defeated the great West German team of Franz Beckenbauer 1-0. Tim Mansel talks to former East German defender, Gerd Kische, and Klaus-Peter Beese, one of the East German fans allowed by the Stasi secret police to travel to the game.
PHOTO: East German forward Juergen Sparwasser (L) scores the winning goal in 1974 (Getty Images)
12/05/2018 • 8 minutes 56 seconds
Gino Bartali - The Cyclist Who Saved Jews From The Holocaust
This year's Giro D’Italia cycling race is paying tribute to the great Italian rider, Gino Bartali, during its opening stages in Israel. Bartali was one of the most successful cyclists of the 1930s and 1940s, but it’s now also known that he helped save the lives of hundreds of Jews when the Nazis occupied Italy during World War Two. Alice Gioia talks to Gino Bartali’s granddaughter, Gioia Bartali, and the film-maker Oren Jacoby, who’s researched the rider’s wartime heroism.
PHOTO: Gino Bartali after winning the 1948 Tour De France (Getty Images)
05/05/2018 • 8 minutes 55 seconds
The Stabbing of Monica Seles
Tennis champion Monica Seles was stabbed during a match in Germany on April 30th 1993. She was world number one but the attack set her career back for some time. Jens-Peter Hetch of the German Tennis Federation was there and he has been sharing his memories of the day with Ashley Byrne.
Photo: Monica Seles after being stabbed on court at the Hamburg Open Tennis Championships, Germany. Credit: Sipa Press/REX/Shutterstock .
28/04/2018 • 8 minutes 53 seconds
Jim Clark - Formula One Legend
In April 1968, the great Scottish racing driver, Jim Clark, was killed in a crash on the Hockenheim circuit in Germany. Regarded as one of the finest drivers of all time, Clark won two Formula One world championships and the Indianapolis 500 while helping to run the family farm in the Scottish Borders. Simon Watts talks to his friend, the motoring historian, Graham Gauld.
PHOTO: Jim Clark (Getty Images)
21/04/2018 • 8 minutes 56 seconds
Chantal Petitclerc and A Breakthrough For Parasport
In 2002, the Commonwealth Games became the first – and only - major international athletics championship to combine able-bodied and parasport competitions in a single, integrated event. The great Canadian wheelchair racer, Chantal Petitclerc, won the first gold medal under the new system. She talks to Simon Watts about what she regards as a breakthrough for the equality of parasport.
PHOTO: Chantal Petitclerc in 2002 (Getty Images)
14/04/2018 • 9 minutes 16 seconds
Jack Nicklaus' Final Triumph
In April 1986, the legendary golfer Jack Nicklaus made history by becoming the oldest player ever to win the Masters. Aged 46, the "Golden Bear" took the lead with just one hole to go. Ashley Byrne talks to Tsuneyuki Nakajima, a Japanese golfer who was in contention throughout one of the most exciting tournaments ever played at Augusta.
PHOTO: Jack Nicklaus in his prime in the 1970s (BBC)
07/04/2018 • 8 minutes 54 seconds
Filbert Bayi - Gold For Tanzania!
In 1974, the Tanzanian Filbert Bayi won one of the greatest 1500-metre races of all time at the Commonwealth Games in New Zealand. Bayi led from the front and held off a strong field to win gold and set a world record. Bayi is a legendary figure in Tanzania, where he now runs an AIDS charity. He talks to Ashley Byrne.
PHOTO: Filbert Bayi on his way to victory (Getty Images)
31/03/2018 • 8 minutes 54 seconds
Mansour Bahrami - The Great Entertainer of Tennis
The Iranian Mansour Bahrami is one of the most popular players in tennis thanks to his trick shots and showmanship - but his life story is equally remarkable. Simon Watts shares some of the highlights from a 2014 interview with the BBC.
PHOTO: Mansour Bahrami (Getty Images).
24/03/2018 • 9 minutes
'The Witches of the Orient' - Japan's Volleyball Heroines
In 1964, the Japanese women's volleyball team became national heroes after winning gold at their home Olympics in Tokyo. Nicknamed the Witches of the Orient, the players were put through a punishing training regime by a former platoon commander in the Japanese imperial army in order to beat the Soviet Union. Their triumph came to symbolise the re-emergence of Japan after World War II. Emily Williams reports.
