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Archives for July 2012

The Olympics on BBC Three

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Jaine Sykes Jaine Sykes | 11:51 UK time, Friday, 27 July 2012

London Olympics Skyline

It's an exciting time here at BBC Three right now. That's because we're now broadcasting 24 hours a day every day during the Olympic Games!

To get us in the sporting mood, we caught up with our Olympics presenters Sonali Shah and Rishi Persad ahead of the Games to find out their Gold medal predictions for the next two weeks...

Sonali says...

Sonali Shah

Britain hosting an Olympic Games is once-in-a-lifetime stuff. If that isn't enough to get you excited, then you're a tough nut to crack. But I'll keep on chipping away. Just think about it for a moment - more than 10,000 athletes from over 200 countries are about to go into battle on British soil, having sacrificed and sweated so much to become Olympians.

The athletes I've got a close eye on tend to be those I've spent some time with. I'd love to see Shanaze Reade win a BMX gold after seeing her crash out in the final in Beijing. I've also got my fingers crossed for top sailor Ben Ainslie to win a 4th straight Olympic gold. And I think we all want to see Tom Daley win a diving medal.

The sport I'm most excited about watching is triathlon. You don't need a ticket for most of the Olympic course, so it's a great chance for those who won't get to see any other sport in person to be part of the Games. Britain has never won an Olympic triathlon medal, but Team GB goes into a home Games with both of the sport's world champions in Helen Jenkins and Alistair Brownlee. I'd certainly bet on a triathlete adding to Britain's gold medal tally.


Rishi says...

Rishi Persad

When I think back to the day in 2005 that Jacques Rogge announced London would host the Olympics I realise how much life has changed. Most significantly my dad was very excited for me that there may have been an opportunity to work at the Games. Sadly he passed away two years ago and I'll miss his unique assessment of my performance during the next couple of weeks.

But that's enough reflection. We should really be looking ahead to what's coming. I've picked out a couple of events and athletes I'm hoping could be successful for Great Britain. I've steered away from some of the obvious ones such as Mo Farah, Jess Ennis and Mark Cavendish.

On Saturday, the Badminton begins at Wembley Arena and I think there's a chance of a gold medal in the mixed doubles, courtesy of Chris Adcock and Imogen Bankier. They got to the final of the World Championships at the same venue in 2011 and are getting better all the time having only joined forces two years ago.

I'll be at Greenwich Park for the final two days of Eventing where Great Britain has selected a powerful team led by world number one William Fox-Pitt and including the Queen's granddaughter Zara Phillips and the always smiling 51-year-old Mary King appearing at her sixth Olympics.

Their preparation is almost complete, mine is still continuing. There's lots of information I need to install into my tiny brain and there are lots of other little bits and pieces to do, such as sort out my clothes and I definitely need a haircut. I'll hopefully be able to chat to some of you during the Games (using the hashtag #bbcthree2012) and I hope you all enjoy it as much as we want you to!


Olympics coverage begins on BBC Three from Saturday 28 July at 8.30am. Never miss a moment of London 2012 with BBC Sport's interactive video player, where you can watch up to 24 HD live streams.

Free Speech Olympic Special - Show Time

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James Emtage James Emtage | 12:06 UK time, Wednesday, 18 July 2012

According to a recent survey, 86% of 16-25 year olds don't think that the Olympics will make them better off financially, and 62% think that the money would have been better spent elsewhere.

Oh dear. It's not sounding too positive for the 500 young people who took part in a poll conducted especially for Free Speech to launch tonight's live Free Speech debate on the Olympics. (Tonight, 8pm)

However, 71% agreed that the Olympics are making them feel proud to be British, and 61% admitted to even being excited about the games, so maybe it's not all doom and gloom.

To debate the issues surrounding all things Games related, we've lined up a stellar panel of those in the know:

Tasha Danvers

Tasha Danvers: A British Bronze Olympic medal winner in the 400 metre hurdles in Beijing, Tasha suffered a late injury that has sadly stopped her from taking part in London 2012.



Rushanara Ali

Rushanara Ali MP: Labour MP for Bethnal Green and Bow, Rushanara has been named as one of the most powerful Muslim women in Britain. She's been supporting her constituents in the Olympic boroughs, including those who are finding missiles on their rooftops as part of Olympic security.


John Hayes

John Hayes MP: As the Government Minister in charge of Further Education Skills and Life Long Learning, John joined the Conservative party when he was just 14 years old and is in one of the party's safest seats as MP for South Holland and The Deepings (Lincolnshire).


Symeon Brown

Symeon Brown: Co-founder of Haringey Young People Empowered, Symeon aims to improve youth and community relations and give young people a stake in the democratic process, and describes himself as an 'activist/writer on youth, justice and urbanism.'


