Jonnie Peacock and Hannah Cockroft Clare Balding Meets


Jonnie Peacock and Hannah Cockroft

Clare meets with Paralympian superstars Jonnie Peacock and Hannah Cockroft to discover if they can retain their titles at Rio.


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Transcript


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With the Olympic and Paralympic Games fast approaching,

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I'm catching up with some of our leading gold medal contenders,

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and today I'm at Loughborough University, the place where Seb Coe,

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David Moorcroft and Paula Radcliffe did most of their training.

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I've come here to meet two Paralympic champions

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hoping very much to retain their titles in Rio.

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Jonnie Peacock was the poster boy of the 2012 Paralympics -

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as 80,000 spectators chanted his name in unison,

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he beat the finest field of Blade Runners ever assembled

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to win the flagship 100 metres

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in a Paralympic record time of 10.9 seconds.

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One of the undisputed stars of the Paralympics,

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double gold-medal winner Hannah Cockroft obliterated

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her opposition to win gold in the 100 metres and 200 metres.

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In Rio she's aiming to go one better

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as she's gunning for three gold medals,

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contesting the 100, 400 and 800 metres.

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I want to find out what are Hannah's memories of the 2012 Paralympics.

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They said, "On your marks" and someone went, "Go on, Hannah!"

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And I was like, God, what was that?

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And it completely distracted me on the start

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and my mum, when I saw her after the race, went,

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"Did you hear your auntie? Did you hear her?"

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Jonnie tells me about his historic win.

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That lap of honour, it wasn't actually a lap of honour,

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it was me trying to find my mum.

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And I find out how confident they both are of Rio gold.

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I know that when I go to the championships,

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I am ready and that I am pumped and I will be at my very best.

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My expectations of myself are three gold medals.

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Was it always going to be sport for both of you?

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Hannah, was it always sport that would be your life?

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I think the reason why it's my life because it is the one thing

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that I was always told, "You can't do that, Hannah.

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"This is not for you, you have to find something else."

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To me, it was just like, I want to prove people wrong,

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I'm going to do this and I'm going to do it well. So, here I am.

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Is that generally the way with you?

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If we say, "Hannah, you can't do this", you'd be like,

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"I think you'll find I can."

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Yes, I'll go out of my way to prove you wrong, so just tell me

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I can't do something and I'll do it.

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You can't win three golds in Rio.

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All right, then, deal.

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That will work, exactly. Jonnie, what about you?

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I was always sport-mad growing up, really.

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Whether it be football, rugby, literally anything

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I could get my hands on, I would try it.

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To be fair, I wanted to be a mechanic, that was my main job

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route, I did mechanics in school, worked in a garage for four years,

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doing odd bits and bobs.

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I kind of look at it as athletics found me.

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I went to a talent identification day and just gave it a go.

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I never thought I'd be very good at it, to be fair,

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things spiralled out of control and here I am today.

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Was it just the sprinting that you gave a go,

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or did you try other sports as well?

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I did try wheelchair tennis and pistol shooting that day too,

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and I actually got e-mails from both of them,

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but I got the e-mail from athletics too, and obviously,

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Hannah knows, that's the one you want to go for.

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And did you try wheelchair tennis ever?

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I tried wheelchair tennis. I was rubbish at that.

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I played wheelchair basketball for six years. I loved that.

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If I did any other sport, I'd go back to that.

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I tried wheelchair rugby, I tried swimming,

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so I went around a bit, yeah.

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But in the end, racing was the thing you were best at,

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or the thing you enjoyed the most?

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The thing I enjoyed the most.

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When I first got in a track chair, it was freedom.

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It was independence. I was allowed to go fast without being shouted at.

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I was allowed to do it myself, I was allowed to do

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whatever I wanted to do in that chair,

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and that's why I fell in love with it.

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I just loved the freedom of what it allowed me to do.

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Is it true that a medium told your mother that you would be successful?

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Yes, something of the sort,

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my mother used to go to some kind of psychic.

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I had just started sprinting, I was running...

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I think it was between 12 seconds and 11.5 at the time,

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so I was miles off of doing anything really good, she came back

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and told me that this medium had saw me in London and she saw silver.

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I was like, wow, I couldn't believe it.

