The 2008 Beijing Olympics
on the BBC
BBC TV team Olympic impressions
Norwich-born Jake is best known for his
range of work with CBBC, which has included
everything from the live Saturday morning
extravaganza The Saturday Show to Fame
Academy. He also fronts the weekly
Newsround spin-off, Sportsround, for which
he has hosted live daily shows from the World Cup in Germany and presented at the
Commonwealth Games in Melbourne.
BBC Sport Jake has presented Football Focus,
Match Of The Day and Final Score, covered
the Women's World Cup from Shanghai and,
most recently presented from Euro 2008.
Beijing will be Jake's Olympics debut.
"For me the Olympics is quite simply the
greatest sporting event in the world. It
represents athletes pushing the boundaries of
physical endurance, making huge sacrifices to
devote their lives to one thing – becoming an
"I am sure for many sportspeople
across the globe, reaching the pinnacle of
Olympic gold rates as the finest sporting
achievement, making winning one even
"I have many memories of the Olympics as I
was growing up. The rowing and the relay
finals were always 'must watch' television in
the Humphrey household, the 4x100m relay
had all five of us on our knees yelling at the
"I was fascinated by the games as a
youngster, with Tony Jarrett's beaming smile
never missing, despite him seeming like a
serial finisher behind Colin Jackson. Kris
Akabusi's double-bronze celebrations in 1992
are still very vivid in my mind.
defining Olympic memory is of Linford
Christie, arms outstretched, winning gold in
the 1992 Barcelona games… I'm actually
having a holiday in Barcelona this year and
I'm sure I'll think about that moment a lot as
I wander through Las Ramblas.
"China is a fascinating place and I'm really
excited about returning there. I travelled
around the country for the Women's World
Cup in 2007 and had an amazing time.
culture shock comparable only to a visit to
one of India's big cities, I think. Everywhere
is vast with motorway fly-overs criss-crossing
the big cities.
"Despite my extensive travels
across China, one place I didn't manage to
visit was Beijing, so I'm delighted to get a
chance to stay there.
"Not that I expect to
have much time for sightseeing with all the
events we will be covering – but rest assured
that given a spare afternoon or two I will
attempt to enjoy the delights Beijing has to
offer… but I will choose my food carefully;
on my last China trip I ended up eating a
Sechzuan dish that was the hottest meal I'd
ever eaten… not that the heat shocked me
as much as finding out I had been nibbling on
a mix of donkey and frog!
"The Games being held in Beijing is amazing
for China and is a great indicator of the
country's development over just the past 15
years. It has, of course, also highlighted the
frustrations the rest of the world has with the
Chinese regime, which may help the country
move forward again in the coming years.
negative significance is the pollution which I
can tell you from first-hand experience is very
invasive. I imagine the long-distance athletes
will feel it the most, and it may lead to some
super-cool, streamlined pollution masks
making an appearance on the track!
"I will be keeping my eyes very firmly fixed on
the development of young Tom Daley, an
athlete of great poise, maturity and single-minded
"I've met Tom a number
of times recently and it seems his talent is only
matched by his relaxed modesty – something
that will keep him in good stead over the
coming years. It's been claimed Tom's not
aiming for a medal in August… I wouldn't be
"I am very excited by the chances of
medals for the Team GB cyclists and swimmers
who seem on cracking form. And China have
been tipped to end the US's reign as the medal
table-toppers; if they do that in front of the
home support it will be some party.
"I am also
anticipating a spine-tingling moment if I manage
to get into the Olympic Stadium one evening,
under the floodlights, for one of the relay finals.
"For Britain, can Gail Emms and Nathan
Robertson go one better and bag a gold? Not
easy but not impossible. Tim Brabants, a star
on the flatwater in his canoe bagged bronze in
the Men's K1 1000m in Athens, I've high
hopes for him.
"On the track I believe that
Christine Ohuruogu is our best hope of a gold
medal, and across the board I have really high
hopes for our sailors… in fact, I'm a general
romantic and optimist so will expect medals
galore this year!
"Looking ahead to 2012, I live in London, I'm
really proud of the city I call home and I
think we will host the greatest games ever.
really hope everyone gets behind the staging
of the Games, which is simply one of the
greatest sports events imaginable. I am
hoping to be involved in the presentation of
London 2012 and to be covering my second
games, in my home city would be
indescribable … so I won't even try!
"For London it will obviously mean huge
investment in the infastructure of the city, and
while I realise it will cost, and cost Londoners,
I genuinely believe we will live in a better city
"Quite simply with the eyes of the world
upon those responsible for the games they
can't afford to get it wrong. Therefore, from
trains to tubes, to clean, safe streets, London
"Also the free events and the
flood of awesome athletes should inspire a
whole generation of British Olympians.
short term the encouragement and support
for Team GB in 2012 may inspire them to
greatness, and to see the games on their
doorstep should inspire home-grown athletes
for years to come."