Olympic Channel Podcast: Ways to Listen

The countdown to the 2020 Olympics in Japan starts here...

From figure skating to gymnastics, we bring you the top Olympic talk around Tokyo 2020 with the biggest name athletes.

It's the official Olympic Channel podcast and it comes out every Wednesday.

Past guests include Simone Biles, Lindsey Vonn, Yuzuru Hanyu, and more than 100 others.

ADAM PEATY AND KATINKA HOSSZU

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Olympic champions Adam Peaty and Katinka Hosszu say becoming a world record holder is all to do with their mental preparation. As we

celebrate our 100th episode, we find out what sets apart two of the world’s very best swimmers ahead of the FINA World Championships.

USA ARTISTIC SWIMMING TEAM

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Andrea Fuentes has a difficult task. She is hoping to use her experience, as a four-time synchronised swimming Olympic medallist, to qualify an American artistic swimming team to the Olympics. The U.S. hasn’t entered a team since Beijing 2008. The country used to dominate the sport – can they beat the odds and reach Tokyo 2020?

“We are doing in five months what others took years to achieve,” said Fuentes.

Ahead of the Pan American Games and the FINA World Aquatics Championships 2019, we follow a coaching team determined to realise a dream.

Jennifer Abel and Melissa Citrini

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They are one of Canada’s big medal hopes for the FINA World Championships 2019. The diving pair are big friends in and out of the swimming pool. After two fourth-place finishes at Rio 2016, Jennifer Abel needed the help of a new partner to put the ‘dark thoughts’ to one side. Melissa Citrini has made diving more fun for Abel. We talk Olympic goals and karaoke songs with the pair (singing included).

B-boy Moy aka Moy Rivas

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Breaking legend B-Boy Moy was carrying a pistol to school the day his life changed. He discovered breaking at a talent show. After winning countless awards and contests, he’s now a big advocate for taking the sport to the next level: the Olympic Games. We spoke to Moy Rivas about his devotion to dance, hip hop, and positivity.

You can watch all the action from the 2019 WDSF Breaking World Championships live on the Olympic Channel.

Dashawn Jordan and Jenn Soto

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Women’s skateboarding, the ultra-competitive USA team, and core skating. There’s a lot to talk about as the countdown to the Olympics is officially on for skateboarding with qualification already underway. We caught up with Dashawn Jordan and Jenn Soto to talk gender equality and equal pay in skating. Plus, will we ever see skateboarding at the Paralympics? Oscar Loreto Jr and Aaron 'Wheelz' Fotheringham are hoping to make that dream a reality.

FIFA Women's World Cup preview

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We have travelled the world to find the best football stories ahead of the WWC in France. There are two exclusive interviews with senior FIFA officials: Fatma Samoura (Secretary General) and Sarai Bareman (Chief Women’s Football Officer). Plus, we went to Malaga to see refugee Ode Fulutudilu about her call up to the South Africa squad. We also took a trip to Orlando, USA, to speak to Jamaican teenager Jody Brown on playing against her idols.

Elliot Stewart

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His vision became impaired but it meant earning a shot at his dream: representing his country at Tokyo 2020. British judoka Elliot Stewart had given up on following his father’s footsteps to become an Olympian. When he lost his sight, he lost his job and was unsure of his direction in life. Stewart returned to judo, came third at the World Championships, and now looks to be a strong candidate for the British Paralympic team.

“I lost my vision. But I can do the sport that I love. And go to the place that I’ve always wanted to go which is the Paralympic Games.”

John McAvoy

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John McAvoy is an Ironman triathlete. The first part of his life was spent in prison or committing serious crime. Now, he’s broken world records in indoor rowing and had top-level meetings with the UK government. McAvoy vowed to change his ways when his friend died in a car chase. He left behind a criminal life of chasing money to focus on motivating and inspiring people.

“If you gave me the option between winning a gold medal at the Olympics, or sacrificing my whole athletic career to stop one kid going to prison: I’d sacrifice everything,” he said to the Olympic Channel Podcast.

Ada Hegerberg

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The Norwegian striker is going for her fourth consecutive UEFA Women's Champions League title and has broken goal records consistently. The Olympic Channel Podcast spoke to her about equality in the women’s football, the Ballon d’Or win, and her ambitions with club Olympique Lyonnais.