(Photo: The Japanese team with their coach in 1964. Credit: Getty Images)
17/03/2018 • 8 minutes 57 seconds
Willie O'Ree: The First Black NHL Player
In 1958 Canadian Willie O'Ree broke the colour barrier in the National Hockey League. Willie O'Ree was picked to play for the Boston Bruins in the NHL despite suffering a devastating eye injury earlier in his career. The NHL was then made up of just six professional teams based in Canada and the United States. O'Ree had to face horrific racial abuse from both fans and some players when he took to the ice. Alex Last spoke to Willie O'Ree about his memories of being the first elite black ice hockey player.
Photo:Willie O'Ree, now a NHL Diversity Ambassador attends the NHL All Star Game at Bell Centre on January 25, 2009 in Montreal, Canada. (Photo by Phillip MacCallum/Getty Images for NHL)
10/03/2018 • 9 minutes 26 seconds
Sri Lanka's Cricket Triumph
In March 1996, Sri Lanka pulled off an unexpected victory in the Cricket World Cup, demolishing a strong Australian team in the final. The win sparked wild celebrations in Sri Lanka, which had never won a tournament before and was still wracked by civil war. Emily Williams talks to the coach of the Sri Lankan team, Dav Whatmore. The programme is a Whistledown Production.
PHOTO: Arjuna Ranatunga and Asanka Gurusinha with the Cricket World Cup trophy after Sri Lanka beat Australia in the final, Lahore, 17th March 1996. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
03/03/2018 • 8 minutes 54 seconds
The 'Skategate' Scandal in Ice-Skating
At the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, the Canadian figure-skaters Jamie Salé and David Pelletier were victims of one of the biggest scandals in the history of the games. The pair put in a flawless performance in their final routine, but were only awarded a silver medal because one of the judges felt under pressure to vote for their Russian rivals. The decision sparked outrage but, after an investigation that overshadowed the rest of the Olympics, Salé and Pelletier were eventually awarded a joint gold medal. Jamie Salé talks to James Cowling.
(Photo: The four gold medallists. Credit: Getty Images)
24/02/2018 • 9 minutes 9 seconds
At the 1976 Winter Olympics, legendary Austrian skier Franz Klammer took gold in front of a passionate home crowd in one of the greatest downhill races of all time. In 2014, he spoke to Simon Watts.
PICTURE: Franz Klammer celebrating with the Austrian crowd in Innsbruck (Getty Images)
17/02/2018 • 8 minutes 59 seconds
Olympic Luge Death
Just hours before the Vancouver Olympics opened in 2010, a young luge athlete from Georgia, Nodar Kumaritashvili, was killed when he crashed in training. Many critics said the sliding track was too fast and too difficult. Modifications to the track were made to make it safer and the competition went ahead, but the episode cast a shadow over the games and shocked the luging community. Rebecca Kesby spoke to Nodar's father, Davit Kumaritashvili.
Photo: Candles and flowers left as a tribute to Nodar Kumaritashvili, Vancouver 2010. (Getty Images)
10/02/2018 • 9 minutes 9 seconds
Table Tennis Unites Korea
In 1991, amid escalating tensions on the Korean peninsula, Pyongyang and Seoul agreed to field a united Korean table tennis team at the world championships in Japan. Previously bitter rivals, players from the North and South spent more than a month training together and eventually bonding. Their experience inspired a hit film in South Korea, where ping pong is a very popular sport. Sporting Witness talks to former South Korean women's champion, Hyun Jung-Hwa.
PHOTO: The Korean women's team on the podium (Getty Images)
03/02/2018 • 8 minutes 58 seconds
Alone On Everest
In 1988, the British mountaineer, Stephen Venables, was forced to spend the night by himself in the so-called "Death Zone" near the top of Mount Everest. In one of the most remarkable achievements in the history of climbing, Venables managed to survive despite not having a tent or supplementary oxygen. He talks to Lucy Burns.
