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Amazing Sport Stories, including Chasing Mountains
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Amazing Sport Stories, including Chasing Mountains

Author: BBC World Service

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Sport but not as you know it. Our latest Amazing Sport Story: Chasing Mountains. Five of the world’s top female climbers are thrown into a race. But who will make history by becoming the first woman to summit the fourteen highest peaks in the world?

Forget the champions. Amazing Sport Stories is about courage, underdogs, drama and myths and legends. These are global stories you’ll wish you’d known about and now probably won’t forget. There are other podcasts about gold medals and millionaire superstars. Expect the unexpected. Tales from around the world, all told in mini-seasons and one-off episodes. #AmazingSportStories

Previous Amazing Sport Stories include:
The Black 14: Sport, racism and protests are about to change the lives of 14 American footballers. It’s 1969 in the United States. They’ve arrived on scholarships at the University of Wyoming to play for the “Cowboys”. It was a predominantly white college. The team is treated like a second religion. Then, the players make a decision to take a stand against racism in a game against another university. BA Parker takes us back to America’s turbulent 1960s to explore the injustice suffered by the “Black 14”.
The Curse of County Mayo: Is one of Ireland’s Gaelic football teams cursed? Sports reporter Dave McKenna investigates this curious case to find out if a 70 year old hex is behind Mayo’s recent failures.
Frozen Out: Twelve year old Justine just wants to play ice hockey… with the boys. When she’s told she can’t, she writes a letter which will change everything. Double Olympic gold medallist and former Canadian team captain Cassie Campbell-Pascall tells the story of Justine Blainey.

27 Episodes
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The female climbers vying to make history. Their challenge? To scale the fourteen highest peaks in the world. They come from South Korea, Spain, Italy and Austria to pit themselves against some of the harshest environments on earth, more than 8000 metres high in the Karakoram and Himalayan mountains. It is a dangerous quest. Who will realise their dream?The four-part season, with Joanna Jolly and Kathy Karlo, is coming soon.
Ghost story

Ghost story

2024-04-0818:131

On Easter Monday, 1957, stewards waited near the start of a half-marathon race in Doncaster, in the north of England. They each clutched a photograph of a man who, they had been told, must not be allowed to compete under any circumstances. That man, John Tarrant, was lurking in the crowd in disguise, ready to once more defy those who tried to stop him.One of Britain's finest long-distance athletes of the late 1950s and 1960s, Tarrant ran multiple world records, but was denied his full share of glory by stubborn authorities who banned him from racing. But he wouldn't let them stop him. He was a dogged and brilliant competitor. A numberless outlaw. They called him the Ghost Runner.Audio scenes have been re-created. Let us know what you think #AmazingSportStories
The first Brazilian striker to play for Barcelona scored more times than Ronaldo and Romario combined, had a better goals-to-games ratio than Neymar or Rivaldo and got the goal that knocked Real Madrid out of the European Cup for the very first time - before crossing that bitter divide two years later.For Brazil, he holds a goalscoring record that Pele never matched, yet was prohibited from playing at the 1958 World Cup. As a manager, he led 16 different teams, including Iraq, where he worked alongside Saddam Hussein's son.This is the story of Evaristo.Audio scenes have been re-created. Let us know what you think #AmazingSportStories
When Leon Edwards was nine years old, he moved with his mum and younger brother from a one-bedroom shack in Kingston, Jamaica, to start a new life in Birmingham, England. Four years later, his mum got a phone call at 2am. Leon could her crying. His dad, a gang leader, had been murdered. Over the next few years - the "darkest" of his life - Leon was himself drawn into a world of gang violence. This is the story of how, against the odds, he found a way out by forging a path in mixed martial arts - and went on to win the sport's biggest prize. Audio scenes have been re-created. Let us know what you think #AmazingSportStories
From the Curse of the Bambino, to the Drake Curse, the Curse of the Billy Goat and the Curse of County Mayo... this St Patrick’s Day, we’re exploring why some sports fans and players believe their teams could actually be cursed. Why are sport and superstition so intrinsically linked? Whether it’s wearing lucky pants on match days, sitting in the same spot for every game or even peeing on the field before kick off - why do some of us seem to believe cosmic forces could help lead us to victory?After investigating an apparent 70-year-old curse on County Mayo‘s Gaelic football team, Irish-American sport reporter Dave McKenna is back for this special episode. He’s delving into the minds of fans and athletes to try to understand why sport and superstition seem to be so entangled.For Dave’s full, three-part investigation into the Mayo curse, scroll back to episodes of Amazing Sport Stories from the end of 2023 or search for The Curse of County Mayo, wherever you get your podcasts. Let us know what you think of #AmazingSportStories
Running for change

Running for change

2024-03-1115:301

"The audacity!" Roberta 'Bobbi' Gibb had just received a nine-word slap to the face: "Women are not physiologically capable of running a marathon." That was the reply she received when she applied to enter the Boston Marathon. She crumpled the letter and threw it on the floor. Bobbi knew she’d be running the race - whether they let her or not. This is the story of one woman’s battle against derogatory sideswipes and archaic attitudes, and how far she went to remove the barriers that kept women from running practically every marathon in the world. Audio scenes have been re-created. Let us know what you think #AmazingSportStories
The worst betrayal

The worst betrayal

2024-03-0419:25

When former Dutch boxing champion Barry Groenteman used to visit his grandmother at her retirement home, he would often see an older man shadow-boxing. "He showed me his ring with the Star of David on it. And my grandmother would whisper: 'That's Ben Bril.'"This is the story of a Jewish boxer from Amsterdam who had his life transformed by invasion, violence and anti-Semitism. A champion forced into hiding, then captured and sent to the Nazi concentration camps - after being betrayed by a former Olympic teammate. Audio scenes have been re-created. Let us know what you think #AmazingSportStories
The Black 14: Ep 4

The Black 14: Ep 4

2024-02-2236:443

There had been no apology. The “Black 14” moved on. Decades later, was that about to change? The American footballers had tried to take a stand against racism but they can’t forget what happened that day in 1969, back in Laramie, Wyoming. It has affected the entire course of their lives. Then, one of them receives a phone call. This four-part season includes interviews with eight of the Black 14: Guillermo Hysaw, Ted Williams, Ron Hill, John Griffin, Tony McGee, Joe Williams, Mel Hamilton, and Lionel Grimes.
The Black 14: Ep 3

The Black 14: Ep 3

2024-02-1539:122

Kicked off the Wyoming Cowboys, the “Black 14” watch the next game from the stands. Then, they turn to the courts to try to seek justice. It is October 1969 and word of their dismissal, for wanting to stage a protest against racism, has spread around the university campus. Their story is about to go national. The next match is against Brigham Young University, but they cannot play. This four-part season includes interviews with eight of the Black 14: Guillermo Hysaw, Ted Williams, Ron Hill, John Griffin, Tony McGee, Joe Williams, Mel Hamilton, and Lionel Grimes.Warning: this episode contains the use of racist language.
The Black 14: Ep 2

The Black 14: Ep 2

2024-02-0830:401

After facing racism on the field, “the Black 14” American footballers have made a decision. They’re going to ask the Cowboys’ head coach, Lloyd Eaton, if they can wear black armbands to protest at their next game against the Mormon-run Brigham Young University (BYU). They don’t expect convincing him will be easy. But they’re totally unprepared for his reaction, which will rock their lives forever.This four-part season includes interviews with eight of the Black 14: Guillermo Hysaw, Ted Williams, Ron Hill, John Griffin, Tony McGee, Joe Williams, Mel Hamilton, and Lionel Grimes. Content warning: This episode contains lived experiences which involve the use of strong racist language.
The Black 14: Ep 1

The Black 14: Ep 1

2024-02-0133:254

Sport, racism and protests are about to change the lives of “the Black 14” American footballers. It’s 1969 in the United States. They’ve arrived on scholarships at the University of Wyoming to play for its Cowboys American football team. It was a predominantly white college. The team is treated like a second religion. Then, the players make a decision to take a stand against racism in a game against another university.This four-part season includes interviews with eight of the Black 14: Guillermo Hysaw, Ted Williams, Ron Hill, John Griffin, Tony McGee, Joe Williams, Mel Hamilton, and Lionel Grimes.Content warning: This episode contains lived experiences which involve the use of strong racist language.Podcast artwork: D8 Promotional artwork: Photography by Stephanie Wolf. Mural by Adrienne Vetter for the Laramie Mural Project.Audio for this episode was updated on 2 February 2024.
Trailer: The Black 14

