The 2008 Beijing Olympics
on the BBC
BBC Radio team Olympic impressions
Allison Curbishley competed at two Olympic
Games during her career as an athlete.
the 2000 Games in Sydney she reached the
quarter final of the 400m as well as finishing
fifth in the final of the 4x400m relay.
won a silver medal for Scotland in the 400m
at the 1998 Commonwealth Games in Kuala
Lumpur and in the same year won a bronze
in the 4x400m relay at the European
Championships in Budapest.
knee injury finally led to her retirement in
2002 and since then she has been a regular
expert athletics summariser for BBC Radio
"For me the Olympics is the pinnacle of my
sport. Even before joining an athletic club,
the 1984 Games in LA was mesmerising TV
for me at the age of eight.
"As soon as I joined
the Harriers at the age of 11 it was a dream
to compete for my country in the greatest
sporting show on earth.
"I remember at the 1984 Olympics, Daley
Thompson doing a back flip on the pole vault
mat; in fact that picture was a present in the
form of a giant poster at Christmas in 1984
and adorned my bedroom wall.
1992, Sally Gunnell winning the 400 hurdles – an event I had started competing in.
"I vividly remember stopping off at a service
station on the way back from competing for
my club, Middlesbrough and Cleveland
Harriers, to watch Sally's race with all my
athletic team. A memorable race!
"As far as Beijing 2008, I'm most looking
forward to the spectacle of the Games being
in China, the fact that they will undoubtedly
deliver a unique event, which is what the
Olympics should be all about, a city being
able to lend its own culture to the Games
and those who come to take part or
"Having recently visited Beijing and
the Olympic site it's only helped to heighten
my anticipation of a vibrant and exciting
"They'll be efficient but extremely
passionate about every sport.
"Particular events and performers I'm really
looking forward to seeing include Liu Xiang
in the 110m hurdles; can the red-hot
Chinese favourite deliver their expected
"Also Usain Bolt in the 100m; I'm eager
to see if Usain can match his world record
performance early in the season with an
Olympic title against tough rivals in Tyson
Gay and Asafa Powell.
"Then there's David
Davies in the 10K open water event, the
marathon of swimming! I'm really looking
forward to whether David can bring home a
medal for Great Britain in the first-ever open
water event in the Olympics.
Romero in the track cycling is the most
exciting prospect to possibly take home two
Olympic medals in two completely different
sports. Formerly a rower, now a world-class
cyclist, she's so exciting to watch.
British female 400m prospects – that's my
old event and we have two extremely
talented athletes in Nicola Sanders and
Christine Ohuruogu, both of whom could
potentially make the podium.
"As for medals for Britain, on the track and in
the field particularly the two 400m girls I've
mentioned, Nicola and Christine in the
individual, but also when they are joined by
two further members they have a huge
opportunity in the 4x400m relay to take a
"For Phillips Idowu, in the triple jump,
there's a big chance to add to his world
"Kelly Sotherton, in the
heptathlon, if she's injury and illness free –
this could be Kelly's best opportunity to take
an Olympic title with no Caroline Kluft to
contend with – or, sadly, Jessica Ennis.
However, competition is still fierce!
complete outsider for a medal would be
Mara Yamauchi in the marathon. Ninth at the
World Championships last year, if the
favourites eat each other up she may not be
too far away from a medal. She has been
planning meticulously for Beijing!
"I think the Games in London in 2012 will
have a huge impact on the UK as a whole,
not just London.
"The nation has an
opportunity to influence the Games with its
own culture and sporting passion and we
have the chance to witness the spectacle of
the world's greatest athletes in all sports
compete in our back yard.
"If this doesn't
engage the country in sport and what it has
to offer, nothing will!
“To be a member of Team GB in 2012 is
"I sadly missed out on
the Commonwealth Games in Manchester
2002, but from all accounts every British
athlete raised their game in the field and
delivered performances to be proud of and
have memories that will last for ever.
only imagine how fulfilling and proud an
athlete will be taking a medal home from a
Games hosted by their own nation; I hope
there'll be many!"