Olympics Hopefuls Songs of Praise


Olympics Hopefuls

Dan Walker meets Marilyn Okoro, Anyika Onuora and the daughter of Olympian Eric Liddell, and introduces hymns from the Old Royal Naval College Chapel in Greenwich.


Similar Content

Browse content similar to Olympics Hopefuls. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!

Transcript


LineFromTo

14,000 competitors...

0:00:060:00:08

..from over 200 nations.

0:00:110:00:12

An audience of billions...

0:00:140:00:17

and the never-ending quest for faster, higher, stronger.

0:00:170:00:21

For the first time in a lifetime it's coming to these shores,

0:00:240:00:28

so this week, Songs Of Praise gets ready

0:00:280:00:30

for the greatest show on Earth.

0:00:300:00:32

With the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games

0:00:340:00:37

just around the corner,

0:00:370:00:39

we celebrate with great hymns from the Olympic borough of Greenwich.

0:00:390:00:43

We'll catch up with some of Team GB's elite athletes

0:00:430:00:45

and we've inspirational readings from star of Chariots Of Fire,

0:00:450:00:49

Nigel Havers.

0:00:490:00:50

I'm sure I wasn't the only one who watched the Olympic Games

0:00:590:01:01

as a kid on television and dreamed of one day being an Olympic champion.

0:01:010:01:05

The sad news is, my own sporting career peaked at the age of 12

0:01:070:01:10

and very little has been written about it.

0:01:100:01:13

But as a presenter, I've had the privilege of covering

0:01:130:01:15

some of the biggest sporting events in the world.

0:01:150:01:17

And they don't come much bigger than the Olympic Games.

0:01:170:01:20

For both sets of Games,

0:01:210:01:22

London has been split into six Olympic boroughs.

0:01:220:01:25

We're in one of them, Greenwich,

0:01:250:01:27

and you might recognise the grand buildings

0:01:270:01:29

of the Old Royal Naval College.

0:01:290:01:31

It's a place with surprising sporting pedigree.

0:01:310:01:35

Henry VIII jousted here and built tennis courts and a bowling alley,

0:01:350:01:39

and recent excavation work has unearthed some fascinating finds.

0:01:390:01:43

Old sporting equipment from the period

0:01:430:01:45

when this site was a Royal Hospital For Seamen,

0:01:450:01:47

where the disabled veterans played a series of fiercely competitive games in the grounds.

0:01:470:01:52

And soon, people from all over the world will be coming here

0:01:520:01:55

to see the 2012 equestrian events just across the road.

0:01:550:01:59

The chapel behind me is already a popular tourist attraction.

0:02:010:02:04

Many come here for a peek and a wander,

0:02:040:02:06

but it's also a thriving place of worship,

0:02:060:02:09

and the setting for all our hymns on Songs Of Praise this week.

0:02:090:02:12

We'll kick off with Love Divine, All Loves Excelling.

0:02:120:02:15

This is the Lee Valley specialist training facility in London.

0:05:500:05:54

It's a second home to many Team GB athletes,

0:05:540:05:57

including sprinter Anyika Onuora.

0:05:570:06:00

-ANNOUNCER:

-'And Onoura's going to take this.'

0:06:000:06:02

We met up with her during her final preparations

0:06:020:06:05

for the most important races of her life.

0:06:050:06:08

It's pressure but it's a good pressure.

0:06:080:06:11

You have uncertainty and doubt and that's OK.

0:06:110:06:14

That's never a bad thing.

0:06:140:06:16

I'm sure someone who does the average nine to five has an off day,

0:06:160:06:19

but it's how you pick yourself up,

0:06:190:06:22

remembering God never took you this far to fail you.

0:06:220:06:26

It's my gift given from him,

0:06:270:06:30

so my gift back is to make sure I become one of the best in the world.

0:06:300:06:35

We know you've got a strong Christian faith.

0:06:350:06:37

I just wondered how you square that. When you're on the track,

0:06:370:06:40

how does that sit with that ultra-competitive edge

0:06:400:06:44

that you've clearly got?

0:06:440:06:46

You want to melt the person next to you!

