Image for Olympic Spark: Fire Up Your FutureNot currently available on BBC iPlayer

Duration: 25 minutes

Series of seven short films, featuring inspirational British medal-winning Olympians talking about their lives and careers - and sharing key messages with children and young people.

By encouraging the next generation to think differently about what they are capable of, these great athletes hope children of all kinds will seek to recognise and harness their own unique talents and map out a satisfying future for themselves - whatever their passions might be.

Carl Hester lived on the Island of Sark. But riding donkeys, attending a school of only 22 children and being separated from the horse riding elite by sea, did not stop him winning dressage gold in 2012.

Judo champ Gemma Gibbons was introduced to the sport very young by her mum, to burn off excess energy. Obsessed by judoka Kate Howey, Gemma was so excited to finally meet her. When her mum died Gemma was just 17. Howey became her mentor and, motivated by her mother's memory, Gemma made it all the way to a bronze medal.

Etienne Stott was scared of water so it took great courage to get into a canoe that first time. Once aboard, his scout leader told him he was a natural and joked that he must have Canadian blood. Stott surprised him by actually being half Canadian, and the young boy took that as a sign. He was off and paddling.

At just 22, Samantha Murray is already a silver medal-winning pentathlete. She ran, swam, rode, shot and cycled her way to 2012 victory by sheer will and determination, plus hard training. Growing up on a remote Lancashire farm she credits strong role models - her mum and grandma - as the driving force behind her success.

These emotional and affecting personal messages are designed to encourage children to think differently about themselves and their own futures.

Last on

Wed 27 Nov 2013 05:00 BBC Two


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