Across Australia thousands of athletes share the ultimate dream, to represent their country at two of the greatest sporting events on the planet .
RACE TO LONDON follows six contenders in the year leading up to the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics where dreams will be made or shattered. The series gives a compelling insight to what it takes to be an Olympic hero.
The six athletes include:
LIBBY TRICKETT (27) – OLYMPIC SWIMMER
The former darling of Australian swimming and triple Olympic gold medallist, retired from the sport with enough trophies to satisfy the most ferocious competitor. But her desire to compete at one more Olympics was too strong. We follow Libby, supported by husband Luke Trickett and coach Stephen Widmer, through gruelling training, giving up chocolate and struggling with race weight. Meanwhile Libby and Luke are building a dream home for their life and family after London. Everybody loves Libby but can she still compete at the highest level?
AHMED KELLY (19) – PARALYMPIC SWIMMER
First time Paralympic swimming hopeful, Ahmed was born in Bagdad, with limb deficiencies as a result of chemical warfare. He was brought back to Australia by social worker Moira Kelly along with his brother Emmanuel (X Factor contestant) where he started a new life and threw himself into school and sports. Moira also adopted previously conjoined twins Krishna and Trishna. After finding his love for swimming and setting his sights on London, we follow Ahmed through a nail biting roller coaster of highs and lows to the 2012 selection trials where it all comes down to one race.
DREW GINN (37) – OLYMPIC ROWER
One of Australia’s most celebrated rowers and former member of the incredible “Oarsome Foursome”, by all rights should not be in a rowing boat let alone aiming for his 4th Olympics. Drew won his third Olympic Gold medal in Beijing, but unknown to all but his coach, Chris O’Brien, and his family, he did it with a smashed spinal disc. Drew was hardly able to walk and in excruciating pain when he rowed – but he did, and the rest is history. After major back surgery everybody expected him to hang up his oar. But with the sheer persistence of a champion he built up his health and fitness and the wise professor of the sport saw a way back to the top. But now there are younger and stronger men competing for his seat – will youth or experience prevail?
MICHAEL KLIM (35) – OLYMPIC SWIMMER
Retired golden boy of the pool and member of the victorious Sydney Olympic relay team has it all – a beautiful young family with wife Lindy, a successful business they built from the ground up and the trappings of a glamorous life. Why put all this at risk to make a comeback? Because anybody who knows “Klimy” knows he loves to give it a “crack”. We follow Michael as he juggles home life, the arrival of a new baby, a demanding business and the rigors of training. Unlike other high profile comebacks, Michael stays under the radar to get back up to speed. But does it get too much for him?
GRACE BOWMAN (21) – PARA-EQUESTRIAN
This Para-equestrian has endured much in her young life – a riding accident that left her a paraplegic at age 12, and the death of both parents before the age of 21. Now alone, she has the responsibility of mounting her campaign for selection. We follow her as she comes to grips with her new responsibilities, travelling from event-to-event across Australia to win points for selection while keeping her new horse, Rolly, healthy and calm. Our hearts go out to her but this will not be enough to get her across the line – only she can do that.
rYley batt (22) – WHEELCHAIR RUGBY PLAYER
The fastest man on wheels, brutal on court and known as the most dominant wheelchair rugby player in the world. He breathes fear into his opponents as he crashes his way to record breaking goal hauls. Off the court he’s a fun loving, easygoing country boy who just loves extreme sports. Born with limb deficiencies, Ryley has never seen himself as different, in fact he doesn’t want to be any other way. But he does have unfinished business. The Australian Wheelchair Paralympics Team has never beaten their nemesis – the American’s and claimed gold. But first they need to qualify. It would be a cruel twist of fate to come all this way and not get to go