0:06:460:06:50

I want to melt them, take them out, do whatever I can to destroy them.

0:06:500:06:54

I have that edge, that competitive edge,

0:06:560:06:58

but also the faith that helps me.

0:06:580:07:02

He's just there to help you along the way,

0:07:020:07:05

and to hopefully watch you achieve what is that you're trying to do.

0:07:050:07:09

Marilyn Okoro is also based at Lee Valley.

0:07:110:07:14

She's an 800 metre specialist,

0:07:140:07:16

but has a shot at Olympic glory in the women's 4x400 relay team.

0:07:160:07:20

I'm so excited to have an Olympics in, essentially, my home town.

0:07:220:07:27

I can quite easily be at the centre

0:07:290:07:31

from nine in the morning till six in the evening.

0:07:310:07:33

It's a massive sacrifice for me.

0:07:330:07:35

I don't get to spend a lot of time with my loved ones

0:07:350:07:37

and people I really want to spend time with.

0:07:370:07:39

But I really felt I was called to do what I'm doing on tracks.

0:07:390:07:44

You said you called to do what you're doing.

0:07:440:07:47

How important is your faith in God

0:07:470:07:50

to who you are now and who you are when you're on the track?

0:07:500:07:53

My faith is massive. God is at the centre of it all.

0:07:530:07:56

I really believe if not for him I wouldn't be doing this.

0:07:560:08:00

Where he's brought me from to this is just amazing,

0:08:000:08:03

and I just feel like I am a testament of his grace over my life.

0:08:030:08:08

Do you pray to win or do you pray to compete well?

0:08:080:08:13

I used to pray to win all the time.

0:08:130:08:14

"Lord, please let me win. Amen, thanks."

0:08:140:08:17

Erm... Yeah, but it doesn't work like that.

0:08:170:08:19

-ANNOUNCER:

-'Marilyn Okoro, she's really going to have to work hard.'

0:08:190:08:24

There's been so many up and downs,

0:08:240:08:26

and challenges and I've wanted to walk away so many times,

0:08:260:08:30

and that's when my faith really became massive.

0:08:300:08:33

It was like, "Are you going to believe who Christ says you are,

0:08:330:08:37

"or are you just going to let this take over?"

0:08:370:08:40

I would love to win a medal,

0:08:400:08:42

but if all I do in this team is just let one other person find Christ,

0:08:420:08:48

I'm happy with that as well.

0:08:480:08:51

Filmmakers have tried for decades to immortalise sporting heroes,

0:11:330:11:38

often with mixed results.

0:11:380:11:39

After all, there's nothing quite like live sport.

0:11:390:11:42

But for me, there's one film that stands out above all others,

0:11:420:11:45

an Oscar-winning masterpiece

0:11:450:11:47

charting the story of a rather special Scotsman.

0:11:470:11:50

The music wasn't bad either.

0:11:500:11:52

Be honest, at some stage we've all been inspired

0:11:520:11:54

to try a little slow motion running.

0:11:540:11:57

MUSIC: Theme from "Chariots Of Fire"

0:11:570:12:00

Chariots Of Fire charts the progress of two British sprinters

0:12:000:12:03

preparing for the 1924 Olympic Games,

0:12:030:12:05

Harold Abrahams and Eric Liddell.

0:12:050:12:08

A strong Christian, Eric refused to run in the 100 metres,

0:12:080:12:12

his favoured event, as the heats were run on a Sunday.

0:12:120:12:15

Instead, he ran in the 400 metres and won gold.

0:12:150:12:18

The Eric Liddell story has inspired many over the years,

0:12:200:12:24

but for me, it's not so much what he achieved on the track,

0:12:240:12:27

but the Christian life he lived off it.

0:12:270:12:29

He spent much of his later life as a missionary in China,

0:12:290:12:32

but it was here at Eltham College where he was educated,

0:12:320:12:35

just a stone's throw from Greenwich.

0:12:350:12:38

We are quite literally looking for Eric.

0:12:380:12:40

So where is he, fellas?

0:12:400:12:42

Here he is. He was captain of the cricket in 1919.

0:12:420:12:45

Skipper in the middle, obviously.