PHOTO: Stephen Venables (Getty Images)
27/01/2018 • 8 minutes 55 seconds
Arsene Wenger On Discovering George Weah
As George Weah takes office as President of Liberia, we look back at his footballing career through the memories of Arsenal manager, Arsene Wenger. Wenger discovered the African striker when he was manager of the French side Monaco and became a father figure to the young Weah. Arsene Wenger talks to Tayo Popoola.
PHOTO: George Weah in action in the 1990s (Getty Images)
20/01/2018 • 8 minutes 52 seconds
Eric Cantona's Kung-Fu Kick
In January 1995, the French forward Eric Cantona shocked football by attacking an opposition fan during a match between Manchester United and Crystal Palace. Cantona faced a court case and was banned for nine months. Simon Watts tells the story of his Kung-Fu kick through BBC interviews with people who were there.
PHOTO: The Cantona Kung-Fu kick (AFP/Getty Images)
13/01/2018 • 8 minutes 57 seconds
Declan Murphy: The Jockey who Came Back from the Dead
In 1994, the Irish jockey, Declan Murphy, was reported as dead in the racing press after sustaining severe brain damage in a fall at Haydock Park. Murphy later woke from his coma, although he had lost all memory of the previous four years of his life and his personality had changed. The Irish jockey learnt to walk and then ride again, making an emotional return to the sport 18 months later. Declan Murphy talks to Simon Watts.
(Photo: Declan Murphy)
06/01/2018 • 9 minutes 24 seconds
Donald Campbell and Bluebird
In January 1967 the record-breaking British driver, Donald Campbell, was killed at the helm of his jet-boat Bluebird as he tried to beat his own water speed record. His only daughter, Gina, remembers her legendary father. This programme was first broadcast in 2013.
Photo: Campbell's boat "Bluebird" on a training run (Getty Images)
30/12/2017 • 9 minutes 22 seconds
The Sydney to Hobart Yachting Disaster
In 1998 the annual yacht race descended into disaster as hurricane force storms capsized boats and threw sailors into the ocean. Six people were killed but fifty were winched to safety in daring sea rescue operations that risked the lives of the emergency crews. Rebecca Kesby has been speaking to Peter Davidson, one of the first paramedics to arrive on the scene, who saved the lives of eight stranded sailors in treacherous conditions.
(PHOTO: Sydney, Australia - December 26: General view of the start of the Sydney to Hobart yacht race December 26, 1998 in Sydney, Australia. (Credit: Nick Wilson/Getty Images)
23/12/2017 • 9 minutes 36 seconds
Colonel Gaddafi's Ice Hockey Team
In 1987, the Libyan dictator, Colonel Gaddafi, decided to sponsor a struggling German ice hockey team called ECD Iserlohn. Gaddafi paid a million dollars for the team to wear an image of his infamous “Green Book” on their uniforms, but the sponsorship deal outraged fans and became a media scandal. David Prest speaks to former Iserlohm player, Early Spry, and the writer, Gabriel Luis Manga. The programme is a Whistledown Production.
PHOTO: An ECD Iserlohn player wearing the "Green Book" logo (Press Association)
16/12/2017 • 9 minutes 34 seconds
The Bosman Ruling Revolutionises Football
In December 1995, the journeyman Belgian midfielder, Jean-Marc Bosman won a European court ruling that transformed his sport. The European Court of Justice declared that players had the right to negotiate transfers when their contracts expired, and ended limits on the number of European footballers per club. The ruling created the modern transfer market and fuelled the power of players – but ruined the career of Bosman himself. He talks to Ashley Byrne.
PHOTO: Jean-Marc Bosman with his lawyers (Getty Images)
09/12/2017 • 8 minutes 54 seconds
Lopez Lomong - From "Lost Boy" To The Olympics
In 2008, former refugee Lopez Lomong carried the flag for the USA at the Beijing Olympics, before competing in the 1500 metres. As a child, Lomong fled from a prison for child soldiers in South Sudan, eventually reaching a refugee camp in Kenya where he was one of the thousands of so-called “Lost Boys”. Lomong was later adopted by an American family, who encouraged his dream to reach the Olympic Games. He talks to Simon Watts.
