The 2008 Beijing Olympics
on the BBC
BBC TV team Olympic impressions
Jonathan is best known as king of the triple
jump. He still holds the world record with an
amazing jump of 18.29m, set at the 1995
World Championships in Gothenburg – to date
no one has even come close to this distance.
There are few triple jumping titles Jonathan
hasn't won. However, it was only at the Sydney
Olympics in 2000 that he finally achieved his
ultimate dream of an Olympic gold medal.
2002 Jonathan won Commonwealth Gold at
Manchester and became one of only four elite
athletes to have held all four major world titles
at the same time – Olympic, World, European
Jonathan retired from competitive athletics in
2002 and has since become one of the key
pundits and commentators for BBC Sport,
covering major athletics events including
the 2004 Athens Olympics and the 2006
awarded a CBE in 2000 and is the athlete
board member of the London Organising
Committee for the Olympic Games.
"For me, the Olympic Games is the greatest
celebration of human achievement, and all
that it entails, that this planet has.
"Memorable moments for me have been
Cathy Freeman winning in Sydney, and the
sense of national pride that evoked, and Carl
Lewis winning the 100m in LA, for sheer
"I have been to China only once, and briefly –
so I'm just looking forward to spending more
time in a place which will soon become one
of the most powerful in the world.
"As to the significance of the Games being
held in Beijing, it's part of a process which
will help break down some of the barriers
and mistrust that exist between China and
the West… I think there is much to learn on
"Some of the top moments that I'm looking
forward to are the local hero, Liu Xiang, in the
110mh; Phillips Idowu in the triple jump; the
heptathlon with Kelly Sotherton; the 100m,
with Tyson Gay, Asafa Powell and Usain Bolt;
and Britain's young Tom Daley in the diving.
"For British glory, I'm tipping Phillips Idowu.
"The Games coming to London in 2012 is a
once-in-a-lifetime chance to change the face of
sport in this country, and to change people's
lives through the manifold opportunities that
hosting the Games will bring.
"It will bring the
best out of Team GB, and will show off
London as the greatest city in the world."