0:12:450:12:47

Yeah. He's...

0:12:470:12:49

-There with his brother.

-OK. This is his eldest brother.

0:12:490:12:53

I think the great thing about Eric Liddell

0:12:530:12:55

is that you hear about his story from day one.

0:12:550:12:58

When I joined in Year Three, everyone would sit in the pews at the front

0:12:580:13:02

and look at the stained-glass window.

0:13:020:13:04

I think, obviously, it's incredible that you can firstly be an Olympian,

0:13:040:13:08

but the fact that you can sacrifice potential success,

0:13:080:13:11

obviously he didn't run on the Sunday, he didn't run the 110 yards,

0:13:110:13:15

he was willing to sacrifice his success

0:13:150:13:18

just to prove how strong his faith was.

0:13:180:13:20

And to say, "Look, I'm not running, that's the way I'm going to do it.

0:13:200:13:24

"I'll run the 400 if I have to."

0:13:240:13:25

I think that also shows the selfless nature of Eric Liddell.

0:13:250:13:29

And in his later life, he went out to China to do missionary work,

0:13:290:13:34

which is a very selfless thing to do.

0:13:340:13:36

He's leaving everything he knows behind, to a foreign country.

0:13:360:13:40

And it shows how selfless he is.

0:13:400:13:43

His brother was a brilliant athlete, as well.

0:13:430:13:45

I remember looking at the records

0:13:450:13:47

and he was only 16, his brother was 18.

0:13:470:13:50

And they held every record for every event.

0:13:500:13:55

First and second, first and second.

0:13:550:13:57

It's just amazing that they have stood for such a long time, as well.

0:13:570:14:01

I've been reliably informed you're a bit of a speedster,

0:14:010:14:04

so how close to the 110 yards do you get?

0:14:040:14:07

I'm nowhere near the standard of Eric Liddell.

0:14:070:14:09

You've got a bit of work to do?

0:14:090:14:11

I've still got a lot of work to do, actually.

0:14:110:14:13

Character-wise, as well.

0:14:130:14:15

If you come to school at Eltham College, which has its heritage

0:14:160:14:20

and you're educated in the context of Eric Liddell and his values,

0:14:200:14:23

it's not the sort of thing you forget.

0:14:230:14:25

Eric Liddell was just a fantastic man.

0:14:260:14:28

You've been taught to live your life the way Eric Liddell lived his.

0:14:280:14:33

Model ours around his.

0:14:330:14:35

He wouldn't approve of us saying that

0:14:350:14:36

because he would want us to say we should live our life like Christ.

0:14:360:14:39

But if we could get close to Eric Liddell,

0:14:390:14:41

that would be great as well.

0:14:410:14:42

Have you not known?

0:14:500:14:52

Have you not heard?

0:14:520:14:54

The everlasting God, the Lord,

0:14:540:14:57

the creator of the ends of the earth,

0:14:570:14:59

neither faints nor is weary.

0:14:590:15:03

His understanding is unsearchable.

0:15:030:15:06

He gives power to the weak.

0:15:060:15:08

And to those who have no might,

0:15:080:15:10

he increases strength.

0:15:100:15:12

Even the youths shall faint and be weary.

0:15:120:15:16

And the young men shall utterly fall.

0:15:160:15:18

But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength.

0:15:180:15:23

They shall mount up with wings like eagles.

0:15:230:15:26

They shall run and not be weary.

0:15:260:15:28

They shall walk and not faint.

0:15:290:15:33

The winner of Year Seven 100 metres and 200 metres...

0:17:480:17:53

Eric Liddell's spirit lives on in Eltham College,

0:17:530:17:56

not least at the annual sports day, where he first showed his running talents.

0:17:560:18:00

But this year, they welcomed a very special guest.

0:18:000:18:03

Patricia Liddell Russell is the eldest daughter of Eric Liddell,

0:18:030:18:06

and she made a rare visit to the UK from her home in Canada

0:18:060:18:09

to present the sports day prizes

0:18:090:18:11

and share her memories with Songs of Praise.

0:18:110:18:14

The last time I saw him, I was actually six-years-old.