PHOTO: Lopez Lomong in 2008 (Getty Images)
02/12/2017 • 8 minutes 56 seconds
Jana Novotna - Wimbledon Heroine
The world of tennis is mourning the death of the popular Czech player, Jana Novotna, at the age of 49. In 1993, Novotna threw away a huge lead in the women's final at Wimbledon but captured the hearts of tennis fans by breaking down in tears on the shoulder of the Duchess of Kent, the tournament's patron. Five years later, Novotna was back on Centre Court, and this time she won. In 2015, she told her story to Kirsty McQuire.
PHOTO: The Duchess of Kent consoles Jana Novotna after her 1993 defeat (Getty Images)
25/11/2017 • 9 minutes 7 seconds
Pam Reed: Winning Ultramarathons in Death Valley
In 2002, a middle-aged mother made history by winning one of the toughest races in the world outright. Pam Reed beat all the elite men competing in the 135-mile Badwater marathon through the desert of Death Valley, California. After her victory was seen by some as a fluke, she responded by defeating all the male runners again the following year. Pam Reed talks to Lissa Cook.
(Photo: Pam Reed after her victory at the Badwater marathon. Credit: Getty Images)
18/11/2017 • 8 minutes 57 seconds
The First Ultimate Fighting Championship
In November 1993, eight fighters from a range of martial arts disciplines took part in the first ever “Ultimate Fighting Championship” in Denver, Colorado. The controversial and often bloody event was a huge success and marked the beginning of one of the world’s fastest growing sports. Ashley Byrne talks to the promoter, Art Davie.
PHOTO: Action fro the first Ultimate Fighting Championship in 1993 (Getty Images Sport)
11/11/2017 • 8 minutes 53 seconds
Kelly Kulick - Ten Pin Bowler
Kelly Kulick broke into the men's game in 2006 - she was the first woman to compete on an equal footing with men in the Professional Bowling Association tour. She has been speaking to Adrian Moorhead about her career in bowling.
Photo: Kelly Kulick in action at the Pan American Games in 2011. Credit: Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images Sport.
04/11/2017 • 9 minutes 2 seconds
The Climbing Pioneer Who Conquered El Capitan
Lynn Hill was the first person to free-climb 'The Nose', the most challenging route up El Capitan, a 3,000ft granite wall in America's Yosemite National Park.
Since her ascent in 1993 only a handful of others have followed in her footsteps. With a career spanning decades, she tells Sporting Witness how in the early days she was told that women wouldn't be able to accomplish the toughest climbs.
(Photo: Free mountain rock climber Lynn Hill clings to the rock face during a climb on 1 June 1983, in Yosemite Valley, California. Credit: Tony Duffy/Allsport/Getty Images)
28/10/2017 • 9 minutes 29 seconds
Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost: Formula One's Greatest Rivalry
In October 1989, the bitter feud between Brazilian Ayrton Senna and Frenchman Alain Prost boiled over onto the track when the two drivers collided in a now infamous edition of the Japanese Grand Prix. The two men were supposed to be team-mates but their barely concealed mutual loathing gripped motor-racing audiences and led to controversy on and off the circuits. Ashley Byrne talks to Italian F1 driver, Alessandro Nannini.
PHOTO: Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost in 1989 (Getty Images)
21/10/2017 • 8 minutes 53 seconds
The "Battle Of The Sexes" Tennis Match
In 1973, Billie-Jean King made tennis history by winning a challenge match against a former Wimbledon champion called Bobby Riggs. The "Battle of the Sexes" was watched by a global TV audience of nearly 100 million and is credited with improving the credibility of the women's game. The story has now been turned into a Hollywood movie. Billie-Jean King talks to David Sillito.
PHOTO: Billie-Jean King and Bobby Riggs leaving the court (Getty Images)
14/10/2017 • 8 minutes 56 seconds
Iranian Football's "Mr Hat-Trick"
How the Irish-born footballer, Eamon Zayed, became a folk hero in Iran after scoring three goals in the Teheran derby.
10/10/2017 • 8 minutes 52 seconds
O.J. Simpson Makes American Football History
In 1973, O.J. Simpson made American Football history by becoming the first running back to break the seemingly impossible barrier of rushing for 2000 yards in a single season. The record made Simpson a superstar, although it was later overshadowed by off-field scandal. Simon Watts talks to O.J.'s team-mate at the Buffalo Bills, Reggie Mckenzie.
