Sir Steven Geoffrey Redgrave CBE DL (born 23 March 1962) is a British retired rower who won gold medals at five consecutive Olympic Games from 1984 to 2000. He has also won three Commonwealth Games gold medals and nine World Rowing Championships golds. He is the most successful male rower in Olympic history, and the only man to have won gold medals at five Olympic Games in an endurance sport.[1][2][3][4]

Steve Redgrave
Redgrave in 2011
Personal information
Full nameSteven Geoffrey Redgrave
Born (1962-03-23) 23 March 1962 (age 61)
Marlow, Buckinghamshire, England
EducationGreat Marlow School
Height6 ft 4.75 in (1.95 m)
Weight16 st 2 lb (103 kg) (2000)
Spouse(s)Ann Redgrave
CountryGreat Britain
SportMen's Rowing
ClubMarlow Rowing Club
Leander Club
TeamGB Rowing Team
Coached byMike Spracklen
Jürgen Gröbler
Medal record
Men's rowing
Representing  Great Britain
Olympic Games
Gold medal – first place 1984 Los Angeles Coxed four
Gold medal – first place 1988 Seoul Coxless pair
Gold medal – first place 1992 Barcelona Coxless pair
Gold medal – first place 1996 Atlanta Coxless pair
Gold medal – first place 2000 Sydney Coxless four
Bronze medal – third place 1988 Seoul Coxed pair
World Championships
Gold medal – first place 1986 Nottingham Coxed pair
Gold medal – first place 1987 Copenhagen Coxless pair
Gold medal – first place 1991 Vienna Coxless pair
Gold medal – first place 1993 Račice Coxless pair
Gold medal – first place 1994 Indianapolis Coxless pair
Gold medal – first place 1995 Tampere Coxless pair
Gold medal – first place 1997 Aiguebelette Coxless four
Gold medal – first place 1998 Cologne Coxless Four
Gold medal – first place 1999 St. Catharines Coxless four
Silver medal – second place 1987 Copenhagen Coxed pair
Silver medal – second place 1989 Bled Coxless pair
Bronze medal – third place 1990 Tasmania Coxless pair
Representing  England
Commonwealth Games
Gold medal – first place 1986 Edinburgh Single sculls
Gold medal – first place 1986 Edinburgh Coxless pair
Gold medal – first place 1986 Edinburgh Coxed four
Updated on 6 November 2016.

Redgrave is regarded as one of Britain's greatest-ever Olympians. As of 2016 he was the fourth-most decorated British Olympian, after cyclists Sir Chris Hoy, Sir Jason Kenny and Sir Bradley Wiggins. He has carried the British flag at the opening of the Olympic Games on two occasions. In 2002, he was ranked number 36 in the BBC poll of the 100 Greatest Britons.[5] He received the BBC Sports Personality of the Year – Lifetime Achievement Award in 2011.

Early life and education edit

Statue of Redgrave in Higginson Park, Marlow

Redgrave was born in Marlow, Buckinghamshire, to Geoffrey Edward Redgrave, a submariner in the Second World War who became a builder, and Sheila Marion, daughter of Harold Stevenson, a local bus driver. His great-grandparents Harry and Susannah Redgrave moved to Marlow from Bramfield, Suffolk, in 1887.[6] He was educated at Great Marlow School.[7]

Rowing career edit

Redgrave's primary discipline was sweep rowing, in which he won Olympic Gold rowing both bowside and strokeside (port and starboard).[citation needed]

From 1991, the crews in which he rowed became renowned for their consistent dominance, winning almost every time they raced.[citation needed]

For much of his career he suffered illness: in 1992 he was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis,[8] and in 1997 he was diagnosed with diabetes mellitus type 2.[9]

Olympic games edit

Redgrave won gold medals at five consecutive Olympic Games from 1984 to 2000, plus a bronze medal at the 1988 Summer Olympics.

Immediately after winning the 1996 Olympic Gold Medal, he stated that if anyone found him close to a rowing boat again, they could shoot him. However, he changed his mind shortly afterward, and resumed training after a four-month break.[10] The gold medal achieved by him and Matthew Pinsent in the coxless pair at the Atlanta 1996 games was particularly notable for being the only gold medal achieved by the entire British Olympic team across all sports during that particular Olympic games.

In 2000, he won his fifth consecutive Olympic Gold Medal and retired from the sport. In August 2000, prior to his final Olympic Games, the BBC broadcast Gold Fever, a three-part BBC documentary which had followed the coxless four in the years leading up to the Olympics. It included video diaries recording the highs and lows in the quest for gold. At the medal ceremony after the 2000 Summer Olympics he was also presented with a gold Olympic pin by IOC President Juan Antonio Samaranch in recognition of his achievement.[11]

World Championships edit

At the World Rowing Championships he won nine gold medals, two silvers, and a bronze.

