Christine Ohoruogo: interview

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Beijing 400m Olympic Champion, who was brought up a mile from London's 2012 Olympic site, Christine Ohoruogo is one of our 40th birthday heroes

  • See all Time Out's 40th birthday London heroes

    Who are your London heroes?

    ‘Anyone can be a hero, they don’t have to be on TV or anything like that. I look up to so many people, including family and friends and those I see on a day-to-day basis like my coach Lloyd Cowan. Years ago, Tim Mundle was the guy I phoned at Newham and Essex Beagles Athletics Club and asked if I could come down to the Mile End track and have a go. He said yes, so he has to be a hero!’

    What’s the biggest thing that’s happened in your field in London in the past 40 years?

    ‘National Lottery funding has allowed all elite sportspeople to focus on what is important to us, and train and compete with fewer worries. But just as important, the money has gone to lots of sports and community projects all over London and made a difference to people’s lives.’

    What’s your favourite place in London?

    ‘It was such a shame that the Passmore Edwards Museum in Stratford closed. I first went there when I was in primary school. I’m really interested in east London and how it has developed. For example, Forest Gate was literally a gate to Epping Forest! Isn’t that cool?’

    What’s your favourite moment in London?

    ‘Winning the bid to stage the 2012 Olympics. I’ve never seen mass hysteria like it! I was actually training on the day of the announcement because I had the AAA Championships the next weekend, so I was trying to stay calm. But I walked through Stratford station and it was absolute madness. It was great to see so many happy people. Having already been to the Athens Olympics, it was amazing to know that something as good, and hopefully even better, would be coming to where I live.’

    What’s the future for sport in London?

    ‘Throughout the world, only a handful of people have a chance to attend an Olympic Games. In four years’ time, we will all have that chance, either as athletes or spectators – you, me, my next-door neighbours. Oh my gosh, it’s coming to my town…’

    What does Time Out mean to you?

    ‘I love Time Out. It’s so diverse, I’ll always find something of interest and it doesn’t follow a script.’

    Complete the sentence: London is…

    ‘…a fantastic city. I love living here. It’s fast-paced, but that’s the pace I operate at! I run everywhere – literally!’
    See all Time Out's 40th birthday London heroes

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