Sir Steve Redgrave
Olympian and Living Legend
Sir Steve Redgrave, British Olympic rowing champion, is regarded as an unrivalled legend. In a Sunday Telegraph poll amongst British athletes to find the Olympians’ Olympian he polled 58%, with his nearest competition polling only 13%.
His many extraordinary sporting achievements include being one of only five athletes in history to have achieved gold medals in five consecutive Olympic games (and the only one to have done this in an endurance event), being World Champion a record nine times and a triple Commonwealth Gold Medallist.
However, Sir Steve has garnered worldwide respect from the sporting world, the corporate world and the general public for more than his unrivalled sporting success. He demonstrates unparalleled levels of dominance and consistency in everything he takes part in and exemplifies a rare combination of strength and endurance mixed with dedication and commitment that is only seen in great champions. He has become a household name not only for his sporting achievements but also for his persona and generosity in inspiring others.
Sir Steve Redgrave is also renowned for his skills as a motivational speaker, sharing his achievements, challenges and experiences with his natural humour and charm – Sir Steve overcame diabetes and a hatred for training to achieve incredible success. He talks about determination, commitment, competing at the highest levels, what long-term success is, and how to achieve it.
His rapt audiences have included not only many iconic business brands but also the Australian Cricket team and the English Rugby Union team prior to winning their respective World Cups.
Since first retiring after the 1996 Olympics, his love for the sport lured him back and he continued to dominate the world of rowing for a further four years until 2000 when he achieved his record-breaking 5th Olympic gold.
Amongst his many achievements are:
- Olympics– 5 gold medals in consecutive Olympic Games between 1984 and 2000, also a bronze medal in the 1988 Olympics.
- World Championships – a nine-time World Champion winning Gold at the Worlds in 1986, 1987, 1991, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1997, 1998 and 1999.
- Commonwealth Games – in 1986 Sir Steve became a Triple Commonwealth Gold Medallist at Edinburgh, winning the Single Scull, Coxless Pairs and Coxed Four.
- Royal Henley Regatta – Sir Steve has won the Diamond Sculls several times and the Silver Goblets a record seven times.
- Sir Steve and his partner Matthew Pinsent were world record holders in the Coxless pairs from Lucerne in 1994 until 2002 and they both still retain the Olympic Record which was set in Atlanta in 1996.
- BBC’s Lifetime Achievement Award 2011 – Sir Steve was a member of Britain’s most inspirational and accomplished Olympians who made up the Team GB Ambassadors. Sir Steve was an integral part of Team GB throughout the London 2012 campaign supporting and inspiring the athletes at Test Events, at the Preparation Camp in Loughborough and on site at venues during the games.
In February 2011 Sir Steve became a member of the Laureus World Sports Academy, a unique association of the world’s greatest living sporting legends. The Laureus Sport For Good Foundation seeks to bring about social change through the use of sport for children affected by social and political hardship.
He was the first athlete to have been given the honour of holding the Union Jack at two Olympic opening ceremonies. His gold medal in Sydney was chosen as BBC viewers’ most memorable Olympic moment, while the victory was voted Channel 4’s greatest ever sporting moment.
He has also received the following prestigious accolades:
- Charity Fundraising world record holder, London Marathon 2006
- Golden Sports Personality of the Year, 2003
- Knighthood, 2001
- Laureus Lifetime Achievement award, 2000
- BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year, 2000
- CBE – 1997
- MBE – 1987
As of 2014, Sir Steve has published seven books, including Headline, Inspired, Enduring Success and Great Olympic Moments and is a columnist in the sports section of the Daily Telegraph. He is also a regular analyst of televised rowing events.
When considering who would make an incredible impact on an audience, this quote by sports broadcaster ESPN about Sir Steve Redgrave’s legacy says it all:
“Britain’s Redgrave is the only sportsman in history whose future obituary, for reasons of space, may not mention he also won nine World Championships … In short, a legend.”
He has made himself the greatest Olympian Britain has ever produced and arguably in the world. You can't get better than that. It is an inspiration to all of us.
-Sir Matthew Pinsent, CBE
I asked Steve Redgrave to an England coaching session. I think I learned more from him than anyone, and so did the players. What came over loud and clear is that he is such a determined individual. Steve shook a few England players telling them just what you have to do to win gold medals and how hard it is. I think by the time the team started winning there were quite a few of them who thought they could become gold medallists too. They became completely obsessed about winning.
-Sir Clive Woodward, England Rugby World Cup winning coach
Steve Redgrave came into rowing as an amateur, a Corinthian if you like, and the big impact he made as a person and as a rower was introducing a philosophy of 'we can win'. When I came into the sport that wasn't a culture I found. In my view, he had most to do with instilling that winning environment.
-David Tanner, Great Britain’s performance director
Well renowned for his motivational speaking, he speaks of unrivalled achievements and experiences that are only complimented by a natural humour and charm. His motivational speeches have had an effect not only on major business brands but also the Australian Cricket team and the English Rugby Union team prior to winning their respective World Cups.
Steve continues to inspire new generations through his broadcasting commitments. He’s become a confident and committed performer who commands enormous respect from our audiences and has great on-screen presence. Steve’s able to offer viewers real insight not just in Rowing, but more generally into the world of elite sport and the pressures of competing at the highest levels. He’s been a great asset and made a huge contribution to the success of the BBC’s Olympic coverage.