MADRID – Two-time Olympic gold medallist Hicham El Guerrouj, widely considered as the greatest middle-distance runner of all time, is featured in an all new episode of the Olympic Channel original series Legends Live On. El Guerrouj’s inspiring story premieres on Thursday, 18 July on olympicchannel.com and its apps for mobile and connected TV devices. In addition, the documentary will premiere on television across Europe on Eurosport on 24 July at 23:30 CET followed by an encore presentation on 5 August at 20:00 CET.
Beyond the spotlight of the Olympic Games where legends are made, the legacy of Olympians live on. In Legends Live On, Olympic heroes show how they are translating their success into careers and inspiring future generations.
Dominating middle distance running for nearly a decade, the Moroccan won all but three races in the mile and 1500m events between August 1996 and July 2004 solidifying his status as a track legend. Still the world record holder in the 1500m, mile and 5000m, El Guerrouj’s Olympic career got off to a rocky start. After heartbreaking performances at the Atlanta and Sydney Games, he finally realised his dream of winning a gold medal at Athens 2004 where he earned gold in both the 1500m and 5000m, and is only the second man to do so at the same Olympic Games since “Flying Finn” Paavo Nurmi in 1924.
“I wanted to make my mark on my country’s history through running,” said El Guerrouj. “The Olympics were a reference for me. I always wanted to be in a supreme category.”
Having grown up the small town of Berkane in northeastern Morocco, El Guerrouj has worked throughout his career to promote the opportunities that playing sports can bring and how sports can contribute to positive change.
“I think sports can play an exceptional role today and be a source of upward mobility in our societies,” said El Guerrouj. “Berkane [Morocco] has always been close to my heart. It’s where I was born, it’s where I started running too. Today, we’re trying to give back a little of what the city gave me.
Now retired from competitive running, El Guerrouj dedicates his time as an ambassador for sports and toward humanitarian activities which promote the positive effects of sport in society in his home country and around the world. He has also participated in cultural and sport programmes supported by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), the International Olympic Committee Athlete’s Commission and the United Nations.
In addition to El Guerrouj, Olympic legends featured in the current season of Legends Live On include gold medallist Edgar Grospiron, the French freestyle skier turned motivational speaker; alpine skier Tina Maze (SLO), a double gold medallist who is also a pop culture icon in her home country; fencer Valentina Vezzali (ITA), a six time gold medallist and politician; and artistic gymnast Svetlana Khorkina (RUS), one of Russia’s most successful gymnasts of all time who is now a driving force at a sports club in Moscow.
The premiere season of Legends Live On, also available at olympicchannel.com, features Olympic heroes such as Manuela Di Centa (ITA), Nadia Comaneci (ROU), Ian Thorpe (AUS), Shaun White (USA) and Katarina Witt (GER).
Olympic Channel Programming Schedule: Legends Live On (Season 2)
|25 Feb. 2019||Episode 1 – Legends Live On: Edgar Grospiron (FRA)|
|12 Mar. 2019||Episode 2 – Legends Live On: Peter Van den Hoogenband (NED)|
|12 Mar. 2019||Episode 3 – Legends Live On: Tina Maze (SLO)|
|8 Apr. 2019||Episode 4 – Legends Live On: Matthias Steiner (GER)|
|7 May 2019||Episode 5 – Legends Live On: Svetlana Korkhina (RUS)|
|17 June 2019||Episode 6 – Legends Live On: Valentina Vezzali (ITA)|
|18 July 2019||Episode 7 – Legends Live On: Hicham El Guerrouj (MAR)|
|12 Aug. 2019||Episode 8 – Legends Live On: Ninas de Oro (ESP)|
|16 Sept. 2019||Episode 9 – Legends Live On: Didier Dinart (FRA)|
|21 Oct. 2019||Episode 10 – Legends Live On: Uschi Disl (GER)|
*Schedule Subject to Change
About the Olympic Channel
The Olympic Channel is a multi-platform global media destination where fans can discover, engage and share in the power of sport and the excitement of the Olympic Games all year round. Offering original programming, news, live sports events and highlights, the Olympic Channel provides additional exposure for sports and athletes 24 hours a day, 365 days a year in 11 languages. The Olympic Channel was launched in August 2016 in support of the IOC’s goal, set out in Olympic Agenda 2020, of providing a new way to engage younger generations, fans and new audiences with the Olympic Movement. Founding Partners supporting the Olympic Channel are Worldwide TOP Partners Bridgestone, Toyota and Alibaba. The Olympic Channel is available worldwide at olympicchannel.com, its mobile apps and on Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Apple TV and the Roku platform.
The series is available with subtitles in one of 11 languages by selecting the “CC” button found on the lower right of the episode videos. Subtitles are available in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.