 As they give us their chat, YOU can give us your OPINION of their chat, by powering up or down the Twitter-controlled Power Bar.

It's pretty simple – as they're talking add a #YesName to your tweet if you agree with them, or a #NoName if you don't, then watch the Power Bar change in real time on the show. So for these guys the hashtags are:

Tasha:           #YesTasha          and    #NoTasha
Rushanara:  #YesRushanara and    #NoRushanara
John:             #YesJohn             and    #NoJohn
Symeon:       #YesSymeon       and    #NoSymeon

Power Bar

If Twitter's not your thing then head to our Facebook instead, where all of the questions will be debated live along with the show. Or simply leave your comments in the space below.

We will be reading out tweets, Facebook and blog comments live throughout the hour so if you have something to say, get on and say it... now.

  • Free Speech is on tonight, Wednesday 18th July, at 8pm, live on BBC Three.
  • The poll was conducted by ComRes who telephone interviewed 500 16-25 year olds in Great Britain between 2nd and 12th July. Full data tables can be found here.

Free Speech - Olympics Special

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James Emtage James Emtage | 17:38 UK time, Monday, 16 July 2012


The Olympic Stadium

Free Speech returns to your screens this Wednesday, live at 8pm on BBC Three, with a big old debate on that little sporting thing you might JUST have heard about… the Olympics.

To kick things off we’ve asked three young people to answer this question:

Are young people benefiting from the cost of the London Olympics?

Thomas   Marshall-Potter


Thomas Marshall-Potter (UCL and author of thesis The Regeneration Games: London 2012 and the Making of a New Community)

I see the Olympics as a machine, not one driven by sport, but one driven by the forces of regeneration. Categorised as a ‘mega- event’ the Olympics has the power to affect whole economies and therefore has the power to both benefit and severely disadvantage young lives in London and the host boroughs. 

In the case of Newham, for example, the Olympics has breathed new life into an area in desperate need of investment, but in turn, has brought with it higher house prices and significantly less social housing. The communities that the Olympic committee forcibly removed in 2005 have now been replaced by large new developments, which are out of the reach of young people. 

The Olympics, to me, just highlights the continuing gentrification of East London, and provides a false hope for the future of the Olympic boroughs. Following the same trajectory as Barcelona’ 92, the London games appears to have a sporting legacy worthy of recognition, but it’s the social legacy it leaves behind, where we will truly see the impact of the investment on the lives of younger generations. 


Jita Mitra


Jita Mitra, Creative Director, Hackney

Having started up my production company based in Hackney this year, I’ve seen a real change in the area. There’s a buzz, a hushed excitement. There's a lot of luck to be made. Being young and running your own business can be hard - you need people to take you seriously. But numerous events and companies eager to promote themselves in the area has meant start-up custom has been good. We’ve been lucky. 

At the same time, with a convoluted ticket booking system and a wooly legacy I’m not sure the access is immediate or awareness widespread. 

One thing is for sure, there’s going to be a hell of a party. Any excuse. With East London at the heart of the new urban social scene and set to host an international audience, it should be an Olympics to remember for all.


Shereece   Marcantonio


Shereece Marcantonio, Teenager and Sexual Health Campaigner, Newham

Being a teenager from the heart of the Olympic borough, I feel extremely left out!

My only chance of involvement was volunteering but even the process of that was oh-so ridiculous, feeling completely unfriendly towards young people. I was under the impression that part of why we won the bid was for the work we would do in involving our young people, but I can’t see much evidence of that from where I’m sitting.

Travelling will be out of control, as will so many other aspects of everyday life. As for the amount of money being spent on the games when vital local youth services are having their budgets cut, or being closed down all together – it feels like some priorities have got slightly muddled up in recent years. 

Thinking about it, how are young people benefitting from the Olympics being in London? I hope we will benefit in the long run, with the new facilities and rejuvenation of the borough but as of now, I'm failing to find my British spirit and look forward to the games.


You’ve heard what these guys have got to say, now tell us what you think. Leave a comment below, or hop on to our Facebook or Twitter to have your say and get involved in the debate. 

Meanwhile check out the super power street artist that is Shepard Fairey talking about his latest and largest mural on free speech:

View the full blog post to access video content. In order to see this content you need to have both Javascript enabled and Flash installed. Visit BBC Webwise for full instructions

Pretty cool huh? So… make sure you’re plugged in to your sofa and set to BBC Three on Wednesday at 8pm where Jake and Michelle, a panel of guests, a live studio audience and the opinion tracking Power Bar will be ready and waiting for you. 

See you then. 


Free Speech is on Wednesday at 8pm. 

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