He won the World Championship for Indoor rowing in 1991.[12]

Henley Royal Regatta edit

He competed at Henley Royal Regatta for more than two decades, winning: the Silver Goblets & Nickalls' Challenge Cup for coxless pairs seven times (twice with Andy Holmes, once with Simon Berrisford and four times with Matthew Pinsent); the Stewards' Challenge Cup for coxless fours five times; the Diamond Challenge Sculls twice; the Double Sculls Challenge Cup with Eric Sims then with Adam Clift; and the Queen Mother Challenge Cup for quadruple sculls.[citation needed]

Wingfield Sculls edit

He won the Wingfield Sculls for single scullers five times between 1985 and 1989.

Life after rowing edit

In April 2006 Redgrave completed his third London Marathon, raising a record £1,800,000 for charity.[citation needed]

He starred in Top Ground Gear Force for Sport Relief in 2008, where the Top Gear Team (Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond) took on Ground Force with predictable results, and trashed his garden.[13]

He launched his own Fairtrade Cotton Brand of clothing called FiveG, which is sold in Debenhams department stores.[13]

He was involved in starting a rowing academy in India at Lavasa, the new Hill City being developed near Pune City.[14]

In April 2008, Redgrave took part in the Olympic Torch relay for the games in Beijing, and he went on to be one of the final torch-bearers for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, carrying the torch into the stadium, where seven young athletes shared the task of lighting the cauldron at the opening ceremony.[citation needed]

He was named a Patron of the Jaguar Academy of Sport in 2010.[15]

In 2012, he took up kayaking and attempted the Devizes-to-Westminster marathon kayak race, but had to withdraw halfway through due to tiredness.[16]

He rowed on the Gloriana as part of the royal pageant for the Diamond Jubilee of Elizabeth II.[17]

In August 2014, Redgrave was one of 200 public figures who were signatories to a letter to The Guardian expressing their hope that Scotland would vote to remain part of the United Kingdom in September's referendum on that issue.[18]

In May 2018, Redgrave assumed the High-Level Performance Director role for the Chinese Rowing Association[19] to help China's rowing team's target of one gold medal at the Tokyo 2020 Games and two golds at Paris 2024.[20]

Personal life edit

Redgrave in 2011

He married Ann Callaway (now Ann, Lady Redgrave) in 1988; also an elite rower, she represented Great Britain in the women's eight at the Los Angeles Olympics in 1984. She was Chief Medical Officer to the GB rowing team from 1992 to 2001 and since 2009 their first full-time Medical Officer.[21] He was the honorary president of British Rowing.[22]

Redgrave has three children, Natalie, Sophie and Zak. Natalie rowed with the Oxford University Women's Boat Club which won the women's boat race at Henley Boat Races in 2011.[23][24][25]

He is a supporter of Chelsea Football Club.[citation needed]

Honours edit

Redgrave was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in 1987, and promoted to Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 1997.[citation needed] In the 2001 New Year Honours he was appointed a Knight Bachelor "for services to Rowing", which he received in Buckingham Palace from Queen Elizabeth II on 1 May 2001.[26][27]

He was voted the BBC Sports Personality of the Year in 2000,[citation needed], and received the BBC Sports – Lifetime Achievement Award in 2011.[citation needed]

He was awarded the Honorary Degree of Doctor of the University from Heriot Watt University in November 2001, having previously been awarded an Honorary Blue in 1997.[28][29]

In 2000, his fifth Olympic gold was voted the greatest sporting moment in Channel 4's 100 Greatest Sporting Moments.[30]

The Redgrave Pinsent Rowing Lake was opened by him and Matthew Pinsent in 2006. The lake and boathouse provide training, medical and scientific facilities for the GB rowing squad.

In 2013, he was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Edinburgh "in recognition of his outstanding sporting achievements and role as a sports ambassador".[31][32]

Achievements edit

Olympic Games edit

World Rowing Championships edit

  • 1999 – Gold, Coxless Four (with James Cracknell, Ed Coode, Matthew Pinsent)
  • 1998 – Gold, Coxless Four (with James Cracknell, Tim Foster, Matthew Pinsent)
  • 1997 – Gold, Coxless Four (with James Cracknell, Tim Foster, Matthew Pinsent)
  • 1995 – Gold, Coxless Pair (with Matthew Pinsent)
  • 1994 – Gold, Coxless Pair (with Matthew Pinsent)
  • 1993 – Gold, Coxless Pair (with Matthew Pinsent)
  • 1991 – Gold, Coxless Pair (with Matthew Pinsent)
  • 1990 – Bronze, Coxless Pair (with Matthew Pinsent)
  • 1989 – Silver, Coxless Pairs (with Simon Berrisford)
  • 1989 – 5th, Coxed Pairs (with Simon Berrisford and Patrick Sweeney)
  • 1987 – Gold, Coxless Pairs (with Andy Holmes)
  • 1987 – Silver, Coxed Pairs (with Andy Holmes and Patrick Sweeney)
  • 1986 – Gold, Coxed Pairs (with Andy Holmes and Patrick Sweeney)
  • 1985 – 12th, Single Sculls
  • 1983 – Single Sculls
  • 1982 – 6th, Quadruple Scull
  • 1981 – 8th, Quadruple Scull