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As the time got closer and closer,

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I started to think, well, why silver? Why not gold?

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It just made me want to prove that wrong and afterwards my mum told me

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that the medium had seen gold and my mum had just lied to me

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and told me silver. She knew what I'm like and she knew

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that it would make me pull myself on a little bit more and if someone

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had said gold, then I might have taken it a little bit easy,

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so, yes, obviously it just made me train that 1% harder.

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Do you reckon that your mum knows you better than anybody?

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She probably knows me better than I know myself, to be fair.

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What about you, Hannah,

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who is the person who can see through any bluff?

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Probably my parents, my mum and my dad.

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Did they, had they predicted success for you, or not?

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My mum doesn't even like watching the race, she gets too nervous,

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but I think they're just proud that I've got to that stage

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and proved everyone wrong.

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When you had doctors your entire life saying, when I was born,

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"She'll never be able to walk, or do things for herself,"

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you get to this stage and then you get to this stage,

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it just makes them happy

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that every time someone says, "You can't", I'm just like,

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"OK, I'll find someone who'll make me can."

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And that is amazing,

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because the doctors did say that about you, didn't they?

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Yeah, they did, and that is all down to my mum and dad.

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My mum was a nurse when I was born and she kind of was just like,

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"You say that, but I think you're wrong."

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OK, I use a wheelchair a lot of the time now,

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but it's incredible how much of the world I would've missed out

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on if I hadn't been able to just take a couple of steps,

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to get up that one step to see that amazing view or stand

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on that podium, it makes all the difference.

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Jonnie, what did doctors say to your mum when you were five?

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I don't remember any of this but my mum tells me that I got

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rushed into hospital when I was five with a rash

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all over me, I had been ill all night and they put me in a coma

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straightaway, they told her that I'd had meningitis,

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meningococcal septicaemia.

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It took me about ten years to pronounce that correctly!

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They sat her aside after a few days and they said to her

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that she should probably say goodbye.

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She didn't, she sent me under fighting.

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She told me not to give up and I think it was maybe a week

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or two later that the same doctor pulled her into the office and said

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they weren't sure how they'd bring me home, whether I would have

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brain damage or if I'd be still in one piece,

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but there was a good chance that she'd take me home.

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Here I am today, and, well... Things happen.

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Was there anyone you met when you were a child

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who sort of changed your thinking?

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Yeah, I met David Beckham when I was very young,

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I think about seven or eight, my local Cambridge Evening News

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managed get me up to the Euros, I went to go see England play,

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and just before, I was in the team hotel

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and as the players were coming past,

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they had the opportunity to come in and say hi.

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Some of them didn't, cos they were so focused,

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which as a sportsman today, I completely understand.

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David Beckham came in and he was just unlike any of the other guys.

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He spent more time with me out of any of the footballers,

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he pulled out the training T-shirt from his bag,

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signed it for me.

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It was one of the best experiences and it gave me so much confidence

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going forward, I was football mad from then on.

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Have you met him since?

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Yes, luckily I managed to meet him a couple of years ago

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at the school games.

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That was really cool, seeing him is always a special experience,

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he's a really cool guy. A really nice guy.

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Role model, I know that term is used a lot, but actually you can

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have a lot of influence over people younger than you.

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You can have quite a lot of influence over people

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who are older than you as well!

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Are you aware of that, Jonnie, of the sort of bigger message?

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You don't go into the sport trying to become a role model,

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you're just doing it to do it and you hear stories,

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I remember after 2012, my mum texted me and told me

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that there was a boy that had a prosthetic leg,

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he was younger, and he never used to like to wear shorts,

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same as me when I was young.

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I always used to try and hide it as much as possible,

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and because of 2012 it gave him the confidence to go into school

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with a pair of shorts, and for me to see that, that was huge.

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I know that doesn't sound like much but when you're that age,

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you are so self-conscious about people staring,

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and for me that was the point

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where I thought that the Paralympics had changed things.

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I remember seeing a tweet of

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somebody going to a fancy dress party,

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fully able-bodied kid, cardboard race chair, you know,

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trying to be like Dave Weir.

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That's what they said, and I saw the tweet and thought, "That's so cool,"

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this kid wanting to be like Paralympians, and yeah,

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never expected that before.