PHOTO: O.J. Simpson in action for the Buffalo Bills in the 1970s (Getty Images).
01/10/2017 • 8 minutes 53 seconds
Chioma Ajunwa: Making Olympic History
Nigerian athlete Chioma Ajunwa stunned the world at the Atlanta Olympics in 1996. Ajunwa returned from a doping ban to compete at the Games as a sprinter. But she was to make history competing in the long jump, for which she had done no training. Alex Last speaks to Chioma Ajunwa about her remarkable comeback.
Photo: Chioma Ajunwa at the Atlanta Olympics in 1996.(Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Bongarts/Getty Images)
23/09/2017 • 9 minutes 20 seconds
The Creation of Ironman
In 1978, a US naval officer and his wife invented an extreme form of triathlon which is becoming increasingly popular around the world. Called Ironman, John and Judy Collins' creation consists of a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile cycle ride and a 26.2 mile running marathon. They talk to Ashley Byrne about how the event was first launched in Hawaii. The programme was first broadcast in 2014.
Picture: A recent edition of Ironman in Hawaii, Credit: Getty Images
16/09/2017 • 8 minutes 55 seconds
Nawal El Moutawakel - Pioneer of Muslim Women's Athletics
In 1984, the Moroccan 400-metre hurdler, Nawal El Moutawakel, became the first Muslim woman to win an athletics gold at the Los Angeles Olympics. She talks to Rob Bonnet.
PHOTO: Nawal El Moutawakel crossing the finishing line (Getty Images)
In 1983, American motorcyclist "Fast Freddie" Spencer won the world motorcycling championship aged just 21. Spencer won an epic battle against Kenny Roberts, another legendary US rider. Their rivalry is regarded as one of the fiercest in the history of the sport. Freddie Spencer talks to Simon Watts
Photo: Freddie Spencer in action. Credit: Getty Images)
02/09/2017 • 9 minutes
The Olympic Hero Who Rescued His Fellow Sailors
At the 1988 Olympics in South Korea, Canadian sailor Lawrence Lemieux was winning his race when he dropped out to rescue two fellow sailors who'd capsized in a storm. It's now regarded as one of the greatest acts of sportsmanship in the history of the Games. Emily Williams talks to Lawrence Lemieux and to Jo Chan, one of the Singaporean sailors he rescued.
PHOTO: Racing boats in a storm (Getty Images)
26/08/2017 • 10 minutes 22 seconds
In August 1995, the British mountaineer Alison Hargreaves was killed in an accident on K2 in the Himalayas. Lucy Burns tells her story through archive BBC interviews and the memories of her biographer and fellow climber, Ed Douglas.
PHOTO: Alison Hargreaves on Everest in 1995 (Press Association)
19/08/2017 • 9 minutes 2 seconds
Sergey Bubka - Pole Vault Legend
In August 1997, the Ukrainian pole-vaulter, Sergey Bubka, won his sixth consecutive World Championship in Athens. Bubka defied advancing age and a serious achilles tendon injury to claim victory with one massive vault. His performance is now regarded as one of the greatest in track-and-field history. Sergey Bubka talks to Alex Capstick.
PHOTO: Sergey Bubka in action (Getty Images)
12/08/2017 • 8 minutes 59 seconds
John Daly - The "Wild Thing" of Golf
In August 1991, the maverick golfer John Daly became a superstar overnight by winning the US PGA tournament as a rookie. Daly's ferocious hitting and hard-living lifestyle had not been seen in the sport before and earned him a legion of fans. Ashley Byrne talks to two golfers who were on the course with the most controversial player in golf.
05/08/2017 • 8 minutes 53 seconds
Pat Tillman - The American Football Hero Killed in Afghanistan
In 2002, the American football star Pat Tillman became a national hero when he gave up a lucrative career to join the US army and fight in the war on terror. Tillman was a poster boy for the military, but two years later he was killed in a controversial friendly fire incident in Afghanistan. His friend and fellow American footballer, Jeremy Staat, talks to Dina Newman.
