The four-time Olympic champion oarsman has now become a polished presenter. After dinner Matt lets guests get their hands on his medals. With ready wit he recalls the punishing training regime, their need to adapt to circumstances and the sheer exhilaration of beating world class crews.
Matthew Pinsent led Great Britain to glory in the coxless fours in Athens, and became a four-time Olympic gold medallist. His first taste came at the age of 21, when he and Steve Redgrave won the pairs in Barcelona. They still hold the Games record, set in Atlanta, whilst Matt also holds the world record set with James Cracknell in Seville.
In the build up to Athens, Matt’s preparations were disrupted when original crew member Alex Partridge was forced to withdraw with a collapsed lung. Ed Coode joined the boat at a late stage and the team needed to adapt to his different style. They struggled in the warm up regattas, but managed to peak at just the right time.
In presentations Matt explains the dynamics of teamwork in a rowing crew, and the addictive feeling of being the best and consistently winning. He also describes the pure motivation of wanting to beat your competitors and the mental strength needed to train effectively when you don’t feel up to it.
As a key part of the BBC’s Olympics coverage team, Matt also fronted the World Olympic Dreams series which followed 26 international athletes on their journey to the Games. He is also a leading member of The Times’ sports coverage team.
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