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Do you think it's also important that we now,

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partly because of The Last Leg and the surrounding coverage

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of the Paralympics in 2012,

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that in a way we've got permission to laugh as well?

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Yes, we definitely do.

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I think before, disability was such a taboo subject.

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-It was kind of like...

-SHE GASPS

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Like, you see one my friends fall out of their wheelchairs,

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or if I saw Jonnie fall over, I would laugh.

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I think, you know, if someone saw you doing that before London 2012,

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-they'd be like...

-SHE GASPS

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"You're such a terrible person, oh, you're horrible."

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But now, people are like, yeah, OK, that's funny.

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And you're just a normal person, so you're going to get over it.

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Have you ever use your disability to play a practical joke,

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Jonnie Peacock?

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Many times. One of the first times that I remember

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was in arts and crafts, and tech, in school.

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The teacher came in, she was a substitute and she didn't know

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that I had a prosthetic leg

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and the filling around my leg was foam at the time.

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We had some big craft knives, so I thought, well...

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I just whacked it in my leg

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and started screaming out to the teacher. "Aaargh!" Going crazy.

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She nearly had a heart attack.

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I said, "It's OK, I'm only joking, I have a prosthetic leg."

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Again, when I worked in a garage, a new guy came in,

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and one of the guys said, "When he puts the ramp down, just pop your leg under it."

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So I did, and I started screaming and the wheel came down on my foot,

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and he didn't care.

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I was expecting him to be really shocked, and he just left it,

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he just walked away, didn't even move it or anything.

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After that, he kind of made it his job to try and park cars on my foot.

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-On your foot!

-People in garages don't really care that much,

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it was quite funny, but that comes into the fact that

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I almost preferred that, because he just doesn't care.

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After winning gold in London 2012, there is increased expectation

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on Hannah and Jonnie.

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I want to discover how training is going as they prepare

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to defend their Olympic titles and hopefully add some fresh ones.

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Talk me through your training, and a typical training week.

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How many hours are you out there on the track and what sort of

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training are you doing and how many hours in the gym?

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It depends what time of year we're at and what point in the season.

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In the winter, I'm going out and probably doing 100 miles a week

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in the chair, and probably about eight hours in the gym,

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but now obviously we're in season, coming up to a big competition.

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So, I probably do about 70 miles in the chair at the moment.

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It's still fair mileage to say that primarily I'm a sprinter.

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I don't think Jonnie does 70 miles a week.

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No, I don't think I even do a mile, to be fair!

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Are you a good trainer, do you like training?

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I love training. I love the hard work, coming back after a really

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long day, when you get there

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and you've been at training for six hours and you feel like

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you've come home and you've really achieved something,

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you know you've pushed yourself beyond where it has been before.

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Well, also, you've got that focus

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because Rio is really not that far away, is it?

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-No. Scarily close!

-Starting to get tingly.

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Honestly, I try not to think about Rio.

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It scares me a little bit about what's ahead.

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Obviously, London was incredible,

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but in London I did the 100 and 200 metres,

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and if I was just doing that in Rio, I'd be so happy

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because I'm so comfortable in those events.

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But actually, my 200 got taken away and I now have to do a full lap

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of the track and then two full laps of the track.

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Which is completely out of my comfort zone.

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You are the first athlete I've met who has been there.

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-Oh, really?

-Yeah. Did you race there, did you train there,

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or did you just go for a recce?

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I went for a recce and I trained there, as well.

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I guess for me, the most amazing part of it was that I went

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for training, doing runs up and down Copacabana beach.

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People knew what a racing wheelchair was, they knew

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the Paralympic Games were coming and they were so excited.

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So I think it's just brilliant that Rio knew that and they knew

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what our sport was about and I just felt so welcomed there

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that I know that they're going to really look after us

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and show us a good time.

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-Have you been, Jonnie?

-No, never.

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It's going to be fun, you know, Rio, it's going to be

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a completely different atmosphere to what London was.

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London was its own games, every time it changes,

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Rio is going to be a little bit more of a party atmosphere, maybe.

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Definitely a post-race party.

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-Exactly, not until after you've raced, Jonnie!