PHOTO: Pat Tillman in action (Getty Images)
29/07/2017 • 8 minutes 55 seconds
Eddy Merckx - Tour De France Legend
In 1975, the great Belgian cyclist Eddy Merckx lost the Tour de France after being punched by a spectator during a mountain stage. The incident marked the start of the decline of a rider so dominant he was nicknamed "The Cannibal". British cyclist Barry Hoban recalls the punch and shares his personal memories of racing with Merckx. The programme was first broadcast in 2014.
(Photo: Eddy Merckx. Credit: AFP/Getty Images)
22/07/2017 • 8 minutes 54 seconds
Boris Becker - Teenage Wimbledon King
In 1985, Boris Becker caused a worldwide sensation by winning Wimbledon as an unseeded teenager. He talks to Russell Fuller about one of the biggest upsets in tennis history.
PHOTO: Boris Becker with the Wimbledon trophy in 1985 (Getty Images)
15/07/2017 • 8 minutes 54 seconds
Sheryl Swoopes - Queen of Basketball
In 1997, Sheryl Swoopes became one of the first stars of the newly-formed Women's NBA in America. Regarded as one of the greatest female basketball players of all time, Swoopes is also an Olympic gold medallist and a trailblazer for the women's game. She talks to Ashley Byrne.
PHOTO: Sheryl Swoopes in action (Getty Images)
08/07/2017 • 8 minutes 54 seconds
Fred Perry - Tennis Legend
In the 1930s, Fred Perry won three Wimbledon tennis championships in a row, becoming a global celebrity. Simon Watts tells his story using BBC archive interviews with Perry and other players from a golden era of tennis.
PHOTO: Fred Perry in action at Wimbledon in the 1930s (Getty Images)
01/07/2017 • 8 minutes 54 seconds
The First Women's Cricket World Cup
In 1973, seven teams of women cricketers took part in the first ever Women's Cricket World Cup in England. The successful tournament changed perceptions of the women's game and blazed a trail for the men's version of the World Cup. Ashley Byrne talks to June Stephenson of England and Dorothy Hobson of the West Indies.
PHOTO: The victorious England women's team in 1973 (Getty Images)
26/06/2017 • 8 minutes 53 seconds
Maradona's Failed Doping Test
In June 1994 the Argentine soccer superstar failed a routine drugs test and was expelled from the USA 1994 World Cup. It signalled the end of his dazzling international career. Mike Lanchin has been speaking to Dr Roberto Peidro, who was part of Argentina's medical staff at the tournament.
Photo: Diego Maradona leaves the field for a routine drugs test, accompanied by a FIFA nurse, June 25 1994 (Getty)
17/06/2017 • 10 minutes 7 seconds
Tibet's Football Team
In 2001, a group of Tibetan exiles and a Danish ex-footballer teamed up to create the Tibetan national football team, in the face of many obstacles, including threats from China. Robert Nicholson talks to Michael Nybrandt and team captain Sonam Wangyal about their first ever game against Greenland.
PHOTO: The Tibetan team lining up for their match against Greenland (Getty Images)
10/06/2017 • 9 minutes 8 seconds
Celtic's "Lions of Lisbon" win the European Cup
In 1967, Celtic became the first club side in Britain to win the European Cup when they defeated Inter Milan 2-1 in the final in Lisbon. The so-called Lions of Lisbon were all Scots born within a few miles of Celtic's stadium. Simon Watts tells their story using archive from BBC Scotland.
PHOTO: Celtic just before the 1967 European Cup final in Lisbon (Getty Images)
03/06/2017 • 8 minutes 56 seconds
Francis Chichester Sails the World
In May 1967, the British sailor, Sir Francis Chichester, was given a hero's welcome when he completed an epic solo voyage around the world. Thanks to his frequent reports back to newspapers, the trip inspired millions of people, particularly schoolchildren. Simon Watts talks to Sir Francis Chichester's son, Giles.
(Photo: Sir Francis Chichester with well-wishers shortly after finishing his circumnavigation. Credit: Getty Images)
27/05/2017 • 8 minutes 53 seconds
Chrissie Wellington - The Iron Lady
In 2007, the British triathlete Chrissie Wellington was the surprise winner of the World Ironman Championship in Hawaii - the first in a series of victories and world records. Wellington only became a professional athlete in her late 20s after giving up a successful career in development. She talks to Lisa Needham. The programme is a Sparklab Production.
