May 21, 2022

New Online from The British Library: Oral History Recordings with British Sporting Legends

From the BL:

With less than two weeks until the start of the London 2012 Olympics, the British Library is making available a selection of 61 oral history interviews documenting the lives and careers of sportsmen and sportswomen throughout the twentieth century.

Available for anyone to listen to via the Library’s Sounds website, the recordings include interviews with such Olympic and Paralympic legends as Daley Thompson and Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson, talking candidly about their sporting lives and the experiences that shaped them.


Interviewees featured in the resource include an array of household names:

  • Sebastian Coe (Olympic 1500m gold medalist in 1980 and 1984)
  • Menzies Campbell (Olympic 200m and 4x100m competitor, 1964)
  • Tanni Grey-Thompson (Paralympic winner of 11 golds, 4 silvers and 1 bronzes, 1998-2004)
  • Jacqui Agyepong (100m hurdler in the 1992 and 1996 Olympics)
  • David Bedford (1972 Olympian in 5,000m and 10,000m)
  • Roger Black (Olympic 4 x 400 relay bronze in 1992, and in 1996 a 400m silver, and a 4 x 400m relay silver)
  • Mary Peters (Winner of the 1972 Olympic gold in the pentathlon)
  • Daley Thompson (Decathlon Olympic gold medalist in 1980 and 1984)
  • Geoff Capes (1976, 1980 and 1984 Olympic shot putter)
  • Liz McColgan (Olympic silver in 1988 in 10,000m)

Other interviewees offering fascinating insights into Olympic and sporting history include:

  • The late marathon runner Jim Peters who, in 1953, was the first runner to complete a marathon under 2 hours 20 minutes
  • Don Thompson, who won Olympic gold for the 50k walk in 1964
  • Bill Roberts, winner of gold in the 4x400m relay at the 1936 Berlin Olympics
  • Sybil Canadine, the first girl guide in 1909 who later refused to swim for Great Britain at the Berlin Olympics in 1936
  • Memories of the first Paralympics/Olympic Games for people with disabilities in 1952 at Stoke Mandeville, from William Burn
  • Colin Hancock, dentist to the British Olympic team at the Barcelona Games
  • Stuart Devlin, who designed the 2000 Sydney Olympics gold coin series


About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.