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24 September 2014
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The Beijing Games on the BBC
Martin Cross © Stefan Klasener

The 2008 Beijing Olympics and Paralympics on the BBC

BBC Radio team Olympic impressions

Martin Cross


Martin Cross is an Olympic gold and bronze medallist rower who represented Great Bitain for 20 years.


He competed in four Oympic Games between 1980-1992, winning bronze in Moscow and gold in Los Angeles.


He also has four world championship medals and Commonwealth Games gold.


Martin has several strands in his current portfolio, including working as a business and life coach, together with teaching history at Hampton School.


These run alongside his role as a sports journalist for The Guardian and his work for BBC Radio 5 Live as a broadcaster and correspondent.


"For me the Olympics is the greatest single event in the world for young people trying to realise their own dreams, as well as being role-models for millions of others watching. It's incredibly energising to be a part of.


"My own favourite Olympics memories are, from Moscow, just getting there despite threats of GB boycott.


"From LA, embracing family just before my gold medal presentation.


"From Seoul, being part of my first opening ceremony.


"From Barcelona, the legacy: seeing the Searles, two of my students, win gold at my last Games as a competitor.


"In Beijing, I'm really looking forward to telling the story of how GB's rowing team had their best Olympics ever!


"I think the Games being held in Beijing is a massive challenge for both China and the West.


"It gives amazing opportunities for sport to facilitate dialogue and understanding in the midst of a dynamic, friendly people, against the backdrop of a tough communist regime prepared to abuse human rights far too readily.


“Once there, I'm most looking forward to seeing whether Kath Grainger can win GB women's first Olympic gold in the quads; whether Rob Waddell of New Zealand can complete his amazing comeback and take gold in the double sculls; whether the Steve Redgrave of Australia, Jimmy Tomkins (who I used to race!), now in his sixth Games, can medal in the Aussie eight; if Rebecca Romero can add to her rowing silver with a cycling gold; and if world champion Tim Brabants has got what it takes to win GB's first flat water gold in the K1000m.


"My predictions for British glory are Rebecca Romero – an incredible sport double; Mark Foster – British Peter Pan!; Ben Ainslie – the best GB sailor since Nelson!; Frankie Gavin – to go one better than Amir Khan; and Christine Ohurougu – redemption through gold.


"Looking ahead to London 2012, it's an unbelievable chance for GB athletes to be part of creating an unforgettable legacy as inspirational role-models for the kids of today and tomorrow."








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