Each programme in the Olympic Sports volume tells the story and development of an individual sport throughout the history of the Olympic Games, including interviews with current champions Pieter Van Den Hoogenband and Michael Phelps.
Athletics Athletics has traditionally been the centrepiece of the Olympic Games and the events on the track have always attracted the-biggest headlines. These three programmes chronicle the tales of heroes who have dominated their eras; those with the briefest of moments in the Olympic Games limelight; the unexpected winners and of course, the disappointed losers. The Sprinters The Sprinters catalogues the extraordinary Olympic Games achievements of the quickest men and women on earth. Included are the legendary Jesse Owens and Carl Lewis, each with 4 gold medals in the same Games and Michael Johnson, the supreme 400m champion. The programme includes interviews with Johnson and Fanny Blankers-Koen, who won 4 golds in London in 1948. The Middle Distance Runners Includes Paavo Nurmi, the "Flying Finn" who won 5 gold medals from 1,500 to 10,000 metres in Paris in 1924 and the great 1.500 metre runners. Herb Elliot, John Walker, Sebastian Coe and Hicham el Guerrouj who finally won gold in Athens in 2004. Drama and disappointment have their place in the Olympic Games story too, like the disqualification of the delirious Dorando Pietri first home in the 1908 marathon. Swimming and Diving Swimming has traditionally shared the limelight with athletics as one of the main sports at the Olympic Games. The first Olympic Games superstar swimmer was Johnny Weismuller who, was the first person to swim 100m in less than a minute and at the Olympics two years later won the gold medal for the 100m and the 400m Freestyle. However. Weismuller's record pails into insignificance compared to the 8 gold Medals that Michael Phelps achieved in Beijing 2008. Men's diving has been part of the Olympic Games programme since 1904 but it was really the Austrian born Klaus Dibiasi of Italy who attracted world media attention to the sport. The programme also includes the history of synchronised swimming and water polo, which provided such drama at Athens in 2004. Cycling Charting the history of heroes on two wheels at the Olympic Games, this is the definitive account of one of the most demanding of Olympic sports, with all the blood, sweat, and glory that cycling has graced the Games. From Aristidis Konstantinidis' triumph in the road race in Athens in 1896, through to Chris Hoy's dominance in the velodrome in Beijing in 2008.