PREVIEW: Gold Rush, BBC One
This is the definitive story of Britain’s sporting journey from international embarrassment at the Atlanta Games in 1996, to Olympic glory in London 2012.
It is a story of athletes, for whom those 16 years represent a patchwork of personal triumph, adversity and, sometimes, bitter disappointment; a story of politicians and strategists, who oversaw British sport’s transition from a culture of semi-amateurism to a world-beating professional enterprise.
And it’s the story of our nation - facing the embarrassment of being known as the world’s sporting also-rans; scoffing at the idea we could hope to host a Games on home soil; but emerging in 2012 with a renewed self-confidence in our own abilities, and our own shared identity.
The narrative takes in how Britain won the bid to host the 2012 games, and the strategy that went into ensuring we wouldn’t face embarrassment on home soil. But although the no-compromise approach led to glory, those wins sometimes came at a cost.
The tale of highs and lows will be told through rich archive, as well as testimony from those at the top level, including our greatest athletes and their coaches, leading politicians, and others behind the scenes.
Gold Rush begins Monday 5th July at 9pm on BBC One.