Exhibition Press Release: Road to 2012 Changing Pace

Press Release

Monday 25 July 2011


From 25 July until 25 September 2011
Studio Gallery and Ondaatje Wing Main Hall, National Portrait Gallery, London,
Admission Free

Made possible by BT

-          Seb Coe, Danny Boyle, Michael Morpurgo and Sue Barker by Emma Hardy

-          Phillips Idowu, Lucy Macgregor, Eleanor Simmonds and David Weir by Finlay MacKay

A series of striking new photographic portraits of top athletes in dramatic training moments, alongside the people who have supported their Olympic and Paralympic ambition, as well as directors, writers and designers involved in the staging of London 2012, were today revealed as part of the National Portrait Gallery’s exhibition Road to 2012: Changing Pace.

The 37 portraits on show are by Emma Hardy and Finlay MacKay, the latest photographers to be commissioned for the National Portrait Gallery/BT Road to 2012 Project as part of the Cultural Olympiad. Road to 2012: Changing Pace is the second exhibition in a three-year cycle funded by BT that documents Britain’s top athletes and key figures behind the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The second phase of commissioned portraits that comprise Road to 2012: Changing Pace include those involved in staging London 2012 as well as leading athletes with their mentors:

  • Seb Coe, LOCOG Chairman, Chris Holmes, LOCOG Director of Paralympic Integration, and London 2012 Cultural Olympiad Director Ruth Mackenzie
  • World and European Triple jump Champion and Beijing 2008 Olympic silver medalist Phillips Idowu and coach Aston Moore   
  • Wheelchair-racing champion David Weir - Beijing 2008 double gold medalist and 2011 World Championships triple gold medalist with coach Jenny Archer 
  • BBC broadcaster Sue Barker, BBC London Olympic correspondent Adrian Warner and Roger Mosey, BBC Director of London 2012
  • Lucy Macgregor with her world number one-ranked racing team Annie Lush and Kate Macgregor and their Dutch coach Maurice Paardenkooper  
  • Children’s Laureate Michael Morpurgo, writer of the story of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games mascots Wenlock and Mandeville for a series of animated films building up to London 2012 with Greg Nugent, LOCOG Director of Marketing, who commissioned him
  • Pippa Funnell, three-day event rider, member of medal-winning GB Olympic Eventing team in 2000 and 2004, with her husband, international show-jumper William Funnell  

Emma Hardy’s portraits show the people responsible for staging the Olympic and Paralympic Games in

pursuits which in some cases reflect their former sporting careers. Finlay Mackay photographs athletes with the trainers, coaches or family members whom they nominated as being pivotal to their sporting success.  

Anne Braybon, Commissions Manager, National Portrait Gallery/BT Road to 2012 Project, says: ‘The

excitement of this project continues with these two new commissions. Emma Hardy’s extraordinarily confident minimalist approach creates an intense connection with her sitters. It is a compelling contrast to Finlay MacKay’s highly-crafted scenarios. His observations of athletes and their mentors reveal the relationships and training behind competition performance.’ 

Emma Hardy strips back photographic portraiture to the essentials: light, film in her camera, and her subject. This exacting approach requires a reciprocal trust between her and the sitter and the ensuing intimacy is a hallmark of her work. Hardy came to photography late. Her first commission for British Vogue in 2002 marked the beginning of ongoing work with leading magazines, including the New York Times and Vanity Fair, as well as commercial clients. Exceptional Youth, an earlier commission by the National Portrait Gallery, was displayed in 2006. Previously an actor, Hardy is aware of the scrutiny of the camera. She empathises with her subjects, allowing them to ‘fall into their own grace’.

For the National Portrait Gallery/BT Road to 2012 Project, Hardy’s portraits of the men and women involved in the preparations and staging of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games allude to the thinking their roles demand. She shows them out of the office, in locations and pursuits where they might reflect or find inspiration.

