athletes: the other side

a new podcast that explores the other lives of athletes, their many chapters away from the sporting field

– with ben nichols

Idols, heroes, icons. Today, we often forget that the modern-day sportsman is so much more than an athlete. Athletes have other lives – often many other career chapters away from the sporting field – just like the rest of us. To be an athlete is just one part of who they are. In Athletes: The Other Side, host and former head of Media Relations for the World Anti-Doping Agency, Ben Nichols explores the lives and achievements of athletes away from sport so that you can learn more about the stories of these multi-faceted figures. Whether it be how they make the daunting leap into the big, wide world when their competitive career is over or how they use their personal brand to give back to the sport that has offered them so much, Athletes: The Other Side addresses the paths sportsmen and women tread in those times when they are not competing in the sporting arena, so that you will leave inspired by what these extraordinary characters have achieved in their other lives.

Episode one:

bronze, silver, gold, russia

– with beckie scott

#001 – In her own words, Beckie Scott has witnessed both the light and dark sides of sport. In this first episode, host Ben Nichols talks to Beckie about how the young woman from Alberta, Canada defied the odds in the predominantly European sport of cross-country skiing by becoming Olympic Champion at Salt Lake City 2002 – and not in typical fashion. Read more

Don’t forget to subscribe to Athletes: The Other Side at Apple Podcasts.

Episode two:

making transition worth it

– with lauryn williams

#002 – Lauryn Williams is a financial planner, author, podcaster, motivational speaker and volunteer. But that’s not why most people recognise her name. Over a period of twelve years, she competed at the elite level in two Olympic sports – Track and Field (Athletics) and Bobsleigh. In doing so, she became the first American woman to win medals at both a Summer and a Winter Olympic Games. Read more. 

Don’t forget to subscribe to Athletes: The Other Side on Apple Podcasts.

Episode THREE:

food, water, shelter – with chris cracknell

#004 – The phrase always expect the unexpected doesn’t even start to do it justice as a motto for Chris Cracknell’s life. A former decorated rugby international, Englishman Chris captained his country’s national Sevens side, taking them to glory by winning the Emirates Airline London Sevens title in 2009.

Living in West London with in a nice apartment, a flashy car and a comfortable career with the England Rugby Football Union, life was seemingly good for Chris. Read more

Don’t forget to subscribe to Athletes: The Other Side on Apple Podcasts.

Episode four:

hometown heroine

– with emma coburn

#004 – Emma Coburn is a World Champion middle distance runner, hailing from the “Americana idyll”of Crested Butte, Colorado. As the first ever American woman to win a World Championships gold medal in the 3000m steeplechase, she is also an 8-time national US Champion, 3-time NCAA Champion and 6-time All-American. She’s founder of the ‘Elk Run’ and Vice President of new athlete rights movement, The Athletics Association. Read more

Don’t forget to subscribe to Athletes: The Other Side on Apple Podcasts.

Episode five:

the athlete entrepreneur- with callum skinner

#005 –If Athletes: The Other Side was tailor made for any one athlete out there, it must be Callum Skinner. The Olympic Champion, who scored his greatest success in the Rio de Janeiro Velodrome at the 2016 Games, has clocked up more ‘other side’ successes in the 18 months since his retirement from the track – and by the mere age of 28 – than many athletes will manage in a lifetime. 

Symbolising a new breed of athlete reformers taking a grip on Olympic sport, Callum, in his prominent role as Lead Athlete of athlete-led movement, Global Athlete, has been taking on organisations such as the International Olympic Committee with his plans for shaking up how Olympic sport should be run. With a burgeoning career in sports governance, he also sits on the athlete bodies of the British Olympic Association and UK Anti-Doping. Read more

Don’t forget to subscribe to Athletes: The Other Side on Apple Podcasts.

Episode SIX:

the iron man


#006 – Our first Doctor to feature on Athletes: The Other Side, Matt Hanson is a professional triathlete and coach for triathletes, cyclists and runners. 

Hailing from Minnesota, Matt is one of life’s achievers and an Ironman guru. In 2014, his first year as a pro, Matt set 3 run course records and won Ironman Chattanooga (in Tennessee). He has since tallied 10 professional wins, including 3 North American Championship titles. Read more

Don’t forget to subscribe to Athletes: The Other Side on Apple Podcasts.

Episode Seven:

free speech champion 

with ali jawad

#007 – Born without legs in Lebanon in 1989, and moving to England at just six months’ old, the word ‘hardship’ doesn’t feature in Ali Jawad’s vocabulary. The Briton, who during his teens was diagnosed with incurable Chron’s disease, has always grasped life with both hands, a skill evident by his determination to secure the Para-Powerlifting Silver Medal for Great Britain at the Rio 2016 Games.

