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-'Here's Kelly Holmes.'
-'The crowd are on their feet!'
'What a start!'
'Denise Lewis - Olympic champion!'
'And Rebecca Adlington is bringing it home...'
'Great Britain get the gold medal!'
'Kelly Holmes for Great Britain! What a performance!'
'Is the Olympic champion!'
'You were absolutely brilliant!'
'Great Britain takes gold!'
The British Olympic Ball,
usually it would mark the end of another year of fierce competition
for many of our finest sportsmen and women.
But this year, a trip down the golden carpet will only serve to remind them
of just how close they are to competing at London 2012.
And here is where it will all start come next July.
The track set to be graced by the likes of Mo Farah and Jessica Ennis
is now in place waiting for the Games to begin.
And in this edition of British Olympic Dreams,
we bring you shooting stars and a very special guest
with a British Olympic dream of his own.
But first, perhaps the most individual single-minded of events -
Paula Radcliffe is the fastest woman in history over the gruelling distance,
but so far Olympic success has eluded her
with illness and injury blighting her campaigns in Athens and Beijing.
Now a mother of two, the former world champion made a successful return to action in Berlin
and is ready to focus everything on one last shot at gold at London 2012.
Eddie Butler gives us his take on this fascinating story.
Sometimes it's not entirely obvious
that there can be any pleasure in doing this.
'And there is Paula Radcliffe,
'her Olympic dream is absolutely shattered.'
And, sometimes, it's all too clear that there isn't any pleasure at all.
'She's stopping. Paula Radcliffe has stepped off the track.'
Over the course of two hours and 20 odd minutes -
depending on the heat, the contours, the pace, the pain -
a lot can go through the mind of an athlete, some of it negative.
Can I still do this?
What I notice more is that it just takes me longer to recover
as I'm getting older.
So I'll do a really good session
and I'll think, "Yeah, that's great.
"That felt really good. I felt like I did ten years ago running."
And then, I'll go out the next day and I think,
"God, I feel like a granny today."
It's not so, so important to me that I'm going to make it
so that I can't still run for pleasure for as long as I want to do
and I'm not going to still be able
to run around with the kids in five years.
I'm not going to push it to that point.
But what do the only really important people in my life think about what I do?
I really want to obviously be the best that I can for them.
But then, that's so much bigger than just being the best that I can on the track.
So I then go through all these guilty things.
"Oh, if I'm focused on my training, am I being as good a mother as I should be?"
And that's kind of more important to them obviously,
it is that I am the best mother that I can be.
I don't think it really matters to them.
Isla knows that I go out and run, but she just says to me,
"Mum, why do you want to run faster than anyone? It doesn't matter anyway."
It would be quite rational, even when the brain is not stressed,
to work out an argument for stopping for good. End of.
'She had to come here and perform well.
'She had to come here and post a time and she's done that.'
But when this is what you do
and when you know you can do it as well as this,
then it is never easy to stop.
I would find it very, very hard to drop out of a race now,
even if I know, or I knew in my mind, that it was the best thing to do.
Even running in New York in 2001,
I can remember actually going through in the race and thinking,
"If I didn't have all that history, I probably would just step off,
"because I'm injured and I'm making this worse and it's silly.
"And I'm not even going to get a good result out of it."
But then, the other part of your brain is thinking,
"No, it's just...the repercussions it would cause are just not worth the hassle.
"You might as well just run on."
But that was just for New York.
I mean, if it had been at Olympic Games,
I definitely wouldn't even have been thinking about finishing.
And part of that is because of the criticism and everything from Athens,
but part of it is also because it is the Olympics Games
and you still, you still keep trying, you still keep fighting in there.
And in the mind of an athlete who does this for a living and for love,
then the thought of carrying on, not stopping, is a driving force
through the pain barrier because there is a goal.
If I didn't have London 2012 to look to,
maybe I would have thought, "You know what, I've done a lot."
But then, I had a couple of weeks where I just thought,
"I'm not going to this any more."
And two days later, I'm back there,
"No, I still want to do it, I still want to do this, I want to try and do it."