(Photo: Chrissie Wellington in action in a triathlon in Germany in 2011. Credit: Getty Images Sport)
20/05/2017 • 9 minutes 6 seconds
The 5:19 Football Riot in China
In May 1985, Hong Kong inflicted an unexpected defeat on their neighbours and rivals China in a World Cup qualifying game in Beijing. The disappointed Chinese fans rioted and the Hong Kong team had to flee to the safety of their hotel. They later returned home to a heroes' welcome. Ashley Byrne talks to Hong Kong captain, Lawrence Kee Yu Kam.The programme is a Made-In-Manchester Production.
(Photo: Lawrence Kee Yu Kam with a photo of his team celebrating in their hotel in 1985. Credit: Private Collection)
13/05/2017 • 8 minutes 53 seconds
Kerry Packer's Cricket Revolution
It is forty years since the international cricket world was thrown into chaos when an Australian media tycoon called Kerry Packer set up his own super league for the world’s best players. In 1977, he brought a brash new form of the game to television, featuring one day matches played under floodlights with white balls, and the players wearing coloured team strips rather than the traditional white clothing. Tayo Popoola hears the memories of Jeff Thomson of Australia, and Clive Lloyd of the West Indies, two of the players who signed for Packer, and risked never playing again for their country again. The programme is a Whistledown Production.
PHOTO: Kerry Packer fielding questions in 1977 (Getty Images)
06/05/2017 • 9 minutes 5 seconds
The Japanese Women's Football Team
In 2011, the Japanese Women's football team defied the odds to win the World Cup. It came as a badly needed boost for Japan which was recovering from a devastating earthquake and tsunami. Robert Nicholson speaks to Japan's star midfielder Mizuho Sakaguchi and coach Norio Sasaki.
Photo: The Japanese Women's team pose before the World Cup Final match between Japan and the USA in 2011. Credit:Johannes Eisele/AFP/Getty Images
29/04/2017 • 9 minutes 5 seconds
Simon Beresford – Marathon Runner with Down's Syndrome
In 2007, Simon Beresford became the first runner with Down's Syndrome to complete the London Marathon. Simon has gone on to run several more marathons and raise tens of thousands of dollars for charity. Rebecca Kesby met Simon, his running partner and his parents at their home in the English Midlands.
PHOTO: Simon Beresford and running partner, John Dawson (Family Collection)
22/04/2017 • 9 minutes 36 seconds
Janet Guthrie - First Woman at the Indy 500
In 1977, Janet Guthrie became the first woman to qualify for the Indianapolis 500 - the biggest race in American motorsport. Guthrie, a former aerospace engineer, had faced opposition and scepticism from male drivers and some sections of the press. She talks to Rachael Gillman.
(Photo: Janet Guthrie after qualifying for the Indianapolis 500 in 1977. Credit: Getty Images)
15/04/2017 • 9 minutes 8 seconds
In April 1977, Red Rum entered the history books when he became the first and only horse to win Britain's famous Grand National race three times. Red Rum and his trainer, Ginger McCain, became immensely popular figures in the world of racing and beyond. Simon Watts tells their story through the BBC archives.
PHOTO: Red Rum in the Grand National winner's enclosure in 1977 (Getty Images)
08/04/2017 • 9 minutes 4 seconds
The Rise and Fall of Parma Football Club
In the 1990s, the small Italian city of Parma had one of the most successful and entertaining teams in European football, winning several trophies and featuring great players such as Faustino Asprilla, Gianfranco Zola and Guinluigi Buffon. But FC Parma’s glory days were bankrolled by the Italian conglomerate, Parmalat, which later became embroiled in one the biggest corporate scandals in European history. FC Parma now languish in Italy’s third division. Nick Marsh talks to Parma super-fan, Vittorio Farnetti, and historian and former Parma resident, Tobias Jones.
