Updated: Sunday, 5th July 2020 @ 5:57am

My Olympics, with Team GB taekwondo fighter Martin Stamper

My Olympics, with Team GB taekwondo fighter Martin Stamper

By Steven Oldham, Sports Correspondent

Martin Stamper is heading to London 2012 after being picked by GB Taekwondo to represent the country in the -68kg weight class.

The 25-year-old Liverpudlian, who trains in Manchester at the GB Academy, won a four-way battle for the sole spot in London, beating Tony Grisman and Mancunians Michael Harvey and Jordan Gayle to selection.

He is the current Olympic Athlete of the Year in taekwondo, following 27 wins from 29 in 2011, including victory in the British, US and German Opens.

In May, he collected a second European Championship bronze medal in Manchester.

So, there is no doubting Martin's Olympic credentials - but how will he do with our questions?

Let's find out...

What is the first Olympic Games you can remember watching?

Atlanta 1996.  I remember it was the school holidays when the Games were on.  I had to get up early to watch all the different sports because of the time difference.

Taekwondo wise, I watched Sarah Stevenson competing at Sydney 2000 - I think she was only 17.  The sport made it's full debut that year (having been a demonstration sport in 1988 and 1992.)

Who is your favourite Olympian (past and present) and why?

All time, it has to be Sir Steve Redgrave.  To win five gold medals at five different Olympics is just ridiculous.  No other British Olympian has done that.  Even though I wouldn't go out of my way to watch rowing, to be at the top of your sport for so long is amazing.

In the present day, I'd have to pick Usain Bolt.  He was one of the highlights of Beijing 2008 for me. To set world and Olympic records in the 100m, then the 200m and the relay is unbelievable.  He's different to other sprinters - he's always so relaxed, while the others always seem tense.

 If taekwondo didn't exist and you had the talent to represent Team GB in another Olympic sport, which one would you choose?

That's a tough question.  I'd say athletics - either 100m or long jump.  There aren't as many variables involved as there are in taekwondo.  There are so many things that can affect the outcome of a fight.  As long as you perform to your ability in athletics, you'll do well - it's all about beating your personal best.  That's not to take anything away from the full time athletes - they're phenomenal at what they do.

If you could pick another sport to add to the Olympics, what would it be?

I like cricket.  I'd introduce Twenty 20, it would be exciting to watch.  The only downside is that there are only a few really good nations who would be competitive.

Besides competing, what are you most looking forward to at London 2012?

Just being part of it all.  I compete on August 9, and I'll be staying after that - I'm looking forward to being around all the different athletes.

To date, Sarah Stevenson is the only British Olympic medalist in taekwondo - she picked up bronze in Beijing.

Stamper, Stevenson, Jade Jones, and either Aaron Cook or Lutalo Muhammad will be hoping to add to that tally in London this summer.

Keep your eyes on MM for more My Olympics soon.