24 Mar 2010

Follow Britains Olympic hopefuls in the third instalment of Olympic Dreams

TX: Tuesday 13 April, 10.35pm, BBC One, 2 x 60mins

Beijing has been and gone, the London Olympics are getting closer and the sacrifices along the way are mounting. Athletes like Tom Daley and Jessica Ennis are looking to their next challenge with the ultimate goal of securing a place on Team GB and winning gold in front of a home crowd at London 2012. Revealing just what it takes for Olympic hopefuls to make the grade, the next instalment of Olympic Dreams, produced in partnership with The Open University, is set to begin on BBC Two on 13 April.

The athletes featured in this two-part series include diver Tom Daley; GB Junior Judo hope Ashley McKenzie; sprinter Shauna Thompson; heptathlete Jessica Ennis; rowers Andy Hodge and Pete Reed; weightlifter Zoe Smith and synchronized swimmers Jenna Randall and Olivia Allison.

Building on the success of the first two series, Olympic Dreams offers an insight into the world of elite sport with intimate access to British athletes’ lives - their gruelling training schedules, daily sacrifices, highs of victory, lows of defeat and injury, and the pressure of coping under the weight of growing expectation.

Senior Lecturer in Sports Studies at The Open University, Ben Oakley, is the academic consultant to the programme and said: “'These unusual programmes give us a unique insight into the minds of top athletes and their coaches, both when they succeed at world level but also when they are faced with adversity and setbacks. The behind the scenes access is absolutely incredible. We get to see personal stories such as the psychological aspects of Jessica Ennis's comeback from injury, watch Tom Daly cope with becoming the most famous 14 year old in Britain and we witness the trials and tribulations of 15 year old Zoe Smith's first world championships in Thailand.”

To continue the learning journey with The Open University, visit http://www.open2.net/olympicdreams/

Editor’s Notes
Olympic Dreams is a co-production between The Open University and the BBC.
The Executive Producer is Dinah Lord; BBC Commissioning Executive for The Open University is Emma De’Ath.
The Broadcast and Learning Executive for The Open University is Anne Stevens.
The Open University academic for the series is Ben Oakley.

The OU and the BBC have been in partnership for forty years, providing educational programming to a mass audience. In recent times this partnership has evolved from late night programming for delivering courses to peak-time programmes with a broad appeal, to encourage wider participation in learning.

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