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Sporting Witness

BBC

In the run-up to the London 2012 Olympic Games we bring you a new programme telling the inside story of the key moments from sporting history, that seized the world's attention. Sporting Witness will use archive material and personal recollections from the athletes themselves and those who knew them. The programme will cover well-known Olympic stories - including some that you may not have heard before - but which have mythical status in their home countries.

In the run-up to the London 2012 Olympic Games we bring you a new programme telling the inside story of the key moments from sporting history, that seized the world's attention. Sporting Witness will use archive material and personal recollections from the athletes themselves and those who knew them. The programme will cover well-known Olympic stories - including some that you may not have heard before - but which have mythical status in their home countries.

Location:

United Kingdom

Networks:

BBC

Description:

In the run-up to the London 2012 Olympic Games we bring you a new programme telling the inside story of the key moments from sporting history, that seized the world's attention. Sporting Witness will use archive material and personal recollections from the athletes themselves and those who knew them. The programme will cover well-known Olympic stories - including some that you may not have heard before - but which have mythical status in their home countries.

Language:

Aboriginal


Episodes

Kenya's first Winter Olympian

2/20/2020
In 1998, a Kenyan farmer called Philip Boit became one of the first Africans to compete in the Winter Olympics. In the 10-kilometre cross-country skiing final he faced the legendary Norwegian, Bjorn Daehlie. It was a race that would unite the two athletes and inspire future Winter Olympians across Africa. This programme was first broadcast in 2014. PHOTO: Bjorn Daehlie and Philip Boit (Getty Images)

Duration:00:10:55

Nancy Greene: The 'Tiger' of women's skiing

2/13/2020
In February 1968, the Canadian skier Nancy Greene pulled off a flawless performance at the Winter Olympic Games, winning the Giant Slalom by a record-breaking margin of 2.6 seconds. Greene was nicknamed “Tiger” because of her attacking style, and the commanding victory made her one of the most popular Canadian sportswomen of all time. Nancy Greene talks to Freddy Chick. (Photo: Nancy Greene is cheered by her Canadian team-mates in 1968. Credit: Getty Images)

Duration:00:09:09

Knocking down Mike Tyson

2/6/2020
In February 1990, a little-known fighter called James “Buster” Douglas pulled off arguably the biggest shock in boxing history by beating the previously undefeated Mike Tyson to take the world heavyweight title. The fight was expected to be such a foregone conclusion that only one casino agreed to take bets on a "Buster Douglas win, but the outsider battered “Iron Mike” again and again with his jab and eventually knocked him down. Buster Douglas talks to Ned Carter Miles. The programme is a...

Duration:00:09:12

Rocky Bleier: The legendary comeback

1/30/2020
How a wounded Vietnam war veteran became an NFL Super Bowl champion. Rocky Bleier was a young American football player beginning his career in the NFL with the Pittsburgh Steelers. But in 1968 he was drafted into the US Army to serve in the VIetnam war. He was injured in combat and his career appeared over. But Rocky fought his way back to become a member of the legendary Pittsburgh Steelers team that won four Super Bowls in the 1970s. Alex Last spoke to Rocky Bleier about his remarkable...

Duration:00:14:26

Stanley Matthews' Soweto team

1/23/2020
In 1975 a group of young black soccer players from apartheid-era South Africa went on tour to Brazil. They were part of a team known as "Stan's Men", organised by the English soccer legend, Sir Stanley Matthews, in the black township of Soweto. Matthews had been helping train youngsters in South Africa since the 1950s, in defiance of the racist white government, and continued travelling there after his retirement from English soccer. Mike Lanchin has been hearing the memories of Hamilton...

Duration:00:09:40

P.T. Usha - India's 'queen of track and field'

1/16/2020
In the 1980s, P.T. Usha, a sprinter and hurdler from the southern Indian state of Kerala, became the first woman from her country to achieve major success in athletics. But in 1984 she missed out on a medal at the Olympic Games in Los Angeles by an agonising 100th of a second. P.T. Usha talks to Farhana Haider. (Photo: P.T. Usha in action in the 1980s. Credit: Getty Images)

Duration:00:09:03

Togo bus attack

1/9/2020
In January 2010, a guerrilla group in Angola opened fire on the buses carrying the Togo football team as they travelled to the Africa Cup of Nations tournament. The machine-gun fire lasted 30 minutes and killed two members of the Togolese delegation. Ashley Byrne talks to Elitsa Kodjo Lanou, the Togo team’s technical director about a day that changed football in Africa. The programme is a Made-In-Manchester Production. PHOTO: Togolese soldiers carrying the coffin of a victim of the attack...

Duration:00:10:55

Wrexham's FA Cup giant-killing

1/2/2020
In January 1992, Wrexham caused one of the biggest upsets in FA Cup history by beating reigning English champions Arsenal 2-1 in a third-round tie. At the time, Wrexham were languishing near the bottom of the Football League and struggling to survive financially. Jim Frank talks to one of the Welsh club’s goal-scorers, Steve Watkin. PHOTO: The victorious Wrexham team in 1992 (Getty Images)

Duration:00:09:21

The BBC's first female football reporter

12/26/2019
In 1969 the BBC caused a sensation by allowing a woman to report on football on air for the first time. The reporter was Mary Raine, who covered a first division match between Chelsea and Sunderland that year, as well as the 1970 FA Cup final. She talks to Simon Watts about being the first woman to enter the all-male press box. PHOTO: Mary Raine in Goal magazine in 1969 (BBC)