Finlay MacKay (b.1972) was born in Scotland and studied fine art photography at Glasgow School of Art (1992–96) working with the inspirational American photographer and teacher, Thomas Joshua Cooper.  After graduating, MacKay moved to London to work as a photographer’s assistant, spending three formative years with Elaine Constantine. For his first commercial campaign in 2002 MacKay used multiple negatives to build the final images for the series of dynamic fashion shots that won three bronze lions at Cannes. This creative use of post-production techniques remains central to his visual thinking.

MacKay’s portfolio includes sport and portraiture as well as complex advertising productions that draw on graphic novels and the work of contemporary artists, such as the Scottish painter Peter Howson. For the National Portrait Gallery/BT Road to 2012 Project MacKay has moved away from a traditional sports approach.  By observing and responding to the narratives that the athletes and their training locations present, he has created a series of contemplative scenarios to tell a story of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games from a singular perspective.

Thanks to funding from BT, Road to 2012: Changing Pace continues the journey to London 2012 that started with last year’s exhibition Road to 2012: Setting Out. The three-year project will create up to 100 newly commissioned photographic portraits celebrating the people who will collectively make the London 2012 Games happen. Each annual phase will be displayed free to the public at the Gallery. The final display in summer 2012 will be part of the London 2012 Festival, the finale of the Cultural Olympiad, and will include new portraits plus highlights of all the commissioned work.

To coincide with the National Portrait Gallery/BT Road to 2012 Project,BT launched a portrait competition Everyday People on the Road to 2012 looking for the pictures and stories of the everyday people who are making a difference to the London 2012 Games. In each of the three years of the exhibition, the competition asks people to nominate someone who is contributing behind the scenes, without wide public recognition, to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. This year’s winner is Ian Morrissey, an aquatic biologist, who won for his work in the wetlands area of the Olympic Park. His portrait was taken by Emma Hardy and this is displayed at the Gallery as part of the exhibition. Last year’s winner was Ray Haggan, who won for his commitment to nurturing grass-roots swimming.

Sandy Nairne, Director of the National Portrait Gallery, London, says: ‘This important project, made possible by BT, is central to the National Portrait Gallery’s programmes linked to 2012. Through these new portraits, we tell the wonderful stories of some of the exceptional people working towards the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The Gallery and BT very much hope that the project will inspire visitors, whether through the website or in the Gallery itself.’

Suzi Williams, Director BT Group Marketing and Brand, says: ‘The London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience and it is important for the cultural legacy of the Games that the people at the heart of the event are celebrated and recorded. The Road to 2012 portraits will help ensure that the inspirational power of the Games can be shared with the nation for years to come. As a Premier Partner of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad, we are proud to be helping to make this happen.'

Ruth Mackenzie, Director, Cultural Olympiad, says: ‘This interactive project is made possible by Cultural Olympiad Premier Partner BT, who through this initiative are helping us tell the stories of the extraordinary people connected to the London 2012 Games. Particular congratulations should go to the project website where people can also see behind-the-scenes films and photography from the shoots and contribute their own inspirational photos.’

The National Portrait Gallery has also commissioned video interviews with Finlay MacKay and Emma Hardy about their photographic practice and involvement in the project, as well as interviews with the sitters. These feature some of the sitters and behind the-scenes photographs of the shoots that reveal the stories. The website www.npg.org.uk/roadto2012 will carry the images, biographies and interviews with sitters and photographers.


Road to 2012: Changing Pace
From 25 July until 25 September 2011
Studio Gallery and Ondaatje Wing Main Hall, National Portrait Gallery, London
Admission Free

View Tube, Pudding Mill Lane, Stratford, London
From 27 July until 2 October

An integrated participation project working with local community organisations in the five Olympic host boroughs explores local stories of inspiration, talent and team-work. The project has been documented by East-London photographer Katherine Green and an exhibition of her work will be on display at the View Tube café and arts space in East London. The local groups highlighted in the exhibition are Repton Boxing Club in Hackney, Docklands Sailing Group, Young’s Table Tennis Group in Greenwich and a wheelchair athletics group in Newham. During the exhibition there will also be a series of free photography workshops at the View Tube on weekends led by Road to 2012 photographers including Brian Griffin and Katherine Green.

For further press information please contact: Neil Evans, Press Office, National Portrait Gallery. Tel: 020 7312 2452 (not for publication), Email: nevans@npg.org.uk

To download press images, please visit the press website: www.npg.org.uk/press

For BT press information please contact the BT Group Newsroom on its 24-hour number: 020 7356 5369. From outside the UK dial + 44 20 7356 5369. All news releases can be accessed at our web site: http://www.bt.com/newscentre

For London 2012 Cultural Olympiad information please contact Paul Woodmansey in the London 2012 Press Office on +44 (0)203 2012 461, paul.woodmansey@london2012.com, or visit the website at www.london2012.com Find out the latest from London 2012 HQ on our blog http://blog.london2012.com or follow us on Twitter http://www.twitter.com/london2012team

National Portrait Gallery, St Martin’s Place, WC2H 0HE opening hours: Saturday-Wednesday: 10am – 6pm (Gallery closure commences at 5.50pm) Late Opening: Thursday, Fridays:10am - 9pm (Gallery closure commences at 8.50pm) Recorded information: 020 7312 2463 General information: 020 7306 0055 Website: www.npg.org.uk

About BT
BT is one of the world’s leading providers of communications solutions and services, operating in more than 170 countries. Its principal activities include the provision of networked IT services globally; local, national and international telecommunications services to our customers for use at home, at work and on the move; broadband and internet products and services and converged fixed/mobile products and services. BT consists principally of four lines of business: BT Global Services, Openreach, BT Retail and BT Wholesale.

BT is proud to be the official communications services partner for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

In the year ended 31 March 2011, BT Group’s revenue was £20,076 million with profit before taxation of £1,717 million.

British Telecommunications plc (BT) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of BT Group plc and encompasses virtually all businesses and assets of the BT Group. BT Group plc is listed on stock exchanges in London and New York.

For more information, visit www.bt.com/aboutbt

About the Cultural Olympiad and London 2012 Festival
The London 2012 Cultural Olympiad is the largest cultural celebration in the history of the modern Olympic and Paralympic Movements. Spread over four years, it is designed to give everyone in the UK a chance to be part of London 2012 and inspire creativity across all forms of culture, especially among young people.

Since the Cultural Olympiad started in 2008 11.2million people from across the UK have participated in or attended over 5,400 public performances as part of the Cultural Olympiad and programmes inspired by 2012 and funded by our principle funders and sponsors. Over 67,000 people have attended 6,800 workshops as part of Cultural Olympiad programmes.

The culmination of the Cultural Olympiad will be the London 2012 Festival, bringing leading artists from all over the world together from 21 June 2012 in this UK-wide festival – a chance for everyone to celebrate London 2012 through dance, music, theatre, the visual arts, film and digital innovation and leave a lasting legacy for the arts in this country.

Principal funders of the Cultural Olympiad and London 2012 Festival are Arts Council England, Legacy Trust UK and the Olympic Lottery Distributor. BP and BT are Premier Partners of the Cultural Olympiad and the London 2012 Festival.

The British Council will support the international development of London 2012 Cultural Olympiad projects. Panasonic are the presenting partner of Film Nation: Shorts.

To sign up for information on the London 2012 festival visit www.london2012.com/festival



Assistant Commissioner Chris Allison has been a uniformed officer with the Metropolitan police for the majority of his twenty-seven-year career. He was appointed National Olympic Security Coordinator in 2009 and is responsible for delivering the national safety and security plan, the UK’s largest ever peace-time policing operation. This will impact on every police force in the country. Drawing from a dedicated Home Office budget, Allison’s ambition is to police London 2012 with the traditional unarmed British ‘bobbies’ as far as possible.

Photographed by Emma Hardy, 15 April 2011, London


Yorkshire born and bred brothers Alistair and Jonathan Brownlee are triathletes. They both attend university in Leeds and live on the edge of the Chevin forest park and Ilkley moor where they train. Alistair is ranked number one in the world. He competed in Beijing 2008 and was World Champion in 2009. Jonathan, current World Under-23 Champion, finished second at senior level in this year’s World Championships in Sydney and Madrid, with Alistair taking first place in the latter. Malcolm Brown has been the Brownlee’s running coach since 2004.

A UK Athletics Association and voluntary coach for thirty years, Brown was a county track and cross-country runner. The brothers are competing for two of the three triathlon places in Team GB at the London 2012 Olympic Games

‘The moors inspire them. They are fundamental in keeping them going, day after day, week after week.’  Malcolm Brown, coach

Photographed by Finlay MacKay, 24 November 2010, the Chevin, Yorkshire


Sebastian Coe chairs London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, the company responsible for preparing and staging London 2012. The middle distance runner and double Olympic gold medallist (1980, 1984) was appointed Chair of the London 2012 bid team following Barbara Cassani’s resignation in 2004. From the outset, Coe’s vision for London 2012 was to inspire the youth of the world through sport. Retiring from athletics in 1990 the twelve-time world record holder became an MP (1992–7) and was Chief of Staff to William Hague, when Leader of the Opposition. He was made a life peer in 2002, becoming Lord Coe of Ranmore, and was knighted in 2006.

Photographed by Emma Hardy, 21 March 2011, London

‘I am a runner. It’s what I do’ Sebastian Coe

AARON COOK b.1991 with CHRISTINE COOK b.1966, NIGEL COOK b.1962, LUKE COOK b.1989

In 2010 Aaron Cook, seen here with his family at home in Manchester, became the first British man to be ranked world number one in taekwondo (under 80kg category). Aaron took up the sport aged five. He progressed to senior level in 2007 and became British champion, a title he continues to retain. To support his career, the Cook family left Dorset to move closer to the GB Taekwondo Academy in Manchester. Aaron reached the semi-finals at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, narrowly missing a medal. The following year he defeated World Champion and Olympic gold medallist Stephen Lopez (USA). Luke his brother, Christine, his mother and Nigel his father, each plays a fundamental role in his preparation for London 2012.

‘We wanted to know as parents that we had done everything we could. Taekwondo is a young Olympic sport and we had no path to follow.’  Christine Cook

Photographed by Finlay MacKay, 6 December 2010, the Cook Family home, Manchester


Paul Deighton was appointed CEO of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) in 2006. He is in charge of the day-to-day operations, from raising the £2 billion budget from the private sector to working closely with the Olympic Delivery Authority and meeting all requirements for a successful Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2012. Deighton also leads LOCOG’s relationships with key stakeholders including the Government, the Mayor of London, the British Olympic Association and the British Paralympic Association. Prior to joining LOCOG, he worked with investment bankers, Goldman Sachs for twenty-two years.

Photographed by Emma Hardy, 16 April 2011, London


As the Director of Paralympic Integration, Chris Holmes ensures that the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympics Games have equal status at every stage of planning and delivery. London 2012 will be the most integrated Games ever. Holmes lost his sight overnight aged fourteen and two years later competed in the first of four Paralympic Games (1988–2000). He became one of Britain’s most successful Paralympic swimmers, winning an unequalled record of six gold medals at one event, nine in total. A commercial lawyer, Holmes is also on the board of UK Sport.

‘To come from sport and meet people from every single background and brilliant at what they do is incredible, like nothing else’ Chris Holmes

Photographed by Emma Hardy, 18 March 2011, London


Lucy Macgregor, her sister Kate and Annie Lush are currently ranked world number one in Women’s Match Racing. They all learnt to sail as children in Poole Harbour. Helm, Lucy Macgregor first sailed with Cambridge Blue, Annie Lush in 2005. Lush has been on the Olympic circuit full-time since 2002, and sails in the middle of the boat as tactician and trimmer. Kate on the bow is responsible for the boat handling and speed. They started sailing as a team in 2010 and have since won National, European and World Championship titles. Dutch coach and professional sailor Maurice Paardenkooper has coached Olympic sailing teams for fifteen years. He joined Lucy and her team in January 2011 to help realise their Olympic medal ambition for 2012.

 ‘We had a good year last year but we felt we hadn’t reached our potential. Now we feel we can. With Maurice we’ve noticed the difference already. It’s “Right, now let’s get on with it”.’  Lucy Macgregor

Photographed by Finlay MacKay, 16 April 2011, Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy, Weymouth


Ruth Mackenzie is the Director of the Cultural Olympiad. This four-year UK-wide cultural programme started in 2008 and culminates with a nationwide festival in summer 2012. It aims to give everyone the opportunity to celebrate the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games through the arts. Mackenzie previously worked as General Director for Manchester International Festival and Scottish Opera, she also led Chichester Festival Theatre and Nottingham Playhouse. She was Expert Adviser for the Department of Culture, Media & Sport and has advised the Barbican Centre, BBC and Tate, among others.

Photographed by Emma Hardy, 29 April 2011, London


Stella McCartney is adidas’ Creative Director for Team GB, overseeing the design of both athlete kit and fan wear. She is the first internationally renowned designer to work with a sports brand on competition wear at a Summer Olympic Games. Award-winning designer McCartney set up her own label Stella McCartney in 2001, which is currently distributed in over fifty countries. McCartney has collaborated with adidas since 2004 designing critically acclaimed sports collections. Their Team GB partnership produces one of London 2012’s best selling merchandise ranges.

Photographed by Emma Hardy, 24 May 2011, London


Children’s Laureate Michael Morpurgo is the award-winning author of numerous books including War Horse. Greg Nugent is the Marketing Director of London 2012. He commissioned Morpurgo to write the story of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games mascots Wenlock and Mandeville for a series of animations building up to London 2012. As Marketing Director at Eurostar, Nugent developed a pioneering partnership between brand and film, as Executive Producer and funder of Shane Meadows’s acclaimed film Somers Town (2007). He was previously CEO of the environmental project ‘Start’.

 ‘It’s a journey and we’re doing it together. It’s developing, getting darker, more complex and that’s a good thing’ Michael Morpurgo, on The Wenlock and Mandeville Story

Photographed by Emma Hardy, 21 April 2011, Iddesleigh, Devon


Chief Information Officer Gerry Pennell leads the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games team and their partners to deliver IT, telecommunications, audio-visual, results, timing and scoring technologies, vital to staging the Olympic and Paralympic Games. His role touches every aspect of London 2012 from the infrastructure network and the provision of hardware, to the distribution of results. Pennell previously led large-scale projects at PricewaterhouseCoopers, the Co-operative Group, and was Director of Technology for the 2002 Commonwealth Games.

 ‘It is big and it is complex and it has to work right first time; that’s a challenge worth getting out of bed for!’  Gerry Pennell

Photographed by Emma Hardy, 25 May 2011, London


Australian, Deborah Poulton is Commissioning Editor for Channel Four, the host broadcaster for the London 2012 Paralympic Games. A former Microsoft marketing executive, Poulton left Sydney to travel the world. She joined Channel Four in 1998. As Deputy Editor of Sport she commissioned, acquired, and licensed sport content including the multi-award winning coverage of Test cricket. The London 2012 Paralympic Games coverage is Channel Four’s largest ever commission and with her bold and distinctive editorial strategy Poulton aims to change the public’s perception of disability and make the Paralympic athletes into household names.

 ‘Our aim is to put the Paralympics on a par with the Olympics. It’s a challenge.’ Deborah Poulton

Photographed by Emma Hardy, 28 April 2011, West Sussex

MANDIP SEHMI b.1980 and ANDY BARROW b.1979 with JAGTAR SEHMI b.1956

Mandip Sehmi and Andy Barrow play in the GB wheelchair rugby squad. Sehmi broke his neck in car crash that left him paralysed from the chest down. During rehabilitation at Stoke Mandeville he was introduced to wheelchair rugby. He currently trains with Storm in London and this year played with Arizonan team Phoenix Heat, competing in the US wheelchair rugby league. Sehmi’s mother Jagtar Sehmi was born in Punjab, India and moved to the UK to marry in the 1970s. Barrow formally played rugby union, but broke his neck during a game aged seventeen and took up wheelchair rugby. He has been a member of the national squad since 1999. As team captain, Barrow competed together with Sehmi in Beijing in 2008.

 ‘My mother has always been there for me – through thick and thin.’ Mandip Sehmi

Photographed by Finlay MacKay, 8 March 2011, Stoke Mandeville, Buckinghamshire


Anna Sharkey is a member of the GB Goalball Women’s squad. She was introduced to the dedicated paralympic sport at a ‘have-a-go-day’ for the blind in 2001. Anna competed at junior international level a year later and won gold as part of the senior GB team at the European Championships in 2009. Both Anna and her brother Michael have a congenital eye condition that causes partial sightedness. Michael is a member of the GB Goalball Men’s squad and competes with his sister on the same team in domestic competitions. They are both physiotherapists.

 ‘We have been close growing up. I followed in his footsteps all the way.’ Anne Sharkey

Photographed by Finlay MacKay, 28 November 2010, Bedford University


Eleanor Simmonds is the youngest-ever individual Paralympic or Olympic gold medalist. Aged thirteen she won the 100m and 400m freestyle swimming events in Beijing 2008. Simmonds, who was born with achondroplasia (dwarfism), began swimming aged five. She currently competes in multiple events, is world champion in four and world record holder in the 400m freestyle and 200m individual medley. Simmonds moved to Swansea in 2007 to train with Billy Pye. The former miner and award-winning Head Coach of GB Paralympic Swimming Team led Britain’s most successful Paralympic team ever at Beijing 2008.

‘She might have qualified, she might have gone, but she wouldn’t have achieved what she achieved in Beijing without Billy.’ Val Simmonds, Eleanor’s mother

Photographed by Finlay MacKay, 1 December 2010, Wales National Pool, Swansea.

LOUIS SMITH b.1989 with PAUL HALL b.1964

Louis Smith began gymnastics aged four and was the first British gymnast to win an individual Olympic medal for one hundred years. Specialising in the pommel horse he has since won medals at the World Championships  (2010) and in the World Cup Series (2010, 2011). Smith started working with Head Coach Paul Hall at Huntingdon Gymnastics Club in 1996. Hall has coached the National team for over ten years and the Olympic squad for the last four years, nurturing some of the most successful gymnasts in British history, including Daniel Keatings and Luke Folwell.

‘Louis has been coming here since he was six. He didn’t really stand out until he was thirteen. It’s his mental attitude not just talent and hard work.’ Paul Hall, Head Coach, Huntingdon Gym

Photographed by Finlay MacKay, 10 March 2011, Huntingdon Gymnastics Club, Huntingdon


Chris Townsend is Commercial Director of the London Organising Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG). He leads the commercial team responsible for generating the £2 billion revenue and procurement necessary to stage the London 2012 Games. His remit includes domestic sponsorship, ticket sales and merchandising. Charlie Wijeratna was a key member of the London 2012 executive team from 2003 to 2010. Working with Seb Coe he designed and set up the corporate structures of the bid and LOCOG before working with the commercial team to negotiate sponsorship, hospitality and licensing deals.

Photographed by Emma Hardy, 15 April 2011, London


Andrew Triggs Hodge and Pete Reed first rowed together in the Oxford Blue boat in the 2005 University Boat Race. They won Olympic gold in 2008 in the men’s four, coached by Jürgen Grobler. In 2009 they moved into the pair and won silver at the 2009 and 2010 World Championships, just three tenths of a second behind New Zealand. Grobler relocated to the UK from the former German Democratic Republic taking on the role of GB men’s chief coach in 1992. He has personally coached gold medal crews in each of the five Olympic Games since. His challenge with Triggs Hodge and Reed is to beat long-standing rivals, New Zealand, in London 2012.

‘Bringing together different characters and still motivate them to one point. They can’t escape because they are sitting behind one another. That is something that is fascinating for me.’ Jürgen Grobler

Photographed by Finlay MacKay, 9 March 2011, Redgrave-Pinsent Rowing Lake, Caversham

DAVID WEIR b.1979 with JENNY ARCHER b.1944

David Weir was introduced to wheelchair racing at primary school and first competed in the London Mini Marathon aged eight. He met Jenny Archer at the London Youth Games and she followed his early career closely until becoming Weir’s coach in 2002. Archer guided him to double gold in Beijing 2008, triple gold at the 2011 World Championships and a record fifth title at the 2011 London Marathon. Formerly a teacher, Archer was a fitness coach with Wimbledon Football Club for eleven years before coaching Weir to achieve his Paralympic ambitions.

 ‘When David came to me and said he wanted to win gold at the Paralympic Games and become World Champion. I said “I’ll take you on and I’ll make you laugh and I’ll make you cry.’  Jenny Archer, Personal coach to David Weir

Photographed by Finlay MacKay, 12 May 2011, Richmond Park, London


Khalid Yafai has been a member of the GB Boxing team since he was sixteen and was the first Englishman to win the World Cadet Title (2005). He competed in Beijing 2008 at senior level and was flyweight (52kg) European silver medalist 2010. The eldest son of Yemini parents Yafai was introduced to boxing by his brother, Gamal. The brothers joined their local boxing club, Birmingham City, where the founding coach Frank O’Sullivan spotted their talent. Over a fiftyfive- year coaching career O’Sullivan’s young boxers have included Robert McCracken, Ricky Hatton and Amir Khan.

 ‘It’s very important that I train in a gym at home, it’s where I was brought up. It’s good to come back and show my face, especially to young kids who train here as well. They can look up to me and get to where I am one day.’  Khalid Yafai

Photographed by Finlay MacKay, 26 November 2010, Birmingham City Boxing Club, Birmingham


Pippa Funnell is a three-day event rider. She was a member of the medal-winning GB Olympic Eventing team in 2000 and 2004, when she also won an individual medal. Three-time Badminton winner Funnell is the only rider ever to win the Rolex Grand Slam. She was selected for the GB team again in 2010 with her horse, Redesigned. This talented gelding was brought on by Funnell and her husband, international show jumper William. Together with Donal Barnwell they set up the Billy Stud now the largest producer of British-bred competition horses in the UK.

 ‘We are both heavily involved in helping each other. Even though we are in different sports they run parallel with each other. Our dream is to bring horses on for the future, not just 2012.’ Pippa Funnell

Photographed by Finlay MacKay, 15 March 2011, Dorking, Surrey


Phillips Idowu was born and raised in east London and started triple jumping at school. He has won a major title every year for the past five years and currently holds World and European titles as well as winning an Olympic silver medal at Beijing 2008. He moved to Birmingham in 2008 to train with UK Athletics coach Aston Moore, a Jamaican-born triple jumper who previously competed for Great Britain. They first worked together when Moore was the Junior National Event Coach. The focus of their training now is to win Olympic gold in Idowu’s home city.

‘Basically, a good big‘un is always going to beat a good small‘un. You look at him – he’s 6 foot 4, and he’s 6 foot 4 all legs.’ Aston Moore

Photographed by Finlay MacKay, 14 March 2011, Birmingham High Performance Centre, Birmingham



Mark Tildesley trained in theatre design under Richard Negri at the Wimbledon School of Art. He was a co-founder of the Catch 22 Theatre Company (1987) where he directed, designed and performed. Notable collaborations as a production designer include theatre with Michael Bogdanov at the Young Vic, London, and film with Fernando Meirelles on The Constant Gardener, Mike Leigh on Happy-go-lucky, and Danny Boyle on 28 Days Later, Millions and Sunshine.


Danny Boyle, a director and producer, began his early career in the theatre with Joint Stock Theatre Company and the Royal Court, London. He has won numerous awards for his films that include Trainspotting, Slumdog Millionaire and 127 Hours. Last year, Boyle was appointed Artistic Director of the London 2012 Olympic Games Opening Ceremony. Suttirat Larlarb and Mark Tildesley, long-term Boyle collaborators, worked with him on his most recent theatre project Frankenstein, at the National Theatre, London (2011). They, along with the writer Frank Cottrell Boyce, are key members of his creative team for the Olympic Opening Ceremony.


Suttirat Larlarb is a designer for film and theatre. She completed her master of arts degree in theatre design from Yale University and initially worked with Boyle on The Beach (2000). Larlarb has been a member of Boyle’s creative team for the last six years, working with him on films that include Slumdog Millionaire for which she won a costume design award, and 127 Hours, as both production and costume designer.

‘There are very few directors that work the way Danny does. He breaks down the traditional boundaries. It’s more like a think tank. With him we contribute to the story as opposed to decorating the story.’ Suttirat Larlarb

Photographed by Emma Hardy, 14 April 2011, London



Stephanie Forbes is a participant in the Young Leaders Programme. This volunteering scheme originates from a London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games bid commitment to give one hundred young people, who would not otherwise have the opportunity, the chance to change their lives. Forbes has cared for her younger brother since her early teens. Her father died a number of years ago, and Forbes has had to take over responsibility for the family in place of her mother. Forbes has volunteered on various programmes. Her ambition is to join the Army. She has applied to be a Games Maker at London 2012.


Lewis Bown left school without any qualifications but successfully completed a Lifeskills course followed by a Prince’s Trust Team programme in 2010. He is currently working full-time following a placement at a local community centre working with children, elderly residents and people with physical and mental disabilities. Bown will attend Aberdeen college in the autumn. He has applied to be a Games Maker at London 2012.

 ‘Everything makes a difference – especially the Prince’s Trust and the Young Leaders Programme.’ Lewis Bown

Photographed by Emma Hardy, 2 March 2011, Aberdeen


Roger Mosey is the Director of London 2012 for Olympic host nation broadcaster, the BBC. London 2012 will be the first ever summer Olympic Games to stream every sport live and Mosey leads the planning and delivery for this, and wider London 2012 and Cultural Olympiad coverage across all platforms. His award-winning career includes the roles of Controller of BBC Radio 5 Live and Director of Sport. BBC London Olympics correspondent Adrian Warner reports on all aspects of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. He has written extensively about the history and politics of the Olympic movement and has covered every Olympic Games since 1988.


Presenter, Sue Barker will anchor the London 2012 Olympic Games for the BBC. Formerly a world-ranked number three tennis player, Barker began sports broadcasting in 1985. She has presented the summer and winter Olympic Games, Commonwealth Games, Wimbledon and other world-class competitions. Barker’s involvement with London 2012 began in 2004 when she presented the promotional film for the official announcement of the London’s bid to host the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

 ‘London 2012 will be to digital what the coronation was to TV.’ Roger Mosey, BBC Director of London 2012

Photographed by Emma Hardy, 19 April 2011, Serpentine, London