Leap Of Faith



Dan Walker looks at the often controversial role religion plays in sport.


As almost 15,000 athletes from around the world gather for the London 2012 Olympics, BBC Sport presenter Dan Walker looks at the often controversial role religion plays in sport.

The fastest man in the world, Usain "Lightning" Bolt, openly prays before getting onto the starting blocks and thanks God for his phenomenal success. And Team GB's own Mo Farah and Christine Ohuruogu are among the many other world champions who have a strong religious faith.

We hear from some of the world's top medal winners, including Bolt, Farah and Ohuruogu themselves - during training, on the track, and as they cross finish lines - along with performance coaches, managers, psychologists and the chaplains who staff the Olympic Village.

Dan, who presents BBC One's Football Focus and is part of the BBC's Olympic presenting team, is a practicing Christian who doesn't work on Sundays because of his faith. He explores whether faith can provide an edge on the track, field or pitch; what happens to faith when you are losing or injured; and so-called "Hand of God" moments.

We also find out whether there's something about the sporting lifestyle itself that fosters religious belief. Former Olympic triple-jumper and now chair of the London Organising Committee of The Olympics, Jonathan Edwards, shares the remarkable story of what happened to his faith once he stopped competing and retired from sport.