Ten of the most motivational podcasts from high achievers in sport

To celebrate our 100th episode of the Olympic Channel Podcast, we’ve collected our top inspirational episodes; including Evgenia Medvedeva, Kristina Vogel, and Katelyn Ohashi.

Self-improvement comes from within but sometimes it’s nice to have a helping hand.

The Olympic Channel Podcast has showcased some of the most inspirational sports stories across more than 100 episodes.

Here are ten recommendations to make the difficult days on the road to betterment a little easier.

Evgenia Medvedeva

After a silver Olympic medal at PyeongChang 2018, Evgenia Medvedeva shocked the figure skating world when she decided to move from her training base in Russia to Canada.

Waiting for her at the airport in Toronto was her friend, and fellow figure skater, Jason Brown.

The pair have become even closer as they train under two-time Olympic silver medallist Brian Orser.

Medvedeva says that Brown has taught her ‘how to be happy and work at the same time’.

Olympic champion Meryl Davis interviewed Brown, Orser, and Medvedeva about the importance of friendship in success.

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Kristina Vogel

Kristina Vogel, one of the world’s very best track cyclists, won her record-breaking 11th title at the 2018 UCI Track Cycling World Championships.

Four months later, she was paralysed and in a wheelchair.

A junior Dutch cyclist was practising standing starts when Vogel crashed into him at full speed.

The double Olympic champion feels no resentment.

“I don’t need to forgive (the person because) I have no anger about him.”

She doesn’t know if her family feels the same.

“I have never asked them if they have forgiven him… I am scared to ask this question.”

The 28-year-old talked about her life-changing accident, acceptance and forgiveness.

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Anthony Ervin

The US swimmer's life is simply unbelievable: wins Olympic gold as a teenager, hits rock-bottom, becomes homeless and attempts suicide, regains control of life, makes Olympics again, and becomes oldest ever Olympic individual medallist swimmer.

Anthony Ervin spoke about pleasures and pitfalls of achieving your dreams.

“Winning is not the goal. Winning is just evidence of what you have done” – Anthony Ervin

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Briana Williams

The look on her face said it all.

When Jamaica’s Briana Williams crossed the line in the 100m final at the IAAF World U20 Championships in Tampere, Finland, she was visibly shocked.

Then aged 16, she was the youngest competitor in the 100m field.

Briana Williams: the next Jamaican sprint hope

Briana Williams: the next Jamaican sprint hope

It wasn’t the end of joy. She went on to win the 200m as well.

“I was thrilled. That is one word that I can say. I was really happy and proud myself,” she said to the Olympic Channel Podcast.

This Jamaican may still be a teenager but her ability is taking her places very fast.

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Miss Val and Katelyn Ohashi

A lot of Olympians have been coached by Valorie Kondos Field (aka Miss Val).

But the legendary coach had some of major doubts when she first started with the gymnastics team at UCLA.

Her background was in dance and her lack of experience meant she lacked faith in her decisions.

Katelyn Ohashi with UCLA coach Miss Val
Katelyn Ohashi with UCLA coach Miss ValKatelyn Ohashi with UCLA coach Miss Val

She learnt to trust her instincts and went onto have an illustrious career.

The favourite Miss Val lesson of viral college gymnast star Katelyn Ohashi is: Be anxious for nothing and grateful for all things.

Ohashi spoke on the podcast about the influence of Miss Val in her life.

As she headed into her final season as coach of UCLA, Miss Val gave advice applicable to anyone looking to achieve.

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Marta Pagnini

Italian rhythmic gymnast Marta Pagnini is an Olympic bronze medallist who is totally confident with her body.

She participated in a naked podcast to promote a positive message.

"I should be judged for my performance as an athlete and what I do as a woman. Not for my body.”

“I shouldn’t be judged for my body" - Marta Pagnini

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Gracie Gold

Depression, anxiety, and an eating disorder all disrupted the dreams of American figure skater Gracie Gold.

She won two US National titles as a teenager and took an Olympic bronze medal home from Sochi 2014.

But, in 2017, she withdrew from competition to seek treatment for her mental health.

Gracie is now taking a day-by-day approach to recovery as she explains in this honest, open, and raw interview.

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USA artistic swimming team

After 12 years of disappointment, the US Synchro team have enlisted the help of a four-time Olympic medal winning coach Andrea Fuentes.

The Spaniard is hoping to inspire a group of young hopefuls to reach Tokyo 2020.

It’s going to be difficult but Fuentes’ attitude remains strictly positive.

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John McAvoy

Once one of Britain’s most wanted criminals, John McAvoy says he would be dead if it wasn't for sport.

''I wouldn’t be the person I am today. It literally did save my life." he told the Olympic Channel Podcast.

After a career in crime, and serving 10 years behind bars, he became a record breaker and is now a fully professional Ironman triathlon athlete.

The 35-year-old is on a mission to help inspire, and prevent other young people from making the same mistakes he did.

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Ramla Ali

Imagine having to keep national sporting success a secret from your parents.

That was the reality for boxer Ramla Ali after she became the first Muslim woman to win English national boxing titles in 2016.

Born into a strict Muslim family, including an imam for a father, she was expected to dress and behave modestly.

"My mum, I think what she feared most at the time was the community and how they would perceive me," Ali said to the Olympic Channel Podcast.

Ramla escaped war-torn Somalia to become a refugee in Great Britain but now she is representing her country on an international level.

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