Episode 2

Lockdown in a hotel room

Published on: 12th January, 2021

Three great guests today. From Bangkok there's badminton's Marcus Ellis and Lauren Smith and here in the UK Andy Stevenson, from the Paralympic Podcast 'A Winning Mindset'.

Marcus Ellis and Lauren Smith were both part of Team GB at the Rio Olympics. Marcus and his men's doubles partner, Chris Langridge, won bronze.

Marcus and Lauren are in Bangkok this month with a rare chance to play competitive badminton. There are three major tournaments in three weeks. But competing comes at a price. They have to stay in their hotel room - apart from when they're training or playing matches. But for this pair, it's a small price to pay as they prepare for the pinnacle of their sport, the Olympics. With doubts being raised about whether the Games will go ahead, Marcus and Lauren tell me they're preparing assuming it will take place.

They also talk about the new love in their life, Luna, their recently adopted dog who's given them plenty of lockdown joy!

Andy Stevenson is a journalist who specialises in para-sport and he has some interesting views on what might happen. Andy's been talking to athletes from all over the world over the last 12 months and he's impressed with the resilience they've shown during this time. Andy believes that comes from the way they've lived their ordinary lives.

As for the Games, Andy believes they will happen but in a very different way. He also, radically, thinks the Olympics and Paralympics should happen, even if it is next year.

I'm hoping to raise money for Maggie's Cancer Centres from these podcasts. If you enjoyed listening and wanted to give anything from £1 please go to


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About the Podcast

Destination Tokyo
Olympic and Paralympic stories in the run up to the Tokyo Games.
I’ve covered 5 Olympic and 5 Paralympic Games at home and abroad. Tokyo 2020 was to have been numbers 6. So how are the athletes preparing during Covid times. And what are they learning in the run up to the Games. The Podcast lasts around 10 mins and comes out daily, Monday to Friday. I’m also using it to raise money for Maggie’s Cancer Centres to thank them for the help they’ve given my wife and family during her bowel cancer journey.
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Mark Shardlow

Hi - I'm Mark, a Sports Journalist specialising in Olympic and Paralympic Sports. I also help others podcast.