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New documentary to follow top UK athletes on their path to the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games

26th March 2024

The National Lottery team up with Channel 4 to allow peek behind the scenes as britain’s top Athletics stars approach the Paris 2024 Olympic & Paralympics Games.

Some of Britain’s biggest athletic stars will be heading into the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Paris this summer with Channel 4 cameras following their preparations and training. Two-fly-on-the-wall documentaries, in partnership with The National Lottery, will provide a unique insight into the journey an athlete takes and the sacrifices they make to be able to compete for Olympic or Paralympic gold.

Nine athletes will allow fans a behind-the-scenes peek of what it takes to succeed at the very highest level of the sport. Episode one will follow four athletes that all have the dream of becoming the next Olympic champion in track and field, while episode two will shine a spotlight on five outstanding Paralympians as they set out on a mission to light up the stadium in Paris.

The series will explore what it takes to be a professional athlete heading to a Summer Games. Each athlete has a unique story to tell, and the series will follow their gruelling training sessions, championship battles and the challenge of trying to qualify for the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Viewers will be introduced to the high-performance support environment, enabled by National Lottery players, including coaches, nutritionists, physiotherapists and psychologists. This team that sits behind every elite athlete will give a unique insight into the mentality and physicality of an elite sportsperson fighting to represent their country. The documentaries will be produced by Burning Bright Productions and Executive Produced by Clive Tulloh and Directed by Ben Roe.

The nine athletes set to take part in the documentary are just some of the 1,000 elite athletes on UK Sport’s National Lottery-funded World Class Programme. They are:

• Josh Kerr (1500m)
• Keely Hodgkinson (800m)
• Jake Wightman (1500m)
• Morgan Lake (high jump)
• Jonnie Peacock (100m)
Hannah Cockroft (100m, 200m, 400m, 800m, 1500m)
• Zak Skinner (long jump)
• Funmi Oduwaiye (shot put & discus)
• Nathan Maguire (100m, 200m, 400m, 800m, 1500m)

​​​Keely Hodgkinson
, Olympic silver medallist, said: “Getting to compete at an Olympic Games and representing your country is such a special feeling, but people watching from their TVs at home never see what it takes to reach the start line. National Lottery players have transformed Athletics and Para-Athletics in the UK but you don’t often see how that investment powers us to win. You don’t see the hours in the gym, the time spent with physiotherapists, nutritionists, strength and conditioning, and our coaches working through our training plans. None of this would be possible without that investment.

“Being part of this documentary will give people an insight into how we train, our day-to-day lives before a major competition and the challenges you have to overcome to race against the best in the world. I love my sport and I want to let people see what goes into those few minutes on the track in front of the world.”

Jonnie Peacock
, two-time Paralympic gold medallist, said: “This is an incredible opportunity for us as athletes to give people a behind-the-scenes look into what preparation for a Games looks like. We as a country have been really successful in track and field over the years and that is in large part thanks to National Lottery investment. It enables us to have World class facilities and support. This, paired with hours and hours of intense training, is why we’re a global force. I’m excited to take fans on the journey with us to Paris.”

Jack Buckner
, CEO of British Athletics, said: “I love track and field and I’m absolutely thrilled that we can shine a light on our great sport and the stars within it as the nation builds up to Olympic and Paralympic fever this summer. The series allows us to show the transformational impact that The National Lottery has had on our sport in the last 30 years. Investment into facilities, support staff, camps, competitions and more means that our athletes are the very best prepared they can be.

“The documentary will reveal the highs and the lows of our athletes as they bid to be their best at the Olympic and Paralympic Games this summer. Allowing National Lottery players and fans to see behind-the-scenes will make them that bit prouder when our athletes line up in Paris.

“I am very grateful for the teams at Channel 4 and The National Lottery for bringing this series to life with us – it’s going to be an epic watch!

Andria Vidler
, CEO of National Lottery Operator Allwyn, said: “As the new operator of The National Lottery, we are committed to finding exciting new ways to enable everyone to know the difference they make every time they buy a ticket. This documentary promises to deliver just that.

“The transformation of elite UK sport thanks to National Lottery funding has been extraordinary. To see how every penny raised makes a difference through facilities, coaches and support staff, means that all National Lottery players can feel that they have played their part when they see one of our Olympic or Paralympic heroes competing this summer.”

Joe Blake-Turner
, Commissioning Editor, Sport, at Channel 4, added:
“We’re used to seeing the end product, but now we’re going to be able to give Channel 4 viewers a real sense of the sweat and sacrifice needed to succeed at the elite level of athletics – whether disabled or non-disabled. It’s one of several insightful pieces of content we have ahead of the Paris 2024 Paralympics.”

Hannah Cockroft by Sportsbeats

Keely Hodgkinson, Olympic silver medallist, said: “Getting to compete at an Olympic Games and representing your country is such a special feeling, but people watching from their TVs at home never see what it takes to reach the start line. National Lottery players have transformed Athletics and Para-Athletics in the UK but you don’t often see how that investment powers us to win. You don’t see the hours in the gym, the time spent with physiotherapists, nutritionists, strength and conditioning, and our coaches working through our training plans. None of this would be possible without that investment.

“Being part of this documentary will give people an insight into how we train, our day-to-day lives before a major competition and the challenges you have to overcome to race against the best in the world. I love my sport and I want to let people see what goes into those few minutes on the track in front of the world.”

Jonnie Peacock
, two-time Paralympic gold medallist, said: “This is an incredible opportunity for us as athletes to give people a behind-the-scenes look into what preparation for a Games looks like. We as a country have been really successful in track and field over the years and that is in large part thanks to National Lottery investment. It enables us to have World class facilities and support. This, paired with hours and hours of intense training, is why we’re a global force. I’m excited to take fans on the journey with us to Paris.”

Jack Buckner
, CEO of British Athletics, said: “I love track and field and I’m absolutely thrilled that we can shine a light on our great sport and the stars within it as the nation builds up to Olympic and Paralympic fever this summer. The series allows us to show the transformational impact that The National Lottery has had on our sport in the last 30 years. Investment into facilities, support staff, camps, competitions and more means that our athletes are the very best prepared they can be.

“The documentary will reveal the highs and the lows of our athletes as they bid to be their best at the Olympic and Paralympic Games this summer. Allowing National Lottery players and fans to see behind-the-scenes will make them that bit prouder when our athletes line up in Paris.

“I am very grateful for the teams at Channel 4 and The National Lottery for bringing this series to life with us – it’s going to be an epic watch!”

Andria Vidler
, CEO of National Lottery Operator Allwyn, said: “As the new operator of The National Lottery, we are committed to finding exciting new ways to enable everyone to know the difference they make every time they buy a ticket. This documentary promises to deliver just that.

“The transformation of elite UK sport thanks to National Lottery funding has been extraordinary. To see how every penny raised makes a difference through facilities, coaches and support staff, means that all National Lottery players can feel that they have played their part when they see one of our Olympic or Paralympic heroes competing this summer.”

Joe Blake
-Turner, Commissioning Editor, Sport, at Channel 4, added: “We’re used to seeing the end product, but now we’re going to be able to give Channel 4 viewers a real sense of the sweat and sacrifice needed to succeed at the elite level of athletics – whether disabled or able bodied. It’s one of several insightful pieces of content we have ahead of the Paris 2024 Paralympics.”