# The sun is filling up the room
# And I can hear you dreaming
# Do you feel the way I do
# Right now? #
I think if I look at my career,
the Olympics is missing I feel that I haven't yet gone
and performed as well as I was capable of doing,
especially in the marathon.
I'm a big believer in perseverance and I think, "Well, I've been to four Olympic Games.
"Surely the fifth one I'm going to get a little bit of luck."
And, even if it appears that there may not be much pleasure in doing this,
this is a passion, this is a beautiful obsession that obvious pain cannot hide.
I know that if people are looking at it from the outside,
yeah, on paper, it's not my best shot.
I am going to be 38 and it's probably not the strongest chance I'm ever going to have.
The most important thing is to be there healthy on the day
and just to enjoy it
and what I really want is to run well in an Olympics and just to walk away and say,
"Yeah, I gave it 100%.
"And, OK, maybe it wasn't at the peak of my career,
"but it was the best that I could do and it was a good result."
Now, I defy anyone not to enjoy coming to this colourful arena
to watch handball next year.
The sport itself is fast, furious and might just be one of the stars of the Games.
Britain's women are certainly hoping to make an impression here.
We hooked up with them as the Army put them through their paces.
Check, one, two!
Today, we're going to take them through a typical day
that we would give the young lads and lassies who want to join the Army,
so we're going to put them through the Physical Selection Standard.
Bring the knees up.
-How many are you going for?
I couldn't grab the bar. My makeup is all sweated off.
We've just realised they've lifted 30 kilo,
which is what they need to get in the Army.
That's a very good standard, so, yeah, very impressive.
This is awesome!
It really has been good fun.
The food you get is really quite good.
It's full of protein, full of energy and they should enjoy it.
Mm, rice pudding. Yummy!
-Do you want tuna pasta?
-No, thank you.
-Do you want paella?
-No, thank you.
Do you want sweet Thai salmon?
Look at all the worms!
You're going to work as a team to get across whatever obstacle we put in front of you.
I think it's really good for us,
like, especially to know when to talk and who's good at what,
and that's something that we really use in handball as well.
It's good to see if we could get in the Army.
-Really good effort.
-Would you sign them up?
Differently. Now, get them in, get them in.
My British Olympic dream, along with Chris' as well, would be to medal.
That'd be why I am here every day,
why I've played this sport since I was four years old,
and why so many people have put their effort and time into helping me get there.
Now, we welcome a special guest star to the show - Ian Thorpe.
OK, so he's not actually British,
but he does have a very British Olympic dream,
as it was a trip to this building under construction
that persuaded him to end five years of retirement from swimming.
Nick Hope was granted exclusive access to his secret Swiss training base
ahead of his imminent return to competition.
'I am actually more worried about if I can do this.
'I don't think anyone's done this before.
'I think, with the timeframe that I have, realistically, it's probably too short.
'There's all of these things going against me.'
Chances are I am going to fail at this
and I've actually...I've become comfortable with that.
'In my mind, this is helping me, you know, it's making it harder.
'So, you know, I am more focused.'
It's the worst possible career move you can make.
But it didn't do this for my career, I did this because I wanted to swim again.
It just happened one day
I was flying from Chicago to London
and I was on the plane and, you know, I was watching a bad movie,
as we all do on planes
and, you know, I thought about swimming again.
'It was the first time that those reasons why I wouldn't want to swim
'didn't seem as significant as they had previously.
'So this was very strange for me
'because I'd been so dismissive of it before.'
I was in London, actually doing some work for the BBC,
'and I actually, I went to the pool and it was still being built, you know,
'but I could kind of hear what the crowd would be like and kind of smell what it would be like.'
That kind of gives you a bit of a spur along.
But then, you know, I had to sit for a few more days and kind of wait.
And then I jumped on a plane back to Australia and I started training when I got back home.
'When I started, I had to have this strategy
'of doing this under the radar, kind of thing.
'And so, I was training, I think, at seven or eight different pools throughout Sydney,'
so that I didn't appear to be at a pool more than once per week.
'You know, it seems a little crazy, a little paranoid,
'but I realised that, at the very beginning,'
if people were to sniff that I was thinking about doing this,
I would have run a million miles.