Gracie Gold

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Depression, anxiety, and an eating disorder all disrupted the dreams of American figure skater Gracie Gold. She won two US National titles as a teenager and took an Olympic bronze medal home from Sochi 2014. But in 2017 she withdrew from competition to seek treatment for her mental health. Gracie is now taking a day-by-day approach to recovery as she explains in this honest, open, and raw interview.

Pita Taufatofua

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The Tongan grabbed everyone’s attention when he arrived at Rio 2016’s Opening Ceremony with his bare, coconut-oiled chest. And then he did it again at PyeongChang 2018 in below freezing conditions. From escaping avalanches in Iceland to ending up thousands of dollars in debt, the Tongan took on every problem with a smile. His sporting career started in taekwondo, then he moved to cross country skiing, and now he’s hoping to become a kayaker. Pita’s positivity is infectious so we joined him for in depth chat at his home in Tonga.

Cheerleading in England and the chemotherapy nurse

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As Alexandra Banfield prepares to represent England at the 2019 ICU World Cheerleading Championships in Orlando, Florida, the Solihull-based athlete explains how she balances an emotional job as a chemotherapy nurse with the rigours of training for a major competition. Plus, we sent influencer Gina Scarangella to London to see how the sport has grown in the country.

Briana Williams

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She’s fast. She’s Jamaican. And she’s coached by four-time Olympic medallist Ato Boldon. Briana Williams won the 100m and 200m at the U20 World Championships. Now, she is hoping to reach the 2019 World Championships (‘if her coach knows what he’s doing’ – Ato’s words not ours!) and maybe even Tokyo 2020.

Sarah Sellers

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The question on everyone’s lips was ‘Who is Sarah Sellers?’. The American beat the odds to finish second in the 2018 Boston Marathon. The Olympic Channel Podcast spoke to the full-time nurse about what’s changed a year on, her Tokyo 2020 chances, and why she will never pay for a first class flight.

Evgenia Medvedeva, Jason Brown, and Brian Orser

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Coach Brian Orser has some of the best figure skaters in the world training at his famous ‘Cricket Club’ in Toronto, Canada.

Two of the newest additions to the team are Evgenia Medvedeva and Jason Brown.

“They do have a very special chemistry,” said Orser.

“They are from different backgrounds - but they seem to jive really well.”

Olympic champion Meryl Davis spoke exclusively to the pair and Orser about what makes their relationship so unique.

Katelyn Ohashi and Valorie Kondos Field (aka Miss Val)

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Her phone totally blew up. After being out with friends, US gymnast Katelyn Ohashi came home to 50,000 more followers on social media.

We hear the full story behind the ‘Perfect 10’ routine that went viral, her friendship with Simone Biles, and the biggest life lesson from legendary coach Valorie Kondos Field.

The Olympic Channel Podcast also spoke to Miss Val about what’s next for American gymnastics and what she’s learnt in her three decades at UCLA.

Meryl Davis

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The ISU 2019 World Figure Skating Championships in Japan are upon us.

Olympic champion figure skater Meryl Davis talks about what it’s like to compete at the top-level with partner Charlie White and gives her expert opinion on Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan and Evgenia Medvedeva of Russia.

Plus, the Olympic Channel Podcast get some predictions about who will come out on top.

Elana Meyers Taylor

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The President of the Women Sports Foundation and top USA bobsleigher gave an in-depth chat about her career, head injuries and women’s issues.

We spoke to her just before the World Championships where, despite being one of the favourites to win, she crashed out and suffered her fifth concussion.

It’s not clear if she will retire or continue competing but this outspoken interview is evidence of her leadership skills.

Also, Elana spoke well about knowing the limits of your own body.

“A lot of women have this tendency to try to ‘tough it out’. I think (because) there’s a societal stigma that we are weaker sex... we push through things when we shouldn’t necessarily.”

Ramla Ali

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It’s something to tell your mum about – winning a national championship. But Ramla Ali preferred to keep her boxing career secret. She was a refugee from Somalia who discovered boxing in London’s East End.