-We'll see.

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I have made some coaching changes in the last couple of months,

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I know that when it's going to come, I'm going to be as ready

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as I can be, and it's going to be a super competitive race,

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but that's part of the fun of it.

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Technically, have you made any changes?

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We've changed a lot with my start, you know.

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I've opened up a lot more. I think if you put, probably, a comparison

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between even the Euros and a race from last year,

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you'd see there's a massive difference.

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The amount of steps that I take, for a start, has completely changed.

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The way that I'm applying force to the track,

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it just feels a lot more comfortable to me now.

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You know, I think it's...

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You know, Dan Pfaff, gone back to the coach that I used before.

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He's got 40 years of experience underneath his belt.

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It just takes one run and he knows what runner you are.

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He knows how to make you run fast,

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so, yeah, I'm happy with how things are going and I really think

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that we'll see some great things with me in the future.

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Do you train with a group of other runners?

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Yes, at the moment we're using Mike Cammell,

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who is a British bobsled coach.

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So I get to train with some of the bobsled guys, which is cool.

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They're really cool guys and obviously

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they've got some really good power output on them too.

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Have they not tried to get you in a bobsleigh?

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-No!

-Because that's the next thing.

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I wouldn't want me coming in behind someone with a blade.

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I'm not going to be funny, I know that coming in,

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if you place that wrong...

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I think there could be a big advantage to it.

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Maybe, we'll see, one day, perhaps.

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The other element as well as the physical side of things

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and your own fitness, and your mental approach, and all of that,

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is the kit, whether it's prosthetics or wheelchairs,

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of how advanced is it.

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Hannah, is your chair now scientifically a better chair,

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or technically a better chair than it was in 2012?

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No, it is pretty much the same chair, exactly the same chair.

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We can't really advance it that much. For London 2012 we tried to

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make carbon fibre, complete carbon fibre race chairs for the British

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team but actually at the end of the day, the IPC stepped in and said,

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"You know what, that's unfair because the rest of the world can't get hold of these chairs,

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"so you can't race them."

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And Jonnie, what about your racing prosthetic, is it different now?

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I think everyone gets preoccupied, they think it's like Formula 1.

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I don't know how it has come about, but for some reason people now

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assume the only way to get faster is to change your leg.

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You know, I have tried a few different stiffnesses,

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and I'll be honest, it doesn't really change much.

2:23:522:23:54

It doesn't, I did two races, I had two different legs,

2:23:542:23:58

and my time was exactly the same.

2:23:582:24:00

If you look on the start line, everyone has got the same leg.

2:24:002:24:04

There may be one person who prefers a different style, and everyone

2:24:042:24:07

seems to believe that there is a brand-new one that

2:24:072:24:09

has come out last year, and it's like, well, no,

2:24:092:24:12

they were designed in the '90s,

2:24:122:24:14

there was an updated version in 2007, 2006,

2:24:142:24:18

and it hasn't really changed since that.

2:24:182:24:21

It's pretty much been exactly the same, you can talk

2:24:212:24:23

to the prosthetist, who I pester, he probably hates getting a text

2:24:232:24:27

from me because I'm always I always trying to get him down,

2:24:272:24:29

cos it's literally a case of, "How does that feel?"

2:24:292:24:32

"Can you just move it a little more?"

2:24:322:24:34

"OK, how does THAT feel?" "Little bit more..."

2:24:342:24:37

It's not really that scientific.

2:24:372:24:39

If you want to see someone get faster, train harder,

2:24:392:24:41

it's as simple as that. Make sure you're doing the right things in

2:24:412:24:44

training, and it'll come.

2:24:442:24:46

I don't think a blade makes that much difference.

2:24:462:24:48

In terms of the cost of equipment, how much does it cost?

2:24:482:24:51

So, a racing chair frame with no wheels on it costs £3,000-£4,000.

2:24:512:24:56

A set of wheels costs £2,000, and you're recommended

2:24:562:25:01

to at least have one spare in case of crashes

2:25:012:25:04

or punctures before a race, or whatever that might be.

2:25:042:25:07

So you're up to about eight grand, then, before you even start.

2:25:082:25:13

Then you have to buy the tyres, which are between £50-80 per tyre.

