26 August 2010
This weekend marks ‘two years to go’ until the London 2012 Paralympic Games and to celebrate the date, Channel 4, the event broadcaster, have scheduled a series of programmes including the feature length documentary ‘Inside Incredible Athletes’, which stars Aviva Great Britain and Northern Ireland internationalists Stefanie Reid and Jonnie Peacock.
‘Inside Incredible Athletes’ (Sunday 29 August at 21.00) is the official launch pad for Channel 4’s pre-Paralympic Games coverage and will broadcast exactly two years to the date before the Paralympic Games begin.
The short film will profile some of the elite British athletes who excel in their field from both a personal and a scientific perspective, including Aviva GB & NI T44 sprinters Reid, a 200m bronze medallist at the Beijing Paralympic Games and former F44 long jump World Record holder, and Peacock who made his international debut in this year’s Paralympic Word Cup. The show also features international blind football player David Clarke, wheelchair rugby players Mandip Sehmi and Steve Brown, equestrian dressage rider Lee Pearson and swimmer Liz Johnson, who has cerebral palsy.
Examining their demanding training regimes and skills required for high performance at each sport, this 90-minute programme features stunning sporting performance sequences, filmed against a backdrop of iconic locations around London.
Scientific tests and state-of-the-art scanning technology are used to create in-depth profiles and ‘biomechanical portraits’ of the individual athletes. The technique allows viewers to see inside these world-class athletes, revealing for the first time the inside story of these incredible humans and how they have achieved sporting excellence.
"It's hard to film running in an interesting way, so we had this idea of a scary man with a gun chasing the athletes across London like in a James Bond film," said the programme's Director Mike Christie. "He fires the gun and they run off. Stef had to jump over cars and roof to roof to escape."
View the 60-second trailer along with a short clip from the documentary below.
In addition, across the Bank Holiday weekend (Saturday 28 August – Monday 30 August), Steve Jones and Miquita Oliver will host Channel 4’s T4 from a base close to the ParalympicsGB Training Camp in Bath, while T4 and ‘That Paralympic Show’ presenter Rick Edwards will actually be at the Training Camp undergoing a number of challenges against the athletes.
‘That Paralympic Show’, which precedes the official launch programme and goes live on Saturday 28 August at 13.25, is a brand new, ten-week magazine series presented by T4’s Rick Edwards, wheelchair basketball medallist and broadcaster Ade Adepitan, and roving reporters Olympic 400m runner Iwan Thomas and British Wheelchair Tennis Number One Lucy Shuker.
The show is filmed on location each week from either a Paralympic event or with athletes at their training grounds where the presenters will be challenged to try out the sports first-hand.
Peter Eriksson, UKA Head Coach (Paralympics) said: “I’ve been really impressed by Channel 4’s enthusiasm and commitment to this project, even in the early stages of filming. Without doubt we need to raise the profile of our sport in the countdown to the London 2012 Paralympic Games and the creative and innovative programmes they’re already starting to develop will undoubtedly do that. From a human interest angle they’ve really go to know our athletes, which in turn will help the general public get to know and like them, but from a performance perspective – which is key as we approach the two years to go countdown – the programmes will convey the hard work, commitment and drive that is needed for athletes to succeed at this level, as in any elite sport.”
To find out more about the stars of ‘Inside Incredible Athletes’ and to check out Channel 4’s London 2012 Paralympic Games plans, go to their recently launched website.