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)
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)
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)
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)
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)