The 2008 Beijing Olympics
on the BBC
BBC TV team Olympic impressions
Without a doubt one of the greatest athletes
that Great Britain has ever produced, Colin
Jackson called time on his outstanding
athletics career at the World Indoor
Championships in Birmingham in 2003 after
more than a decade spent at the very
pinnacle of his sport.
110m hurdler Colin ranked in the world top
10 for 16 years, was World No. 1 from 1992
to1994 and, for the last seven years of his
career, was never out of the world's top
three. Colin held the world record over
110mh outdoors (12.91, world title, Stuttgart
1993) until July 2006. He still holds the record
over 60mh indoors (7.30, Sindelfingen 1994)
and, after setting a European junior record of
13.44 in 1986, went on to set seven
European, eight Commonwealth and nine UK
records at 110mh.
On retirement, Colin joined the BBC's sports
presentation team and he continues to cover
all of our athletics output as an analyst and
Covering the 2004 Athens
Olympics was a highlight early in his
broadcasting career and 2006 saw him
covering the Winter Olympics,
Commonwealth Games and European
Championships. In 2006 he also took on a
key role as development producer for BBC
Outside sport, Colin kick-started his
broadcasting career by co-hosting the BBC
sporting talent reality TV project Born To Win
and has also taken part in programmes such
as Celebrity Bargain Hunt, The Weakest Link,
Departure Lounge, Strictly Come Dancing
and Who Do You Think You Are?
"To me, the Olympics is the biggest sporting
festival in the whole wide world – and I think
the emphasis is on festival.
"My earliest Olympic memories are from
Montreal in 1976. I remember there was a lot
of anticipation in the Jackson household
because there was a head-to-head match
with the Caribbean – Hasely Crawford taking
on Don Quarrie - and because my household
was full of Jamaicans they wanted Don
Quarrie to win.
"They were absolutely
devastated when he lost and that was the first
time I remember thinking, okay this thing is
"For me the Seoul Olympics was very exciting
because it was my first Olympic Games, and
that was a really great experience, to go to a
brand new culture, and to enjoy the Olympic
feeling and movement in a brand new culture,
was very special – and then to win a silver
medal on top at the age of 21 you think, yeah!
Anything can happen!
"I'm looking forward to Beijing in a way just
to see how the Chinese do the Olympic
Games; after going through many Olympic
Games in the Western world it's interesting
to see how they are going to approach things
because they are a completely different and
"I'm not expecting it to be a
bad Olympic Games in any way, but it will be
very different, I feel.
"I've been to China once, briefly, and it was
fine – but I might have had a false impression
of the country because I went with the
"As for the significance of the Games being held
in China, well, it was an interesting selection
from the IOC. I think they wanted to use the
fact that the Olympic Games is something the
whole world should embrace; I think that's
really the reason why initially they gave it to
China, because they were coming out and they
felt this was a good opportunity for them to do
something for the world.
"I don't think that
many of the athletes themselves really care too
much where the Olympic Games is – they just
want to compete.
"I'm really looking forward to seeing Phillips
Idowu in the triple jump. I think he's a
completely different athlete now and he's
more than capable of taking the gold medal –
I would really love him to do that. He's one
of those people who's been forgotten on
many occasions but the time's right now.
"Other than that my main event has to be the
100m on the men's side – it's very interesting
to see what's happening now with young
Usain Bolt, who's favoured the 200m up till
now but he's currently the fastest in the
world at 100m too. I read a quote recently
he hasn't even started training for the 200m
yet so it will be fascinating to see what he can
"And as for my old event [the 110m hurdles]
it's going to be the No. 1 event of them all
with Liu Xiang the big Chinese hope. I'm
looking forward to seeing how that plays out
because it's not going to be one-way traffic
for him so it will be really exciting for me to
watch – there are possibly four guys who
could win it.
"Liu Xiang is the big star and I
think that helped me when I was there –
because he took my world record there was
a lot of interest in me to see what I thought
of him and his potential.
"Looking ahead to London 2012, for me
personally there'll be a huge amount of
jealousy! What a great event to have on your
own turf, sensational! I wish I was still capable…
"For the team itself it's the best carrot –
anyone who's successful at the 2012 Games is
really printing themselves a lifetime meal
ticket if they play their cards right.
"And it will be a real party atmosphere.
Britain is a nation of sports lovers and we
certainly know how to have a party, so we
will do ourselves proud and the nation will be
very excited as a whole."