I had to work out, you know, what this was like,
what swimming was like again.
Thorpe did travel a few miles though, around 10,000,
swapping Sydney for Swiss surroundings at a town called Locarno.
'The decision to come to Switzerland was based on the coaches here.
'Gennadi Touretski, who I think is the best sprint freestyle coach in the world.'
So, you know, that was the main reason
and then, when I did arrive here, it wasn't this beautiful.
It was actually quite overcast and then, the sky opened up
and I realised the training was going to become a whole lot easier,
'even in the kind of motivating setting that I'm in.'
I think I'm in the best part of Switzerland.
It's kind of, it's the Italian part,
which most people forget outside of Switzerland.
So it's kind of, you know, the best of an Italian lifestyle,
but with Swiss organisation around it.
So things work still, everything's on time.
But you get that kind of Italian, kind of casual lifestyle.
And how have you found sort of getting used to the language difference and things?
I take lessons, I take a lot of lessons.
Oh, un espresso per me e...
-Yeah, e per te, due espresso, per favore.
-Si, grazie mille.
As soon as, I think, everyone in the town knows now that I am taking lessons,
and so, everyone's very forgiving of my Italian.
Before and after training, I get spotted a little
but, you know, people keep to themselves mostly here, you know.
And most swimmers try and keep to themselves.
You know, people seek the heaven of the water to be left alone.
So we have that in common.
Yeah, great comebacks always stir attention
and Thorpe's had to deal with that from a very early age.
I grew up in front of the camera
and people, you know, tend to feel this sense of ownership
over people that have been exposed to them like that.
'For me, going to my first Olympics, I was a household name.
'One on side, I was world champion, world record holder
'and, on the other side of the coin,'
you have a child who grew up in this town,
who never thought that they'd be swimming at these Olympic Games
because they'd be two young, they were 17,
they were inexperienced in competition,
they'd never been to the Olympic Games.
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
'My heat swim was terrible, I felt hopeless.
'And I wasn't sure before this race, you know,'
I was expected to win it,
but I wasn't sure until, you know, basically I...
When I was introduced to the crowd,
and I knew the crowd would cheer for me a lot,
but I didn't anticipate how much they'd yell.
And I couldn't help but smile.
'And it was at this point that, you know, all of that doubt went away
'and I was ready to race.
'And it became my race again at that stage.'
'An absolutely unbelievable swim.
'Oh, what a god he is!'
Thorpe is nearing his competitive comeback
and is set for his first race next month,
at a World Cup meet in Singapore.
'I'm where I thought I'd be.'
Plus or minus 5% and I won't tell people which way that is
because I am a little bit confused now
'which side that actually falls on.'
'What would represent success for 2012?'
'My goal at the start, and this will remain my goal through the Olympics,
'was to be able to swim faster than I used to be able to swim.
'The thing about the London Games, what would be great is,
'it's a nation that love sport, you know,
'probably the most important thing as to what is going to be a great Games.'
For me, it's probably the closest thing that I'm ever going to feel
to having a second home Olympics
unless I'm still swimming when I'm 100-and-something years old.
Sadly, there will be no more medal opportunities for Ian Thorpe in London.
All his training in Switzerland couldn't get him back to his best
and he hasn't qualified for the Australian team.
We now move from Torpedoes to shotguns.
Britain's outstanding medal hope in shooting is Peter Wilson,
a farmer's son who took up the sport by chance.
He's since risen to the top of the world rankings,
with help from an unlikely source, as Noel Sliney discovers.
'I started shooting after a freak accident in the Val d'Isere.
'I ended up having to stop playing cricket and squash,
'and took up shooting full-time.
'A few years later I met Ian Coley at Bisley,'
that's the National Clay Shooting Centre.
'As a result, I ended up training with the Great Britain team.'
Four months after that,
I won the European Junior Championships out in Maribor.
And , yeah, by then I was completely hooked and I absolutely loved it.
Moving to 2008 and the Beijing Olympics,
and I wasn't shooting my absolute best,
'I'd be the first to admit that.
