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What makes Denise Lewis so special?
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Denise Lewis competes in the heptathlon in Sydney
Denise on the way to victory at the 2000 Olympics
Denise Lewis' gold medal at the 2000 Olympics was the ultimate heptathlon masterclass.

As well as a world-class field, Denise overcame a painful foot injury to realise her childhood dream and take her place in British sporting history.

Excelling in seven very different events is what it's all about - and it's that ability that makes Denise so special.

Watch Denise's blueprint

For the sprints, her powerful leg muscles are fast and dynamic and her cardio-vascular system has to cope with the demanding 800m, where her endurance is tested to the limit.

For the throwing events Denise requires tremendous upper body strength, executed with perfect technique.

The jumps make full use of Denise's lower body strength. This is where her naturally explosive body comes into its own.

Heptathlon is a test of mental as well as physical prowess.

The points total is all-important and knowing exactly what you need from each event can help you conserve energy and focus on your strengths.

And as Denise found out in Sydney, determination to win - however painful it may be - is a vital asset to any athlete.

Denise's blueprint
Olympic gold

Denise facts
Born: 27.8.72 in West Bromwich, England
First heptathlon: She scored 5277pts in 1989
Olympics: Bronze in 1996, gold in 2000
Other gold medals: 1998 Commonwealth Games and 1998 European Championships

Did you know?
Denise used to sing in a choir and she also learned ballet and tap-dancing

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I sacrificed a lot as a youngster - all in the pursuit of sporting excellence
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Denise Lewis

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