BBC Television last night revived the Superstars format that was so popular in the 1970s and 1980s. Following the success of Team GB at the Olympics the show featured some of this summer’s champions including Mo Farah, Anthony Joshua, Helen Glover and Christine Ohuruogu.
The original series would regularly command viewing figures of over 10 million as the Superstars of the day competed in a series of sports and gym tests to see which sportsman was the most complete competitor.
Judo star Brian Jacks is synonymous with the programme. He set records for squat thrusts and dips and won domestic and international versions of the show. As a good all round athlete with tremendous upper body strength he was perfectly built for the competition.
For people of a certain age the programme would have taken them back to their childhood. Memories of Kevin Keegan falling off his bike and Stan Bowles hitting a table instead of a target will have rushed through their minds as they watched the current crop of stars being put through their paces.
The programme was recorded on the 24th and 25th November. To begin with our stars had to run the 100m in the rain. The boxer Anthony Joshua stormed away to win this on the men’s event with the rower Andrew Triggs Hodge looking like he needed a first aid kit as it took him nearly 20 seconds to run the distance.
As it turned out during the race he did suffer from a quadriceps strain and would have needed cold packs to help. Despite this he still competed in all the events like a true Olympian.
Joshua would go on to win the men’s competition. Like the famous Jacks he had the upper body strength to do well at running, the javelin and cycling and he was declared the champion before they even had to do the gruelling gym tests.
Battle between the women
The woman’s event came down to the gruelling gym tests. The leading competitors were rower Helen Glover, Tae Kwon Do star Jade Jones, and Equestrian champion Laura Bechtolshiemer.
As it was the oarswoman Glover ran away with the title. She was good at most events and won the javelin, the cycling and the gym tests to emerge as the winner.
She said modestly that the reason she won was because she was back in training. Yet the competition showed she was also a great competitor. As a rower her arms and legs have to be strong which helped her to triumph in those events that demanded that sort of strength.
It is to be hoped that like the Olympics themselves this programme can inspire people to get out and do a bit of exercise. If you people suffer from a bit of knee pain they can put on a ligament knee support and get out there.
In the same way that Triggs Hodge carried on despite his injury you can still get out there and get your body moving. Exercise will not only keep you fit but it helps to prevent heart disease, diabetes and even dementia.
Then we can all be Superstars.
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