Duration:00:09:04

The shot heard around the world

12/19/2019
In November 1989, the USA qualified for the football World Cup for the first time in the modern era with a nail-biting 1-0 away win in Trinidad and Tobago. The winning goal was a 30-yard screamer scored by Paul Caligiuri, one of the few professionals in the American team. It is credited with boosting the popularity of the game in the US, and was nicknamed “The Shot Around the World”. Paul Caligiuri talks to Ashley Byrne. (Photo: The US team at the 1990 World Cup. Credit: Getty Images)

Duration:00:09:09

Arunima Sinha - Indian Mountain Climber

12/12/2019
In 2013, Arunima Sinha became the first woman amputee to climb Mount Everest - just two years after suffering an horrific accident during an armed robbery on a train in the north of India. The accident robbed Arunima of a promising career in volleyball, but she was determined to prove to herself that she could still do anything. Iknoor Kaur tells her story. Production by Prabhat Pandey. (Photo: Arunima Sinha celebrating her Everest climb. Credit: Getty Images)

Duration:00:09:00

The Cold War's strangest sport

12/5/2019
The end of the Cold War in 1989 spelt the demise of a little-known, but surprisingly popular sport behind the Iron Curtain – high-speed telegraphy competitions. With the help of two of Czechoslovakia’s best former Morse-coders, we revisit the inaugural World Championship in Moscow in 1983 when the Soviet Union rolled out the red carpet for teams from across the Communist bloc. Ashley Byrne reports. The programme is a Made-In-Manchester Production. PHOTO: A Morse code machine in action (Getty...

Duration:00:10:55

Nigeria's 'Superfalcons' wow the Women's World Cup

11/28/2019
In 1999, Nigeria’s women’s football team – the Superfalcons – went on a dazzling run at the Women’s World Cup in the United States. The Nigerians became the first African side to reach the quarter-final stage, before losing an epic game against Brazil. The Superfalcons’ performance is now regarded as putting the women‘s game on the map in Africa. Emma Barnaby talks to former Nigerian goal-keeper, Judith Chime. (Photo: Nigeria's Prisca Emeafu celebrates scoring against Brazil. Credit: Getty...

Duration:00:09:07

The Blind Cricket World Cup

11/21/2019
In 1998, India hosted the inaugural edition of the Blind Cricket World Cup – a format of the game based on sound. Seven nations took part in the tournament, which was supported by cricketing greats such as Kapil Dev and Sunil Gavaskar, and is credited with changing perceptions of the blind and partially-sighted in India. Claire Bowes talks to the founder of the Cricket World Cup, George Abraham. PHOTO:Blind Pakistani cricketer Mohammad Fayyaz in action (Getty Images)

Duration:00:09:21

Magic Johnson and HIV

11/14/2019
In November 1991, the basketball legend Magic Johnson stunned America by announcing that he’d tested positive for HIV. Johnson’s determination to raise awareness about safe sex and the importance of testing is credited with changing the perception of the virus in the US. Ade Adepitan talks to Michael Mellman, the LA Lakers team doctor who broke the news to Magic Johnson. The programme is an Audio Always production. PHOTO: Magic Johnson in 1992 (Ted Soqui/Sygma via Getty Images)

Duration:00:09:14

The death of Robert Enke

11/7/2019
In November 2009, the world of football was shocked by the death of German international goal-keeper Robert Enke, who killed himself after years of suffering from depression. In 2010, Eleanor Oldroyd spoke to Enke’s agent, Jorg Neblung, and friend and biographer, Ronald Reng, about what lay behind his death. If you are affected by the issues in this programme you can find information about support organisations on the Befrienders Worldwide website: https://www.befrienders.org/ Image: Robert...

Duration:00:10:19

New York Marathon women's protest

10/31/2019
In October 1972, six women runners staged a sit-down protest at the start of the New York Marathon demanding the right to take part in the same race as male athletes. The protest got front-page press attention and is regarded as a milestone in the long-battle for equality by female distance runners in America. Adrian Moorhead talks to protest organizer Nina Kuscsick. (Photo: The 1972 women's protest. Credit: Patrick A. Burns/New York Times)

Duration:00:09:12

Chester Williams - South Africa's black rugby hero

10/24/2019
In 1995, South Africa won an emotional victory as hosts of the Rugby World Cup shortly after the fall of Apartheid. Winger Chester Williams was the only black player in the team and became a personal friend of President Nelson Mandela. Williams’ death in September 2019 was widely mourned in South Africa and beyond. His friend and fellow rugby player Jerome Paarwater tells his story to Rebecca Kesby. PHOTO: Chester Williams in action (Getty Images)

Duration:00:14:37

The policeman who won the Rugby World Cup

10/17/2019
In the 1980s, London-born policeman John Gallagher ended up playing for the All Blacks while living and working in New Zealand. After emergency classes in the famous Haka war dance, Gallagher became a key member of the Kiwi team which won the inaugural Rugby World Cup in Auckland in 1987. He tells his story to Ian Williams. Photo: John Gallagher powers past the Welsh defence in the 1987 World Cup semi-final (Colorsport/Shutterstock)

Duration:00:09:08

Muhammad Ali: The 'Last Hurrah'

10/10/2019
In October 1980, Muhammad Ali came out of retirement in an attempt to regain a world heavyweight title at the age of 38. Ali’s opponent in a fight dubbed “The Last Hurrah” was his former sparring partner, Larry Holmes. To the horror of the crowd and the dismay of Holmes himself, an aging, unfit Ali was pummelled for 10 rounds until his trainer belatedly stopped the fight. Larry Holmes speaks to Ashley Byrne. (Photo: Muhammad Ali in the ring in October 1980. Credit: Getty Images)

Duration:00:08:58