2:25:132:25:18

You know, you need to have your wet ones and your dry ones,

2:25:182:25:22

your training ones and your race ones.

2:25:222:25:24

Spares of all of them, just in case.

2:25:242:25:26

Your gloves are £250 a pair and I go through a pair a month.

2:25:262:25:32

Then you have to have all the scientific things, your speedometer

2:25:322:25:36

and spare front wheels and spare gloves as well.

2:25:362:25:39

Spare seat padding. It's quite an expensive sport.

2:25:392:25:42

And although, Jonnie, you're saying there isn't some magic answer,

2:25:422:25:47

having a prosthetic race leg of a certain standard,

2:25:472:25:50

you wouldn't even be in that final without a good one.

2:25:502:25:54

What a race leg really does for me is,

2:25:542:25:57

when you land on a normal prosthetic leg,

2:25:572:26:00

it's a bit more of a straight bang into the ground

2:26:002:26:03

and you get no return.

2:26:032:26:04

It's all you, whereas a race leg allows it to flow a bit more

2:26:042:26:08

cos it comes back at you and allows your hips just to flow.

2:26:082:26:11

I did my first two years racing on my day leg.

2:26:112:26:13

This leg that I'm wearing today is what I raced on for two years.

2:26:132:26:17

So prosthetic legs do help.

2:26:172:26:19

And cost what?

2:26:192:26:21

Cost-wise, I believe it's somewhere between £2,000-4,000 to get a leg.

2:26:212:26:26

Are there injuries that you just deal with, day in, day out,

2:26:262:26:30

or sores, or things that hurt that is just part of

2:26:302:26:34

the working life of a full-time athlete?

2:26:342:26:37

My shoulders hurt pretty much every morning, cos I'm always moving.

2:26:372:26:41

My wrists - my wrists recently have started to hurt, actually,

2:26:412:26:44

which is a little bit worrying, but we're working with it.

2:26:442:26:47

But they're the two main areas of worry for a wheelchair racer.

2:26:472:26:51

Blisters?

2:26:512:26:52

Not...no. I found when I first started, yes,

2:26:522:26:56

and I found my own way to avoid that.

2:26:562:26:58

Obviously, if you go out and do a marathon,

2:26:582:27:02

maybe you might, but I'm not planning on doing a marathon yet,

2:27:022:27:04

so I'm all right.

2:27:042:27:06

So your hands haven't sort of got calloused from consistent use?

2:27:062:27:11

No, my hands are pretty nice.

2:27:112:27:13

When I got my MBE,

2:27:132:27:15

I went up and I got it off Prince Charles.

2:27:152:27:19

And I shook his hand and he went,

2:27:192:27:20

"Oh, you've got really nice hands for a wheelchair user."

2:27:202:27:23

And I was like, "Oh, well...thanks(!)

2:27:232:27:26

"I don't know what they're supposed to look like, but thanks."

2:27:262:27:29

But no, they're fine.

2:27:292:27:31

Like, just obviously get a bit wrecked in the gym sometimes

2:27:312:27:34

when you're lifting heavy, but you look after them and moisturise

2:27:342:27:37

and do everything girly, then you're fine!

2:27:372:27:40

-Then you're fine, exactly. Day-to-day care.

-Very important.

2:27:402:27:43

I think I've got more calluses than you, yeah!

2:27:432:27:45

Look on my Twitter, you'll see that recently I just ripped

2:27:452:27:47

-a whole part of it off just in the weight room, yeah.

-Nice(!)

2:27:472:27:50

Yeah. Injuries happen, I think, when you're pushing your body

2:27:502:27:53

beyond a limit that it wants to go to,

2:27:532:27:55

and, I mean, I've had loads of problems with my stump.

2:27:552:27:59

Loads of...yeah, blisters, hair follicle infections,

2:27:592:28:04

and then big abscesses. Last year,

2:28:042:28:06

I had an abscess the size of a golf ball behind my knee

2:28:062:28:10

that hung around for about six months.

2:28:102:28:12

At the moment, I've got a little bit of a....

2:28:122:28:15

Not quite an abscess yet, but a little bit of inflamed

2:28:152:28:19

on the front of my knee.

2:28:192:28:20

It's a big hit, and when you're repeating that, you know,

2:28:202:28:23

day after day, it takes its toll.

2:28:232:28:25

Presumably you've got to be quite careful what you treat it with?

2:28:252:28:28

Yeah, to a degree. I'm quite lucky, my stump's not that sensitive.

2:28:282:28:32

No, no, but I meant more about whether it's,

2:28:322:28:34

you know, given the extent of the list of banned substances,

2:28:342:28:37

that even in a pain relief cream

2:28:372:28:39

-or something for infection...

-Oh, no, I don't need pain relief.

2:28:392:28:42

-You don't use pain relief?

-Vaseline.

-Right.

-Vaseline, yeah.

2:28:422:28:46

The prosthetist gave me that great idea.

2:28:462:28:48

You put a bit of Vaseline on it, it takes away the grip,

2:28:482:28:50

so it just slides as opposed to gripping,

2:28:502:28:52

-and that seems to help a lot.

-Are you both naturally competitive?

2:28:522:28:55

I mean, like, if you're playing a board game or playing a card game

2:28:552:28:58

or you're, you know, just having little races with kids,

2:28:582:29:02

would you have to win?

2:29:022:29:03

Depends who it is. And I guess, racing with little kids...

2:29:032:29:07

Hmm.

2:29:072:29:09

I'll maybe let them come close to me, and I'll slow down,

2:29:092:29:13

but I still have to cross the line first.

2:29:132:29:14

I can't lose. You know, I'm undefeated aside from one race.

2:29:142:29:18

I can't start losing races just for fun. That's ridiculous!

2:29:182:29:22

Bar the kids thing, I have a slightly different approach.

2:29:222:29:25

I normally let them win!

2:29:252:29:27

Yeah, but other than that, everything.

2:29:272:29:29

Everything I get my hands on, I want to win, yeah,

2:29:292:29:31

whether it's playing PlayStation, you know,

2:29:312:29:34

playing little games, skill games, whatever it is,

2:29:342:29:37

yeah, everything. I don't like losing.

2:29:372:29:39

It's a problem in relationships sometimes,

2:29:392:29:41

-when you never want to lose an argument!

-Yeah, yeah.

2:29:412:29:43

-Other than that, yeah.

-Oh, no, I won't lose an argument.

2:29:432:29:46

-That's another one.

-And does it mean

2:29:462:29:48

that rivalry becomes quite important to you?

2:29:482:29:50

T44 100 has become something else over the last four years, you know.

2:29:502:29:55

There isn't just two people.

2:29:552:29:56

It was, definitely, for a short period of time, me and Richard,

2:29:562:30:00

I think for about two years, but this last year, for sure,

2:30:002:30:02

seeing Jarryd Wallace, what he's doing out in America...

2:30:022:30:05

You know, he's laying down some really fast times

2:30:052:30:08

and he's made some very, very sensible coaching changes too.

2:30:082:30:11

I spoke to him, he's actually a really nice guy, Jarryd.

2:30:112:30:13

I've got a lot of time for him.

2:30:132:30:15

Do you mind having a look back at your races from London?

2:30:152:30:19

Go for it.

2:30:192:30:20

I don't know how often you look at this, maybe you have seen them.

2:30:202:30:23

I think my mum watches it every night.

2:30:232:30:25

Does she? Every day? OK, so this is Jonnie's 100 metre race.

2:30:252:30:28

Talk me through what you're thinking on the start line now.

2:30:282:30:31

I'm just focusing on cues, really.

2:30:312:30:33

Who is on either side of you?

2:30:332:30:35

Arnu Fourie and Richard Brown. This was a period where I knew that

2:30:352:30:40

it was my race to lose, so I had to focus on my own race.

2:30:402:30:43

Do you say anything to them?

2:30:432:30:45

No, just focus on myself. Say something to my grandad.

2:30:452:30:49

Go into set. The gun starts.

2:30:492:30:52

I knew I had to get a good start because of the doubles

2:30:522:30:54

in that race. About this point, I need a new set of underwear,

2:30:542:30:59

because I only had at that point

2:30:592:31:02

an image of somebody just flying past me

2:31:022:31:06

because I had watched 2008, I'd watched New Zealand and sometimes

2:31:062:31:11

these double legs get such good top speed that they just come

2:31:112:31:14

through so fast and that is all I was thinking.

2:31:142:31:17

I tensed up so much, tightened up, everything went bad,

2:31:172:31:21

and I crossed the line, knew I'd won,

2:31:212:31:23

and then thought, "Oh, have I? "Has somebody snuck through?"

2:31:232:31:26

So had to wait for it to come up and it was pure elation at that point.

2:31:262:31:31

You're so focused on one period of time,

2:31:312:31:33

I hadn't ever pictured winning at this point.

2:31:332:31:37

It was so much, just wanted to do it.

2:31:372:31:40

Then I saw Dan, Dan Greaves, a good mate of mine.

2:31:402:31:43

I didn't want to go up and hug him, because I thought I'd distract him

2:31:432:31:46

from his competition. Yeah, and it's just so ecstatic.

2:31:462:31:52

I knew I was capable and it was a real possibility

2:31:522:31:55

but you never think about the end point.

2:31:552:31:58

So you never envisaged your lap of honour, flag around you?

2:31:582:32:03

That lap of honour wasn't actually a lap of honour,

2:32:032:32:06

it was me trying to find my mum.

2:32:062:32:08

Literally, I didn't think about doing a lap,

2:32:082:32:11

I just thought, where's Mum?

2:32:112:32:12

My favourite image from pretty much all of London 2012 Paralympics

2:32:122:32:16

is you and your mum having a hug. It actually makes me cry a bit.

2:32:162:32:21

It says so much about everything she has put into your life

2:32:212:32:26

and everything you wanted to do for her.

2:32:262:32:28

I think, yeah, when I crossed the line, for my mum,

2:32:282:32:35

that was the moment she knew I was OK.

2:32:352:32:37

I think she had to put on such a brave face.

2:32:372:32:41

I was five years old when everything happened.

2:32:412:32:44

She had to protect me and be strong for me.

2:32:442:32:47

She could never show how scared she was, how frightening this

2:32:472:32:51

experience was, so she had to lock all that away, almost.

2:32:512:32:55

Put it under and throw away the key

2:32:552:32:57

and it wasn't until I finished that race, and she goes,

2:32:572:32:59

"You know what? He's fine.

2:32:592:33:01

"He'll be all right on his own and he doesn't need me any more."

2:33:012:33:05

She had a tough time because I think that's where everything came out.

2:33:052:33:08

Steve, my step-dad, is there too, he's some tough guy

2:33:082:33:12

and you see him crying there. It's hilarious.

2:33:122:33:14

everyone was, like, so...

2:33:142:33:16

Yeah, just happy that I got to give Mum a big hug.

2:33:162:33:19

Hannah, we have your race here, this is your 200 metres.

2:33:202:33:23

-OK.

-Talk me through it.

2:33:232:33:25

They said, "On your marks." Usually all goes quiet, but actually,

2:33:252:33:29

they said, "On your marks" and then someone went, "Go on, Hannah!"

2:33:292:33:32

And I was like, "Oh, my God, what was that?"

2:33:322:33:35

And it completely distracted me on the start, and my mum,

2:33:352:33:37

when I saw her after the race, went,

2:33:372:33:39

"Did you hear your auntie? Did you hear her?"

2:33:392:33:41

I was like, "Yep, great, thanks. Really distracted me."

2:33:412:33:45

We're gone and I got a really good start, I just knew that

2:33:452:33:49

if I could nail my start, then I'd be fine, and all the way

2:33:492:33:53

through the race I just had this one speed in my head,

2:33:532:33:55

I knew if I hit 17mph then no-one was going to come close,

2:33:552:33:59

and I hit 17 and as soon as I crossed my line,

2:33:592:34:03

I saw my coach and went "17!"

2:34:032:34:06

I just shouted it at him because I knew that I could do it.

2:34:062:34:09

Much like Jonnie, my lap of honour was trying to find my parents,

2:34:092:34:13

trying to find someone that I knew, just cos...

2:34:132:34:16

When there are so many faces there, it looks like loads of fun

2:34:162:34:20

but it's actually quite scary.