Today, he is one of Britain’s most ambitious athletes, and in an era when free speech is under increasing threat, a fierce defender of the uncensored athlete voice. With a plethora of entrepreneurial projects on the go, Ali is now targeting going one better than Rio by securing Gold in Tokyo next year. Read more

Don’t forget to subscribe to Athletes: The Other Side on Apple Podcasts.

Episode eight:

The Education of life 

with christian taylor

#008 – The GOAT (Greatest of all Time), two-time Olympic Champion and four-time World Champion in the triple jump and five-time World Athletics Diamond League Champion. What else is there you can say about Christian Taylor?

Quite a lot, as it happens. The 10-time NCAA All American recently founded and became President of his own progressive athlete union, the Athletics Association, aimed at giving athletes a greater say over the future of track and field athletics. 

This true internationalist is an athlete going places in life after sport, but he’s not done yet. With the postponed Tokyo 2020 (or is Tokyo 2021) around the corner, he has one more Olympic Gold Medal in his sights. Read more

Don’t forget to subscribe to Athletes: The Other Side on Apple Podcasts.

Episode nine:

The fifth beatle 

with todd martin

#009 – As the former World Number 4, Todd Martin was a proud member of the golden club of American ATP stars in his nation’s tennis heyday: the 1990s. The self-described “Fifth Beatle”  was in good company during that glorious era for the sport, as he sparred against compatriots Pete Sampras, Andre Agassi, Jim Courier and Michael Chang for what became that elusive Grand Slam title.

To many, he was the ‘nearly man’, but to himself, the eight ATP tournament titles, the near misses and the two Grand Slam Final losses made him the person he is today. 50-year-old Martin has, in his own words, led “a charmed life”, but, as he tells host Ben Nichols, he has much still to accomplish in the years ahead. Read more

Don’t forget to subscribe to Athletes: The Other Side on Apple Podcasts.

Episode TEN:

no distinction –

with rebecca smith

#010 – Rebecca Smith is an international footballer with 74 caps for the New Zealand national team. 

She’s represented New Zealand at World cups and Olympic games, playing professional football in 4 different countries, notably winning a Treble with Vfl Wolfsburg.

These international experiences clearly served her well, as since retiring, she’s put her degrees (Economics, Spanish, an MBA and Masters in Psychology) to good use through managing FIFA’s Women’s World Cups, managing Strategic Planning in Women’s Football, as well as working as a freelance sport consultant.

Rebecca is now part of the world of media, co-founding award-winning JAMAA Sports Productions, as well as becoming Global Executive Director of Women’s Game for COPA90, and hosting her own podcast ‘The Players Podcast’ which is available on BBC.

Very much a woman of “many hats” as she puts it. Don’t miss this episode with a true progressive of the 2021 sporting world. Read more

Don’t forget to subscribe to Athletes: The Other Side on Apple Podcasts.

Episode eleven:

scars along the way –

with andrew castle

#011 – Andrew Castle’s Tennis achievements include being the UK number 1 ranked men’s singles tennis player, reaching world number 80, winning three ATP titles in men’s doubles, and representing Britain at two Olympic Games (Seoul and Barcelona) as well and the Davis Cup.

However, it is perhaps his post-tennis career he is better known for.

After retiring from playing Tennis, Andrew has become an accomplished TV presenter, hosting coverage of Basketball, Motor Racing, Golf, as well as his beloved Tennis.

Andrew has hosted multiple game shows, and even had a strong run as a contestant in Strictly Come Dancing.

He has subsequently transitioned into current affairs, hosting LBC’s weekend breakfast show.

The rapid rise of his impressive broadcast career is no surprise given his opportunity chasing dare-devil spirit. Read more

Don’t forget to subscribe to Athletes: The Other Side on Apple Podcasts.

Episode twelve:

in for a penny, in for a pound –

with dick pound

#012 -Richard “Dick” Pound, is a Canadian swimming champion, lawyer and prominent spokesman for ethics in sport. He was the first president of the World Anti-Doping Agency and vice-president of the International Olympic Committee.

A four-time Canadian national freestyle champion, as well as butterfly champion. Internationally, he represented Canada at the 1960 Olympics, and won four medals at the 1962 Commonwealth games. Yet, it’s his ground-breaking work post-competition that has seen him become as revered as he is today. During his presidency at WADA, he became synonymous with anti-doping, and in 2015, he led a ground-breaking investigation that uncovered the details of an institutionalized doping scheme within Russian athletics, which paved the way for the biggest sporting scandal of modern times: the Russian Doping Crisis.

TIME magazine featured Dick as one of the “100 Most Influential People in the World”, and current WADA President Witold Banda states “everyone who loves sport and who cherishes the values of fair play, owes a lot to Dick and what he has achieved”.  Read more

Don’t forget to subscribe to Athletes: The Other Side on Apple Podcasts.