4 legendary British Olympic athletes
Olympian Colin Jackson signs autographs at the 2003 JPMorgan Chase Corporate Challenge in London. Jackson, appearing in support of race beneficiary SportsAid in 2003 and again this year, admires Corporate Challenge participants. “They’re doing something healthy, they’ve found the balance,” he says. “That’s special.”
to support entrants, SportsAid at races
LONDON, July 2, 2008 – When participants in the 22nd running of the JPMorgan Chase Corporate Challenge in London on July 9 and 10 need some inspiration, they'll simply need to look up at the starting stage.
SportsAid, beneficiary for this year's JPMorgan Chase Corporate Challenge in Battersea Park, will be providing four world-class guests over the two nights. Javelin thrower Steve Backley and hurdler Colin Jackson will appear on Wednesday, July 9, while swimmer Sharron Davies and 400-meter runner Iwan Thomas are scheduled to appear on Thursday, July 10.
The four former British Olympians will make opening remarks from the start stage and cheer on runners at the finish line. They are all alums of SportsAid, which provides financial and training assistance in the development of young athletes. Working with 48 national governing bodies of Olympic sports, SportsAid helps an average of 1,500 athletes – disabled and able-bodied – each year.
Jackson has represented SportsAid at the London Corporate Challenge before, serving as a spokesperson for the charity in 2003. He also has represented Britain in exceptional fashion on the biggest stages of amateur sports. The silver medalist in the 1988 Olympics in the 110-meter hurdles, Jackson set the world record in the event in 1993 (12.91 seconds). He also is a two-time world champion, winning 110-meter hurdle titles in 1993 and 1999. Since retiring, he has coached, become a member of the team that helped bring the 2012 Olympics to London, and appeared on the BBC series, Strictly Come Dancing.
Davies has fashioned two public careers. She was a highly acclaimed swimmer, winning two gold medals at the Commonwealth Games for the United Kingdom in 1978 and a silver medal at the 1980 Olympics in Moscow. By the time she retired from the sport in 1994, she had been a British champion on twenty occasions and had broken two hundred British swimming records. Since retiring, Davies has built a successful career as a television presenter, including regular stints as one of the BBC's main swimming commentators.
Backley is the only British track and field competitor to win medals at three different Olympic Games – Barcelona, Atlanta and Sydney. The first British athlete to be ranked No. 1 in the world in the javelin, Backley had a long career at the top of his sport. He was ranked in the world top 10 in the javelin every year from 1989 to 2002, and he twice set world records, including a 90.98 meter effort in 1990 at Crystal Palace. After retiring following the 2004 Athens Olympics, Backley has focused on corporate speaking and athletics commentary for BBC Radio 5Live.
Thomas is a former European Champion, Commonwealth Champion, World Cup winner and current British record holder at 400 meters. He won a silver medal at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics as part of Britain 's 4x400 meter relay team and also competed in the 2000 Sydney Games.
JPMorgan Chase Foundation will make a donation for each entrant in the July 9 and 10 races to SportsAid as part of its commitment to local charities in the 12 cities that host Corporate Challenge events. More than $1.75M total has been provided to not-for-profit organizations in Corporate Challenge markets the past three Series years.