'But also I lost all my funding due to the cuts to UK sport.
'There's only a few people left on the programme,'
the majority were taken off, one of which was me.
Having lost absolutely everything, all my funding,
everything just was dropped overnight,
I then was picked up by Sheikh Ahmed Al Maktoum from the UAE
'who was Olympic gold medallist in Athens.
'We were having a chat, and I said, "I'm really struggling,'
"I could do with some help. I want to move my shooting forward
"and it looks highly likely now that I'll be coming off the programme and lose all my funding."
'He was keen to coach someone and he saw, you know, a talent in me,'
and I was just over the moon to think that he would ever consider me.
'We talk a lot on the phone
'and I spend a lot of February out in Dubai at his range in Nad Al Sheba.'
So I don't see him a great deal,
he doesn't spend a huge amount of time in the UK,
a fraction in the UK, so it's exciting to be able to work together.
I don't need to see him every single day,
I just need to work on things that are important to my technique,
and a lot can be done over the phone.
We started working three years ago,
and since then, I've set the new British record.
That was about ten days ago now. I shot 149 out of 150.
'I've won a World Cup - shooting just one off the world record,
'I shot 195 targets.
'And really everything back in the UK has been going phenomenally well.'
My training's been fantastic. The GB trials,
we've had five this year, I've won all five.
I don't think that had ever been done before.
So back in the UK training
'and competition has been going brilliantly.
'And abroad I got ranked number one in the world last month.'
I'll end the year ranked top five in the world,
and this has been slowly building up over the last three years.
So we don't tend to dominate the world overnight,
we tend to take little steps at a time,
with the sole goal and purpose of 2012 in mind.
It's not a cheap sport, but the kit themselves,
'this gun would set me back about, if I were to buy it today,
'about £10,000, which is a huge amount of money.
'Cartridges obviously cost a great deal, clays,
'and then flying all over the world.
'We don't look to spend money like water.'
Everyone's trying to save money here, there and everywhere,
and it is tough, it's a very expensive sport.
Spending a lot of money, but I hope it's worth it
in the sense that we'll bring back some medals in 2012.
I'm pretty level-headed, I like to think I am.
I'm just enjoying every day. I train every day I'm able to get out and shoot,
and it's fantastic if my results are showing I'm in the top ten in the world.
And if I'm the only one in Great Britain, that's great.
I believe we've got a strong chance as a team, an Olympic shooting team, to win medals,
and if that means I can bring back gold, that would be absolutely fantastic.
I'd love to go there and put in a clean qualifications
with the team and individually to make the all-round final and the team final,
and then who knows what would happen in that final.
It's going to be a lot of hard work, especially during the winter,
but you've just got to be disciplined and keep your eye on the goal.
Hi, I'm Mhairi Spence and I'm a modern pentathlete for Great Britain.
MUSIC: "James Bond Theme"
Did you see the light flash? I thought it flashed.
That's quite cool.
So we used to shoot with air pistols
and now we shoot with these specially-designed laser guns.
We've changed to these lasers
because the governing body says they are safer,
so more countries can use them.
They are also much more spectator-friendly.
This gun here is a lot heavier and there's no recoil,
which makes it feel quite different.
BOND THEME CONTINUES
This change is the same for everyone,
but we just have to learn to adapt quickly
ahead of the Olympic Games next year.
Now, it's about time I welcomed you to the canoe slalom course
here at the Lee Valley White Water Centre.
Be gentle with me, guys. OK?
-Here we go. Let's go!
I can perfectly vouch that the canoe slalom
will be an incredible ride come the summer of 2012.
'It's a new world record!'
'Two gold medals!'
'This man is unstoppable!'
Still very much under construction here at the Olympic Park
is the ArcelorMittal Orbit.
Designed by artist Anish Kapoor and engineer Cecil Balmond,
the sculpture towers over the Olympic Stadium,
at just shy of 115 metres tall,
to provide stunning views to visitors during the Games.
Now, boxing could be a key sport for Britain at the London Games,
as their four-medal haul at the World Championships in Azerbaijan recently proved.