0:18:160:18:20

And people say, how can you remember anything from six?

0:18:200:18:23

But I remember that summer in Scotland

0:18:230:18:26

as, er...one of the most wonderful summers that we've ever had.

0:18:260:18:32

And he... SHE CHUCKLES

0:18:320:18:34

He was lots of fun. He was lots of fun.

0:18:340:18:37

He had a winning personality.

0:18:370:18:40

People just loved him.

0:18:400:18:42

And his faith sort of shone out of him.

0:18:420:18:46

He loved to run. He loved to run.

0:18:480:18:50

And I think it expressed his joy of life.

0:18:500:18:53

MUSIC: Theme from "Chariots of Fire"

0:18:530:18:55

The film touches on the Olympics and the struggle,

0:19:010:19:04

the difference between the two runners. The dynamics.

0:19:040:19:08

But his real life began after the Olympics.

0:19:080:19:13

And the important part.

0:19:130:19:15

As my mother said, he very seldom spoke about the Olympics.

0:19:150:19:19

It was great fun.

0:19:190:19:22

But there were other things that had to be done

0:19:220:19:25

that were more important.

0:19:250:19:26

At the height of his fame, Eric left for China

0:19:280:19:31

to follow in his family's footsteps as a missionary.

0:19:310:19:34

Two decades later, the Second World War made China a dangerous place

0:19:340:19:37

and Eric sent his wife and his young family to the safety of Canada.

0:19:370:19:42

But he stayed behind. He continued to serve others,

0:19:420:19:45

even when interned in a Japanese prison camp,

0:19:450:19:48

before falling ill just months before the end of the war.

0:19:480:19:52

I think he thought he'd had a nervous breakdown and this,

0:19:520:19:56

this was distressing to him

0:19:560:19:58

because he thought his faith should be strong enough to carry him through.

0:19:580:20:02

And, of course, he had an extraordinary, extraordinary faith.

0:20:020:20:05

But he had a brain tumour growing.

0:20:050:20:09

And at the end, and they had a hospital there,

0:20:090:20:12

and he asked the band, I think it was a Salvation Army band,

0:20:120:20:17

to play his favourite hymn.

0:20:170:20:19

And they played outside the window.

0:20:190:20:22

Be Still My Soul, to the tune of Finlandia.

0:20:220:20:27

This hymn has always been very special to us as a family.

0:20:280:20:33

Somehow, it just brings us closer to him.

0:20:350:20:38

MUSIC: "Be Still My Soul"

0:20:390:20:41

I wish I'd known him more.

0:20:470:20:50

I knew him through my mother and as a small child.

0:20:500:20:53

But one of my sons said the other day,

0:20:530:20:55

"Gosh, Mum, I wish I'd known him.

0:20:550:20:58

"You know? I wish I had known him."

0:20:580:21:00

And I said, "Don't we all."

0:21:000:21:03

Yeah.

0:21:030:21:04

A bronze medallist at the Paralympic World Cup,

0:23:450:23:48

Anne Wafula Strike made history in 2004

0:23:480:23:51

when she became the first wheelchair racer from East Africa

0:23:510:23:54

to compete at the Paralympic Games.

0:23:540:23:57

Having moved to the UK with her English husband,

0:23:570:24:00

she now hopes to represent Team GB at London 2012.

0:24:000:24:03

But when she was growing up in Kenya

0:24:030:24:06

and learning to live with a disability from childhood polio,

0:24:060:24:09

she didn't even know the Games existed.

0:24:090:24:11

It's been a long journey, but, um...

0:24:130:24:16

I mean, what I can say, it's been a blessing.

0:24:160:24:19

It was very difficult growing up with a disability.

0:24:200:24:23

Both for myself and my family.

0:24:230:24:25

There was a lot of stigma attached to a disability in Africa

0:24:250:24:28

and so many people thought I'd been bewitched.

0:24:280:24:31

They thought it was witchcraft.

0:24:310:24:34

And some people thought it was a punishment from God.

0:24:340:24:37

You know, when I was growing up, I used to be very angry at God.

0:24:380:24:43

But I look back and I say that

0:24:430:24:46

God wanted me to go through that.

0:24:460:24:49

I knew that I could still serve God.

0:24:490:24:53

I could still tell the world that God loves us the way we are.

0:24:530:24:58

Where did you start becoming interested?

0:24:590:25:01

Where did you start to realise you had real talent for athletics?

0:25:010:25:04

The year the Commonwealth Games were being held in Manchester.

0:25:040:25:07

-2002?

-In 2002, yeah.

0:25:070:25:10

And I remember sitting in my front room going through the channels

0:25:100:25:13

and I saw these amazing women in their racing chairs.

0:25:130:25:18

And I was, like, this is what I want to do.

0:25:180:25:21

"I could do that."

0:25:210:25:23

I said, I want to do that and I want to be competitive

0:25:230:25:25

and I want to beat some of them.

0:25:250:25:27

In 2004, I qualified to go to Athens.

0:25:270:25:31

That was my first Paralympics.

0:25:310:25:34

It was amazing.

0:25:340:25:37

I mean, the atmosphere was just electrifying.

0:25:370:25:39

I know that I'm not just defined by the medals,

0:25:430:25:46

I'm not defined by how many world records I've broken.

0:25:460:25:49

To me, every day is an achievement.

0:25:490:25:53

Just for me to get on the start line,

0:25:530:25:55

push and get to the finish line.

0:25:550:25:58

It's an achievement.

0:25:580:26:00

# Here's to the heroes

0:26:030:26:08

# Those few who dare

0:26:080:26:14

# Heading for glory

0:26:140:26:21

# Living a prayer

0:26:210:26:27

# Here's to the heroes

0:26:270:26:34

# Who change our lives

0:26:340:26:39

# Thanks to the heroes

0:26:390:26:46

# Freedom survives

0:26:460:26:52

# Here's to the heroes

0:27:010:27:08

# Who never rest

0:27:080:27:14

# They are the chosen

0:27:140:27:19

# We are the blessed

0:27:190:27:25

# Here's to the heroes

0:27:250:27:32

# Who aim so high

0:27:320:27:38

# Here's to the heroes

0:27:380:27:44

# Who do or die

0:27:440:27:50

# Here's to the heroes

0:27:500:27:56

# Who aim so high

0:27:560:28:02

# Here's to the heroes

0:28:020:28:09

# Who do or die

0:28:090:28:15

# Here's to the heroes

0:28:160:28:24

# Who do

0:28:260:28:34

# Or die. #

0:28:340:28:42

Therefore we also,

0:28:540:28:56

since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses,

0:28:560:28:59

let us lay aside every weight,

0:28:590:29:01

and the sin which so easily ensnares us,

0:29:010:29:05

and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,

0:29:050:29:08

looking unto Jesus,

0:29:080:29:10

the author and finisher of our faith.

0:29:100:29:13

Who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross,

0:29:130:29:17

despising the shame,

0:29:170:29:19

and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

0:29:190:29:24

You might be one of those

0:29:270:29:28

who thinks the Olympic Games are just that, games.

0:29:280:29:31

But there are times when sport can inspire like nothing else.

0:29:310:29:35

And who knows how many of those magical moments we'll see in that very stadium

0:29:350:29:38

and the other Olympic venues over the coming weeks.

0:29:380:29:41

I'll let you in on a secret,

0:29:410:29:43

I'm quite excited.

0:29:430:29:44

Thanks for watching and goodbye.

0:29:440:29:46

Next week, it's the final Olympic countdown.

0:33:290:33:33

Aled will be taking a look around some of the Olympic venues

0:33:330:33:37

before the crowds arrive and talking to rower Debbie Flood

0:33:370:33:40

about going for gold this summer.

0:33:400:33:42

All that, with the usual offering of fantastic music.

0:33:420:33:45

Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

0:33:480:33:52

Dan Walker meets gold medal hopefuls Marilyn Okoro and Anyika Onuora, the daughter of Chariots of Fire Olympian Eric Liddell and introduces hymns from the Old Royal Naval College Chapel in Greenwich and Amore, who sing Here's to the Heroes.


Download Subtitles

SRT

ASS