Rio heroes

The Olympics never fails to deliver tales of triumph, heroism and great drama. Just as we did when the Olympics were on our doorstep in 2012, we set ourselves the task of capturing a little of that Olympic spirit, and sharing it with millions around the world, who, like us, are glued to the Games. 

Rose Nathike Lokonyen

South Sudanese 800m runner Rose Nathike Lokonyen was living in a Kenyan refugee camp when her talent for distance running was discovered. She represents the first Olympic Refugee Team in Rio.   

South Sudanese 800m runner Rose Nathike Lokonyen was living in a Kenyan refugee camp when her talent for distance running was discovered. She represents the first Olympic Refugee Team in Rio. 

 

The Luik Triplets

The Luiks - Leila, Lily and Lena - all took part in the women's marathon in Rio, securing their place in Olympic history, if not on the podium. 

The Luiks - Leila, Lily and Lena - all took part in the women's marathon in Rio, securing their place in Olympic history, if not on the podium. 

Nicola Adams, MBE

Nicola Adams became an icon of British women's sport when she took the very first Olympic gold for women's boxing in London 2012. Despite her extraordinary talent and tenacity, her road to the ring was far from smooth. Financial support is vital to sporting success, and women's boxing has always been the poor relation to the men's event. But Nicola's story certainly packs an inspirational punch for women and girls everywhere. 

Nicola Adams became an icon of British women's sport when she took the very first Olympic gold for women's boxing in London 2012. Despite her extraordinary talent and tenacity, her road to the ring was far from smooth. Financial support is vital to sporting success, and women's boxing has always been the poor relation to the men's event. But Nicola's story certainly packs an inspirational punch for women and girls everywhere. 

Yusra Mardini

Yusra Mardini, a Syrian teenager, has made her way to Rio only a few months after making the treacherous journey from Damascus to mainland Europe. Nothing could have been further from her mind than the Olympics, as she swam for her life in the Aegean sea.   

Yusra Mardini, a Syrian teenager, has made her way to Rio only a few months after making the treacherous journey from Damascus to mainland Europe. Nothing could have been further from her mind than the Olympics, as she swam for her life in the Aegean sea. 

 

Popole Misenga

Popole Misenga was orphaned by civil war in the DRC. By chance, he discovered judo, while living in a centre for displaced children. It changed his life. Today he lives in Brazil, and is competing for the Refugee Team in his adopted home.   

Popole Misenga was orphaned by civil war in the DRC. By chance, he discovered judo, while living in a centre for displaced children. It changed his life. Today he lives in Brazil, and is competing for the Refugee Team in his adopted home. 

 

Dattu Baban Bhokanal

When Dattu Baban Bhokanal was growing up in India, his family had barely enough water to survive. He never learned to swim. How incredible then, that he should find himself rowing for his country in Rio.    

When Dattu Baban Bhokanal was growing up in India, his family had barely enough water to survive. He never learned to swim. How incredible then, that he should find himself rowing for his country in Rio.  

 

Kieran Behan

Irish gymnast, Kieran Behan's journey to Rio was full of potentially career-ending set-backs. His courage and determination in the face of adversity made him a Olympic hero, win or lose.   

Irish gymnast, Kieran Behan's journey to Rio was full of potentially career-ending set-backs. His courage and determination in the face of adversity made him a Olympic hero, win or lose. 

 

David Florence

A more light-hearted story than some of the others in this series, but nonetheless an important one - athletes' parents often make Olympian efforts of their own to help their kids reach the top of their game.    

A more light-hearted story than some of the others in this series, but nonetheless an important one - athletes' parents often make Olympian efforts of their own to help their kids reach the top of their game.  

 

Ibtihaj Muhammad

Ibtihaj Muhammad's story is such an important one in the current political climate. As her country grapples with the power of prejudice in the run up to the 2016 elections, Muhammed's actions speak louder than words. 

Ibtihaj Muhammad's story is such an important one in the current political climate. As her country grapples with the power of prejudice in the run up to the 2016 elections, Muhammed's actions speak louder than words.