The 2008 Beijing Olympics
on the BBC
BBC Radio team Olympic impressions
Chris Boardman is Britain's most successful
cyclist of all time.
Chris broke three world
hour records, won an Olympic gold and was
holder of the prestigious yellow jersey in the
Tour De France.
During his peak Chris was
virtually unbeatable in time trials.
domestic time trial scene he won over 30
national titles including National 10, 25, 50,
and National Hill Climb Championships.
Although Chris specialised in time trials he
also turned his attention to road racing and
competed in track disciplines.
represented GB at four Olympic Games, the
Commonwealth Games and one world
championship, winning a gold medal at the
1992 Olympics in the 4,000 metres pursuit.
In 1998 Chris was diagnosed with a form of
osteoporosis, making it difficult to train for
long periods at high intensity.
treatment with drugs prohibited by the UCI,
therefore Chris decided to retire.
awarded the MBE in 1993.
"The Olympics, for me in a sporting sense, is
the ultimate opportunity to compete against
the very best in the world.
"The winner can
truly consider themselves to be at the apex
of their sport; it's the ultimate accolade.
wider terms, it is one of the few global
opportunities for nations to have common
ground, to set politics aside and come
together. Cheesy but true!
"My favourite personal Olympic moment
was sitting on the Olympic village beach in
Barcelona at about 2am with my then coach,
Peter Keen, and a gold medal around my
neck and beer in hand.
"That was a moment
to savour. It was the first opportunity to stop
and try to comprehend that years of work
had just come to fruition, and the sheer
magnitude of what we had just done.
"As far as Beijing is concerned, as with all
Olympics, it is the utter scale that is amazing
to be part of – it's simply the biggest global
event you can see.
"For me it will be the first
Olympics since 1988 that I have been to not
inside the village, so I'm looking forward to a
whole new perspective.
"Regarding the events I'm most looking
forward to, definitely the inaugural BMX race,
it's a superb spectator sport and I think
something the youth of our country can relate
"After that, I simply can't separate the pack;
it's all amazing to watch.
"I have friends who
are coaches in other sports whom I have
worked alongside for several years (such as
sailing and hockey) and I am looking forward
to seeing how their athletes perform.
"As far as British hopes go, I predict that the
British cycling team will be the most
"Thinking ahead to London 2012, when we
first got the 2012 Games a journalist asked
me what impact this would have on the
cycling athletes; I rather flippantly said ‘the
flight will be shorter'.
"Our athletes cannot try
harder or prepare better because the Games
are in London, they are already doing
everything they can; however, the sense of
pressure to succeed and expectation all
around them will only increase, so it brings
"We experienced this in a small way this year
with a home world cycling championships,
which helped us understand what it will be
"A real focus area for our athletes will be
in learning how to harness all the upsides to
competing at home and be able to put aside
or cope with the added focus on GB riders
"Right now we are pulling out all the stops
for development, we are increasing our
investment in coaches and every detail is
being examined down to the last nut and
"This added focus and resource
availability is for me the most powerful
reward for hosting a Games and will last long