Trailer: The Black 14

2024-01-2903:25

In 1969 Wyoming, racism is rife and 14 young black American footballers decide to take a stand. But the repercussions will change their lives forever. BA Parker takes us back to America’s turbulent 1960s to explore the injustice suffered by the “Black 14”.The four-part season is coming soon.
The unfriendly friendly

The unfriendly friendly

2024-01-2213:002

It’s 1998 and Iran have just played the USA in one of the most eagerly awaited matches of the World Cup in France. Now on the eve of the final, in a building on the Champs-Elysees, two acquaintances – one Iranian, one American – are hatching a plan. They’re hoping to change geopolitics, through football. This is the story how their idea for a simple friendly match would lead to death threats, an FBI decoy and the closure of American airspace. Audio scenes have been re-created. Let us know what you think #AmazingSportStories
Hundreds of years ago, the Native people of Alaska's coastal whaling settlements had a unique way of communicating when a hunt had been successful. A messenger would run inland and, when within sight, jump and kick both feet into the air. The passage of time has seen that disappear, but once a year the tradition is revived. This is the story of what’s officially known as the World Eskimo-Indian Olympics and those who take part in events like the high-kicks, the ear pull and the seal hop, to preserve a rare part of Alaskan culture. Audio scenes have been re-created for your enjoyment. Let us know what you think #AmazingSportStories
Looking out from a balcony in Nazare, over slumped, drying wetsuits, you can see it all. The stretch of sand, the salt haze, a spike of cliff and a scarlet lighthouse. Most of all, you can see the waves, a backdrop of bubbling white water and that distinctive churning white noise. This is the story of Nazare, a small town in Portugal where you’ll find the world’s biggest waves, some the size of a 10-storey building. It’s also the story of the people who surf those waves, putting their lives in the ocean’s hands - while also putting Nazare firmly on the map. Audio scenes have been re-created for your enjoyment. Let us know what you think #AmazingSportStories
The long ride home

The long ride home

2024-01-0115:33

It's a scorching hot June afternoon in the middle of an Italian heatwave. Two sisters are in the foothills of the Dolomites, about to start a 10km climb. They’re elite cyclists Fariba and Yulduz Hashimi, two of the best from their country, but they're not used to riding around bends, with cars in their way. It's far from the dusty landscape of northern Afghanistan where they come from, where often the rubbly roads aren’t even suitable to walk on. This is the story of how Fariba and Yulduz made a life and career from cycling in one of the most remote, conservative provinces of Afghanistan, where it was practically unheard of to see women cycling, and of their subsequent escape from the Taliban.The Long Ride Home has been adapted from an article by Ivana Scatola on the Insight pages of the BBC Sport website. Audio scenes have been re-created for your enjoyment. Let us know what you think #AmazingSportStories
The Christmas truce

The Christmas truce

2023-12-2513:04

The deafening roar of shells exploding, a cacophony of bullets whizzing past, the air thick with smoke. This is Belgium, 1914 and life in the trenches for British and German soldiers is the definition of misery. But for one beautiful, spontaneous moment, peace and football replaces the fighting with a Christmas Truce. This is the story of what happened that day in no man's land on the Western Front during World War One.
As Mayo prepare for the All-Ireland Championship, a formidable obstacle stands in their way. Will the men from Mayo finally win the coveted tournament and vanquish talk of the curse once and for all? Meanwhile, the truth about what really happened that day in Foxford more than 70 years ago is finally within reach. Episode 3 of 3. Let us know what you think of #AmazingSportStories
Was County Mayo’s Irish football team really cursed in 1951? Sports reporter Dave McKenna hears from the last remaining member of the 1951 Mayo All-Ireland squad. Does he remember a priest cursing the team? And does he believe the curse is real? Dave’s investigation leads him to the town of Foxford, the site where legend dictates it all began. And sad news changes the course of the investigation. Episode 2 of 3. Let us know what you think of #AmazingSportStories
Is County Mayo’s Gaelic football team cursed? You might have heard of the “Curse of Bambino” for the Boston Red Sox in US baseball. This is the story of Ireland’s equivalent. Irish-American sports reporter Dave McKenna investigates this curious case to find out if a decades old hex is behind their recent failures. Did the team really disrespect a funeral in 1951? And did that cause the mysterious bad luck that’s plagued the team ever since? Episode 1 of 3.Let us know what you think of #AmazingSportStories
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