Despite it being only his first trip to the Worlds,
Anthony Joshua was one of the big success stories.
Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome to the ring,
representing England, Anthony Joshua!
'Assassin on the outside and a warrior on the inside.'
He's very much a mummy's boy,
but then to see him in the boxing ring,
a totally different person.
I thought, is he going to be serious enough to box?
But then you see a different side to him.
When he got in sparring,
that friendly side goes and he's Mr Nasty.
'Silver medal, Joshua, Anthony, England!'
I was ranked number 46 in the world before I went.
I thought, "Fair enough."
It's amazing to be ranked number two in the world now,
and I was just one point away, so it's an amazing accomplishment.
You doing all right? You all right? Nice to see you again.
-Meet the family.
-Let's do that.
This is my mum, this is my cousin Mariah,
a good friend and our family friend Priscilla.
And this is me. Welcome to my home.
What kind of viewer would you say you are when Anthony's fighting?
I've never been to any of the fights,
and I think Anthony told me on one occasion not to come
because he knows what I'm like.
The one fight I've watched was the fight in Baku with the Azerbaijani.
And I watched that with a towel over my face in the corner of the room,
trembling and really nervous.
But, you know, at the end of the day, whatever sport he chooses,
I've got to support him.
Anthony, just tell us,
why the sport of boxing?
Physique, being strong,
healthy, they were the main reasons.
And then when I got into boxing,
it was the discipline that I needed at the time.
-We're proud of you, Josh.
Finchley ABC, where the hard work started, my gym where I train,
where I get down and dirty, put in work.
This is the beginning - my heart and love.
We've never trained someone with so much power.
He broke my wrist, so I know he can punch.
Just that will, he just won't give up,
and that's what all great fighters have got.
I'm sure everyone will advise me,
and I advise myself to keep my feet on the ground as well.
Just got my family, the people that care for me, my coaches.
When he comes in the gym, he's not a star, he's just another boxer.
And if he starts like thinking he is a star,
he's soon told and put into line.
How good can he be? How far can he go?
As long as he lives right, doesn't get carried away with what everybody's saying,
knuckles down in the gym, he'll go to the top.
I see him going as far as Lennox Lewis.
I'm very proud, very, very proud of what he's achieved.
Although I still say to myself, "Why boxing?"
when I watch the fight.
But, you know, I'm very, very proud of him
and I think he's achieved quite a lot in a very short space of time.
How often have you allowed yourself to visualise
standing atop that gold medal rostrum?
What, at the Olympics?
This is the first time, when you asked me just then!
That is the first time I've pictured myself standing on the number-one podium holding a gold medal.
That is the first time I've actually visioned it.
What does it feel like?
It feels like what I should be doing, it feels right.
Now, where to watch the best of British at the Games?
The opening ceremony takes place on July 27th
with Mark Cavendish straight into action in the men's road race
from The Mall to Surrey and back the next day.
Tom Daley opens his diving campaign at the Aquatic Centre on 30th,
while Britain's rowers should be in final action at Eton Dorney Lake
from August 1st until the 4th.
Expect to see Bradley Wiggins
leading the team pursuit charge at the Velodrome on the 3rd,
the same day as Becky Adlington defends her 800m crown
at the Aquatics Centre.
Super Saturday could be just that in the Stadium
for heptathlete Jessica Ennis
And there's no rest on Sunday with Ben Ainslie
aiming for a fourth gold medal down in Weymouth
and Paula Radcliffe for her first in the women's marathon in The Mall.
Head back to the Velodrome on the seventh
to catch Sir Chris Hoy in the men's keirin
while the Stadium is the place to be on the ninth
as Phillips Idowu looks to make a golden leap.
The women's modern pentathlon could throw up a late medal
for Great Britain in Greenwich Park
before the curtain falls on the Games
at the closing ceremony on August 12th.
Well, once again, we've come to the end of the road
for another edition of British Olympic Dreams.
And, as the games draw ever closer,
you can always head to website...
...for more information.
And to keep up with everything that's happening
in the world of Olympic sports.
But before we leave,
just time to look back
at what's been a fantastic couple of months
for our British Olympic athletes.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd