Sir Chris Hoy's Olympic inspiration
From the very first Gold Run interview, myself and producer Nick Etherton did our utmost to uncover at least one thing connected to our Olympic interviewees that hadn't been talked about before. Or least made them think a little bit more about their moment - or moments - under one of the brightest of sporting spotlights.
Sometimes it would be a tiny thing, like discovering that Daley Thompson finished 18th on his 18th birthday in Montreal, or that Tim Brabants was partly inspired by the cult BBC show Paddles Up.
On other occasions it was truly sporting: Allan Wells racing the boycotting Americans from Moscow 1980 just weeks after that Olympic final, or that Dame Mary Peters' pentathlon win represents the shortest and, potentially, the longest a world record will ever be held.
In the case of Sir Chris Hoy, it was all his own doing…
When I phoned his representatives to organise an interview, and gave them the well-honed Gold Run sales pitch, Chris himself took it to heart and pointed out that his true grounding came from his family; his inspiration partly came from his great uncle Andy Coogan, who he had nominated to carry the Olympic torch through Edinburgh on his behalf.
Andy was quite the mile runner in the 1930's and had a real chance of becoming an Olympian at the very least, and possibly a medallist to boot. But World War II put paid to that, and he spent most of his wartime in notorious Japanese death camps. By the time he returned he was nothing more than, to quote himself, ''a bag of bones”. Despite an admirable attempt to rebuild his stamina and physique, it proved to be a step too far.
Mr Coogan spoke to Gold Run with a kindness, intelligence and humility about his experiences before, during and after the war, and told me of the obvious talent of a young Chris Hoy, who found out about his Great Uncle after putting together a school report on World War II.
I know it's a cliche to say ''it puts it all into perspective'', and I do stay clear of the obvious in Episode 5 of Gold Run, but without giving anything away for those who have yet to listen, Andy Coogan is a remarkable man. They say with age - and Andy is 95 - comes wisdom, but his lack of regret or bitterness about what he went through is hard to grasp. Compassion is an understatement.
Episode 5 of Gold Run tells both Andy and Chris' story, and as luck would have it, Andy Coogan indeed carried the Olympic torch this week, and did so with the same warmth, smile and dignity as he displayed that rainy day in Dundee when I popped by to say hello.