“My mum… in her eyes to be a good Muslim girl you have to be fully covered. But I think just different things work for different people.”

We visited her gym in London to talk family secrets and representing Somalia at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

Madison de Rozario

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After winning the 2018 London Marathon, the Australian Paralympian’s social media started blowing up.

Along with the all the positive feedback, there’s also been a bunch of unwanted comments.

“(Some) men genuinely believe that calling women (they don’t know) attractive… is a compliment…

“We just don’t appreciate it and it doesn’t leave a positive impact.”

We sat down with the outspoken three-time Paralympic medallist to talk Tokyo 2020, body image and her fight with online harassment.

If you liked this episode – then have a read or listen to our interview with David Weir.

Kristina Vogel

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Kristina Vogel, one of the world’s very best female track cyclists, won her record-breaking 11th title at the 2018 UCI Track Cycling World Championships.

Four months later, she was paralysed and in a wheelchair.

A junior Dutch cyclist was practising standing starts when Vogel crashed into him at full speed.

The double Olympic champion feels no resentment.

“I don’t need to forgive (the person because) I have no anger about him.”

She doesn’t know if her family feels the same.

“I have never asked them if they have forgiven him… I am scared to question that.”

The 28-year-old talked about her life-changing accident, acceptance and forgiveness.

Mirai Nagasu

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After she was passed over for the USA team for Sochi 2014, Mirai Nagasu was done with figure skating.

“It wasn’t fun… I used to think, ‘I deserve to sit here in my puddle of tears and cry.’”

She vowed to make a comeback and became the first American woman to land a triple axel at the Olympics.

Olympic champion Meryl Davis sat down with her to speak about the 2018 Olympics, Gracie Gold’s sarcasm and how she landed that big jump.

Thomas Fogdö

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Thomas Fogdö was one of the best alpine skiers in the world. He had won the slalom world cup title, and finished fifth in both the Albertville 1992 and Lillehammer 1994 Olympics. But in 1995 the Swede broke his back in a training accident in Are. He was paralysed, at the age of 24. Despite now being in a wheelchair, the Swede has continued to give back to the sport he loves so much and told the Olympic Channel podcast how he has forged a life trying to help others who have suffered similar injuries.

Podcast:

Podcast: "I would love to walk again... [But] if I had the possibility to turn back time I guess I would stay like this," Paralysed Olympian Thomas Fogdö

BERNICE WILSON

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Great Britain’s Bernice Wilson was a promising young sprinter, but her career took a turn for the worse when she enlisted the services of ex-UK Athletics coach Dr. George Skafidas. They began dating, and he persuaded Wilson to start doping. She was caught, banned for four years, and vowed to come back clean. With her ban nearing completion, she tested positive again. But this time Skafidas had been doping the Briton without her knowledge. Wilson alerted the authorities. Three years on she is now a clean competitor and anti-doping campaigner. She told the Olympic Channel podcast how she made mistakes, was manipulated, and how she's trying to make amends.

BOBBY CLAY

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Bobby Clay's promising running future was put on hold because she over-trained and under-ate. After winning numerous British titles and earning herself a team GB bib, the rising star's body broke. She was diagnosed with bone disease Osteoporosis at the age of 18. Now aged 21, Clay is competing in the UK national track cycling championships as part of her recovery, but still has Olympic ambitions as a runner. She shares her story as a word of warning to other young athletes.

WILFRED BUNGEI

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Kenya's Wilfred Bungei seemingly had it all: Money, fame, and an Olympic 800m gold medal. However, after retiring he slipped into deep alcoholism 'chaos', almost losing his life several times, missing the birth of his child, and also losing friend and fellow gold medallist Samuel Wanjiru.

Now, over seven years sober, Bungei is helping other alcoholics and former athletes avoid making the same mistakes. Olympic Channel reporter Evelyn Watta travelled to Kenya to hear the former track star's emotional story.

LUCY DAVIS

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Lucy Davis has always loved horses from a young age, but had to juggle her Olympic ambitions with studying at Stanford. After missing the team for London 2012, the American finally realised her dream in Rio. She came away with a team silver, then suffered from post-Olympic blues which took her two years to "figure out". We hear from her about missing out on gold, how she recovered from her mental struggle, and her business which she hopes will drive new interest in equestrian sport.