2:34:202:34:21

I did just really want to see my mum and my dad,

2:34:212:34:24

but unfortunately, prior to coming to London I'd said to them,

2:34:242:34:27

"I want you to sit right at the back,

2:34:272:34:29

"I don't want to see you, I don't want to hear you,

2:34:292:34:32

"you'll distract me, sit as far away as possible."

2:34:322:34:34

And so that's what they did.

2:34:342:34:35

I'm thinking now, it's easy to forget

2:34:352:34:38

how young you both were in London. You were 19?

2:34:382:34:40

I was just gone 20.

2:34:402:34:42

And how old were you, Jonnie?

2:34:422:34:44

I don't know, 18, 19.

2:34:442:34:45

Because one would think going into Rio it's got to be a benefit to both

2:34:452:34:49

of you that you have had this experience, you know what it's like.

2:34:492:34:54

You are older and wiser.

2:34:542:34:56

Everybody talks about the value of experience,

2:34:562:35:00

do you feel like a more experienced athlete? Are you ready?

2:35:002:35:04

For me, what I have come to realise over the last few years is that

2:35:042:35:09

regardless of my races throughout the year,

2:35:092:35:13

I know I am always going to be faster on that final.

2:35:132:35:16

I could go and run my PB this year

2:35:162:35:21

and I know that I'll be better than that in the Rio final.

2:35:212:35:23

I know that when I go to the championships,

2:35:232:35:26

I am ready and I am pumped, and I will be at my very best.

2:35:262:35:29

It's always good to know that you can pull out your best performance

2:35:292:35:33

when it really matters.

2:35:332:35:35

-That's the one where you want to pull it out.

-Hannah, what about you?

2:35:352:35:38

What should we expect of you in Rio?

2:35:382:35:41

My expectations of myself are three gold medals.

2:35:412:35:44

If I could break a world record, that would be incredible,

2:35:442:35:47

but we've also got to remember

2:35:472:35:49

I've never raced a 400 or an 800 metres at a Paralympic Games,

2:35:492:35:52

so if I could win either of those, I feel like that's a massive bonus

2:35:522:35:55

to myself and my actual only aim going into Rio

2:35:552:35:58

is to retain my 100 metres title, because that's the only one

2:35:582:36:01

that I can, and everything else is a gain.

2:36:012:36:04

But, I have to say, just listening to both of you talk about it

2:36:042:36:07

and watching London back, it makes me really excited.

2:36:072:36:10

I can't wait and that's the thing,

2:36:102:36:12

so many people know so much more about you now

2:36:122:36:16

and they will be supporting you every step of the way

2:36:162:36:19

and even if they're not there in Brazil,

2:36:192:36:21

I hope you're going to feel it.

2:36:212:36:22

And it's just going to be immense, so good luck to both of you.

2:36:222:36:25

-Thank you for giving me so much time.

-Thank you for having us.

2:36:252:36:30

I've covered the Paralympic Games since 2000

2:36:302:36:32

and in that time it has expanded and improved,

2:36:322:36:35

and the level of talent has just got deeper and broader.

2:36:352:36:38

And that is really the challenge for both Jonnie and Hannah.

2:36:382:36:41

They're going to come up against athletes who know

2:36:412:36:44

that they are the ones to beat, but also have belief in themselves

2:36:442:36:47

and have done the training to get them in that position.

2:36:472:36:50

Now, it seems to me from both of them

2:36:502:36:52

that pressure is something they absorb and that makes them better,

2:36:522:36:55

particularly Jonnie. He comes alive at the big championship finals

2:36:552:36:58

and he's going to need to, because it's going to be tiny

2:36:582:37:01

millimetres that will make the difference, split-seconds.

2:37:012:37:04

For Hannah, the challenge is different.

2:37:042:37:06

She can't do the 200 metres, her favourite distance.

2:37:062:37:08

She's got to step up to the 400, the 800, she's going to have to be

2:37:082:37:12

race-savvy as well as just fast in her chair.

2:37:122:37:15

It's going to be fascinating to see how they get on,

2:37:152:37:17

and I just hope that everybody will watch and support them.

2:37:172:37:21

Clare meets with Paralympian superstars Jonnie Peacock and Hannah Cockroft to discover if they can retain their titles at Rio.