By Tom Degun
"Cometh the hour, cometh the man". These are the six words double amputee marathon runner Richard Whitehead has tattooed on his right arm and if one were to try and describe the inspirational athlete from Nottinghamshire in just one sentence, this phrase perhaps provides an accurate summary of a truly remarkable character.
On July 19, 1976, Whitehead was born without lower legs but this is a fact that has never seemed to stop him achieving almost anything he has put his mind to.
By Tom Degun
By Mike Rowbottom
Calling all Paralympians preparing for the wheelchair marathon at the London 2012 Games. It's bad news, I'm afraid. Kurt Fearnley (pictured) has set his sights on a third successive gold.
In the space of the last decade, this 28-year-old resident of Carcoar, New South Wales has established himself as the undisputed master of his event as he has won Olympic titles in Athens and Beijing, five world titles and a host of big city races, including London.
By Mike Rowbottom
When Michael McCreadie was 10 months old he caught polio, which meant he had to use a wheelchair for the rest of his life.
"When I look back on it now," McCreadie reflects, "it's one of the greatest gifts I've ever had. It has opened up so many experiences to me."
As part of my role as International Inspiration Ambassador, I was asked to travel to Jordan to see at first hand the impact that London 2012 is already having on the lives of children in that country.
Jordan remains remarkably quite a peaceful country, sandwiched as it is between its neighbouring countries of Iraq, Israel, Syria and the Lebanon.
By Mike Rowbottom in London
By the time Kelly Holmes had been six months retired, and her daily elation at not having to go through the rigour of training had abated, she found herself asking a question: "Who am I now?"
Four years on, it's a question she is still in the process of answering, one that seems constantly to be throwing up further questions as she splits her energies across a range of commitments that include television appearances, speaking engagements, presidency of Commonwealth Games England, and her ongoing project On Camp With Kelly, which is is backed by Aviva and which has now supported more than 60 promising British male and female middle distance athletes.
By Duncan Mackay in Sochi
Sochi is the Russian Riviera, the brochures claim. Sand and pebble beaches stretch nearly 20 miles along the Black Sea coast where you can swim in the sea from April through until October, and ski on the nearby slopes from October into May. The semi-tropical weather allows for a lush terrain found nowhere else in Russia.
Once a sleepy Soviet-era ski resort in the Caucasus mountains, near Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's summer residence, it is now undergoing probably the biggest change that a Russian city has ever seen in peace-time. Everywhere you look there are cranes, diggers and thousands of workmen scurrying around as the pace of the largest and most expensive construction project in Russia's modern history begins to pick-up.
By Duncan Mackay in Copenhagen
Eduardo Paes is a youthful looking 39. He will be hoping that the next few years will not age him too fast. Paes is the elected Mayor of Rio de Janeiro, a prominent figure in the Brazilian city’s successful campaign to host the 2016 Olympics and Paralympics.
The hangovers of the Cariocas - as local residents are known - from the massive party held on Copacabana Beach to celebrate Rio’s choice as host ahead of Chicago, Madrid and Tokyo last weekend are beginning to clear and now the real work must begin.
On the eve of the decision to pick the 2016 Olympic Host City Dame Kelly Holmes recalls what it was like when London was chosen
By Mike Rowbottom in Copenhagen
As far as the cities bidding to host the 2016 Olympics are concerned, waiting for tomorrow's decision here must feel a bit like waiting for Christmas Day - but a Christmas Day where Santa, in the form of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), will deliver a gift to just one of the Olympic family.
For the others, it will be a case of empty pillowslips and abundant regret. Four years on, supporters of the London 2012 campaign are re-living the feelings of anxiety, doubt and hope they were experiencing on the eve of the last Games announcement which ended up bringing the Olympics back to England's capital for the first time since 1948.
By Mike Rowbottom
Bentley, Derek Redmond’s boxer/Staffordshire crossbreed, doesn’t seem to realise that his owner has just been honoured by none other than the President of the United States.
“Bentley – no!” says that owner as his boisterous but good-natured hound all but dislodged me from my seat.