FIVE INSPIRATIONAL STORIES FOR 2019

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If you’re looking for some motivation to achieve what you want in 2019, then have a listen to these amazing stories from across the Olympic world. We hear from Michael Phelps, Missy Franklin, Jordyn Wieber, and more. Whatever your aim for the new year, we hope these stories from the greats will inspire you on your way to greatness.

BEST OF 2018

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From Simone Biles to Yuzuru Hanyu, some of the world's best athletes have appeared on the podcast this year. We've put together a selection of some of the most popular interviews of 2018.

MICHELA MOIOLI

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Italian Michela Moioli felt nervous ahead of her first Olympic snowboard cross final at Sochi 2014. Those nerves turned into despair as the hope of medalling was crushed when she crashed. Aged just 18 – it seemed like her whole career could have ended. She had torn her cruciate ligament in her knee. She dedicated herself to making a comeback and, at PyeongChang 2018, she won gold. We spoke about pasta, her post-Olympic comedown, and plans for Beijing 2022.

BRIAN ORSER

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We sent Olympic champion figure skater Meryl Davis to Vancouver to cover the Grand Prix Final for the Olympic Channel Podcast. And she bumped into a familiar face. Double Olympic silver medallist Brian Orser is coach to Yuzuru Hanyu, Javier Fernandez and Evgenia Medvedeva.

Davis and Orser chatted about Hanyu’s ankle injury, Fernandez’s European Championships mission and what his opinion on Medvedeva’s inconsistent season.

“I ask everyone for their patience. Please. It will be great. Really great. But there’s no quick fix.”

DAVID WEIR

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British Paralympian David Weir has won more London Marathon titles than anyone on the planet. But despite his success, he’d never come to terms with his disability.

“I never showed my emotions to my family. I never spoke to my mum and dad about my disability... I just bottled things up for years and years and years.”

The 39-year-old opened up about why he wants to represent Great Britain at Tokyo 2020, the highs of London 2012, and his life-changing counselling sessions.

JOHN OROZCO

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“It's not popular for men to be emotional in America. Especially black men.”

You may remember US gymnast’s emotional NBC interview after he made the team for Rio 2016. He beat the odds to make the team after injuries and the sudden death of his mother. Orozco never made it to Brazil. Another injury ended his sporting career. Now, the 25-year-old is looking to become a singer in Los Angeles.

CHINESE SKI JUMPING + AKSEL LUND SVINDAL

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A set of athletes aged 15-20 have been given an incredible challenge. They haven’t ever even worn skis but are still hopeful of becoming international level ski jumpers. China have sent some of their most promising athletes to live in Norway to transform them into Olympians. We went behind-the-scenes on their first day on the slopes. Plus, double Olympic champion Aksel Lund Svindal joined us to tell about his longevity in the sport, injuries and his friend Lindsey Vonn.

ANTHONY ERVIN

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A swimmer who won two individual Olympic gold medals 16 years apart - with a suicide attempt, a reignited passion for swimming, and the birth of his daughter in between. Ed Knowles spoke to the oldest individual Olympic medallist in swimming about the curse of winning, Ryan Lochte's problems and competing at Tokyo 2020.

SIMONE BILES

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The four-time Olympic champion Simone Biles joined us for a chat during the FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Championships in Doha. Scott Bregman spoke to her about performing with a kidney stone, her friendship with Morgan Hurd, finding her voice online and the story behind how she met boyfriend Stacey Ervin.

SARAH WALKER

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It doesn't feel great to fail. But Olympic silver medallist BMX rider Sarah Walker says we should aim to fail at something every week. The stakes for failing in BMX are higher than in most other walks of life. The Kiwi has broken 18 bones in her body over her career.

JORDYN WIEBER AND MADISON KOCIAN

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Ahead of the FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Championships in Doha, we spoke to two Olympic gold medallist gymnasts from Team USA who are both based in Los Angeles to study at UCLA. Wieber became world champion in 2011 but then missed out on the all-around final at London 2012. Find out why her switch to coaching has seen her flourish like never before. Plus, we get the inside-track on Simone Biles from her 'Final Five' team-mate Madison Kocian.

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