(Photo: Parma's passionate fans in 1993. Credit: Getty Images)
01/04/2017 • 8 minutes 51 seconds
Kirsty Coventry - Zimbabwe's Golden Girl
In 2004, the Zimbabwean swimmer, Kirsty Coventry, won the first of two Olympic gold medals at the Athens games. By the end of her career, she would become the most decorated Olympian in African history and a hero in Zimbabwe, where President Robert Mugabe hailed her as a "Golden Girl". Kirsty Coventry talks to Nija Dalal-Small. The programme is a Sparklab Production.
PHOTO: Kirsty Coventry in action at the Olympics (Getty Images)
25/03/2017 • 8 minutes 56 seconds
Lucho Herrera - Colombian Tour de France Hero
In 1984, Lucho Herrera, a former gardener from the Colombian mountains, stunned the world of cycling by storming to victory on the most famous climb in the sport, the Alpe d'Huez. It was the beginning of a golden age for Colombian cyclists. Simon Watts talks to Lucho Herrera, and Colombian cycling fan, Matt Rendell, author of Kings of the Mountains.
PHOTO: Lucho Herrera on an Alpine stage in the 1980s (Rex).
18/03/2017 • 8 minutes 54 seconds
Pakistan Cricket Bus Attack
In March 2009, heavily-armed gunmen attacked buses carrying the touring Sri Lankan Cricket team and match officials to a game in the Pakistani city of Lahore. Rebecca Kesby speaks to Ahsan Raza, a Pakistani Umpire who was badly injured in the attack, and Chris Broad, the British referee credited with saving his life.
PHOTO: Pakistani police patrolling the cricket stadium in Lahore following the 2009 attack (Getty Images)
04/03/2017 • 9 minutes 14 seconds
Lionel Rose - Aboriginal Boxing Hero
In February 1968, the aboriginal fighter Lionel Rose was cheered by Australians of all races when he won the world bantamweight boxing title. Ashley Byrne talks to Rose's rival and later friend, Noel Kunde. The programme is a Made-In-Manchester Production.
PHOTO: Lionel Rose celebrating his world championship victory in 1968 (Getty Images)
25/02/2017 • 8 minutes 53 seconds
Nancy Kerrigan Attack
In January 1994, the US ice-skater Nancy Kerrigan was clubbed in the knee shortly after a training session, putting her Olympic hopes in jeopardy. To the shock of America, the plot was traced back to the entourage of one of Nancy Kerrigan's rivals, Tonya Harding. In 2012, Kerrigan's coach, Mary Scotvold, gave her first interview about the attack to Sporting Witness.
(Photo: Tonya Harding (left) and Nancy Kerrigan (right) during practise at the 1994 Winter Olympics. Credit: Getty Images)
18/02/2017 • 8 minutes 57 seconds
FC St Pauli - Germany's "Pirate" Football Club
In the 1980s, punks and squatters in the run-down port district of Hamburg began to adopt the local football team, FC St Pauli. They turned the club into a champion of left-wing politics and created such a good atmosphere at matches that FC St Pauli now attracts supporters from around the world. Results on the pitch are still poor, but on one memorable occasion in 2002, the team beat German giants, Bayern Munich. Claire Bowes talks to FC St Pauli fan, Sven Brux.
PHOTO: FC St Pauli fans flying their Pirate flags (Getty Images)
11/02/2017 • 8 minutes 57 seconds
Doug Williams - First Black Quarterback at the Superbowl
In 1988, Doug Williams of the Washington Redskins made history by becoming the first African-American quarterback to play in the Superbowl - the biggest sporting event in the USA. Williams overcame injury to lead the Redskins to an unexpected 42-10 win over the Denver Broncos. He speaks to Lisa Needham. The programme is a Sparklab Production.
PHOTO: Doug Williams in action at the 1988 Superbowl (Getty Images)
04/02/2017 • 8 minutes 51 seconds
South Korea's King of Computer Gaming
In the early 2000s, competitive computer-gaming, or eSports, began to take off in South Korea before spreading to the rest of the world. Ashley Byrne talks to e-gamer, Lim Yo-hwan, nicknamed Boxer, one of the biggest names in the new sport.
(Photo: An e-gamer taking part in a tournament in South Korea. Credit: Getty Images)