The 2008 Beijing Olympics
on the BBC
BBC Radio team Olympic impressions
One of the most consistent and successful
athletes of the golden era, with three world
records, three Olympic medals and 13 major
championship medals, Steve is Britain's first
athlete to win four consecutive European
titles – a true demonstration of his strength
of character and unrivalled ability to
He's also the only
British track and field athlete to have won
medals at three consecutive Olympics.
Steve swapped his javelin for a microphone
in 2005, joining the BBC Radio 5 Live
commentary team for athletics, including the
European Cup in Florence and the World
Championships in Helsinki.
He also coaches
youngsters as part of the UK Athletics and
Norwich Union mentoring programme.
Steve was awarded an OBE in the New
Year's Honours list 2003.
"For me the Olympics represents the biggest
organised challenge to anyone anywhere in
"I see it as the cutting edge of
human endeavour. It represents the ultimate
in human performance organised on a stage
for everyone to enjoy and for no one to
dispute who is the ultimate champion.
"My own favourite moment from past
Olympics is probably from the 2000 Games
where I threw an Olympic record in the
"This, in many other Games,
would have been enough to win – but not
there, because Zelezney was really on his
game that day.
"As for Beijing, I am looking forward to
seeing the British team do well. I really see
this as a great opportunity to up the ante
four years before hosting the Games in
London in 2012.
"I was in China in 2006 and enjoyed the
insight into a different culture.
"As far as the
significance of the Games being held there,
I see it as purely that the Games is contested
by every nation in the world and as one of
the fastest-growing and largest countries in
the world it was their turn.
especially the Olympics, cuts across any
social and cultural differences.
"As for the events to watch, of course I'll be
glued to the men's 100m – Tyson Gay, Asafa
Powell and Usain Bolt.
"I'll also be following
the women's heptathlon where Kelly
Sotherton is in with a shout – and the men's
triple jump, as Phillips Idowu has a great
chance of winning.
"I keep an eye on my old
sport, the men's javelin, where Pitkamaki v
Thorkildsen should be an exciting battle – as
should the women's 400m with Nicola
Sanders v Christine Ohuruoghu. They're all
the ones I'm tipping for glory.
"Looking ahead to 2012, as far as the
Olympics being in London goes, in terms of
the challenge, it is purely the platform where
the contest will take place.
angle is great for our capital city and the
impact the Games will have on our sporting
youth is important for the development of
sport in our country.
"For me personally, it will be a chance for my
family to see and enjoy the Games."