Junior World Rowing Championships edit

  • 1980 – Silver, Double Sculls
  • 1979 – Single Sculls

Henley Royal Regatta edit

  • 2001 – Queen Mother Challenge Cup
  • 2000 – Stewards' Challenge Cup
  • 1999 – Stewards' Challenge Cup
  • 1998 – Stewards' Challenge Cup
  • 1997 – Stewards' Challenge Cup
  • 1995 – Silver Goblets & Nickalls' Challenge Cup
  • 1994 – Silver Goblets & Nickalls' Challenge Cup
  • 1993 – Stewards' Challenge Cup
  • 1993 – Silver Goblets & Nickalls' Challenge Cup
  • 1991 – Silver Goblets & Nickalls' Challenge Cup
  • 1989 – Silver Goblets & Nickalls' Challenge Cup
  • 1987 – Silver Goblets & Nickalls' Challenge Cup
  • 1986 – Silver Goblets & Nickalls' Challenge Cup
  • 1985 – Diamond Challenge Sculls
  • 1983 – Diamond Challenge Sculls
  • 1982 – Double Sculls Challenge Cup
  • 1981 – Double Sculls Challenge Cup

Other edit

Bibliography edit

  • Steve Redgrave: A Golden age (2000) with Nick Townsend (ghostwriter). ISBN 0-563-55182-8
  • Steve Redgrave's Complete Book of Rowing (1992). ISBN 1-85225-124-7
  • You Can Win At Life! (2005) with Nick Townsend. ISBN 0-563-48776-3.
  • Inspired (2009). ISBN 978-0755319640
  • Foreword to Diabetes: The at Your Fingertips Guide 5th edition (2003) ISBN 1-85959-087-X

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ "Redgrave to end golden rowing career". ABC. Retrieved 28 July 2012
  2. ^ "Queen honours Redgrave". BBC News. 1 May 2001.
  3. ^ "Sir Steve steps out for diabetes". BBC News. 10 June 2001.
  4. ^ Hart, Simon (6 September 2003). "Olympics: London want Redgrave in driving seat". The Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on 22 August 2009. Retrieved 24 May 2010.
  5. ^ "BBC – Great Britons – Top 100". Internet Archive. Archived from the original on 4 December 2002. Retrieved 19 July 2017.
  6. ^ Steve Redgrave
  7. ^ "Sir Steve Redgrave visits Great Marlow School | Great Marlow School Website". Retrieved 27 March 2021.
  8. ^ "Sir Steve Redgrave". Crohn's and Colitis UK. Archived from the original on 20 October 2017. Retrieved 20 October 2017.
  9. ^ Gallen, Ian W.; Redgrave, Ann; Redgrave, Sir Steven (July 2003). "Olympic Diabetes". Clinical Medicine. Royal College of Physicians. 3 (4): 333–337. doi:10.7861/clinmedicine.3-4-333. PMC 5351948. PMID 12938747.
  10. ^ Bagchi, Rob (7 December 2011). "50 stunning Olympic moments No4: Steve Redgrave's fifth gold medal". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 6 January 2012.
  11. ^ "Redgrave's Golden Glory". BBC. 23 September 2000. Retrieved 17 August 2012.
  12. ^ CRASH-B Sprints World Indoor Rowing Championships Historical Winners Archived 18 August 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  13. ^ a b "Steve Redgrave website". Retrieved 18 January 2011.
  14. ^ Redgrave, to help nurture rowing in India, The Hindu, 14 June 2010
  15. ^ Jaguar Academy of Sport. "Homepage". Archived from the original on 28 February 2012.
  16. ^ "Sir Steve Redgrave quits Devizes to London canoe race". BBC News. 8 April 2012.
  17. ^ "Diamond Jubilee: Steve Redgrave and Matthew Pinsent to lead River Pageant in royal rowbarge Gloriana". The Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on 8 April 2023.
  18. ^ "Celebrities' open letter to Scotland – full text and list of signatories". The Guardian. London. 7 August 2014. Retrieved 26 August 2014.
  19. ^ "Sir Steve Redgrave appointed performance director for Chinese Rowing Association - Xinhua |". Archived from the original on 29 May 2018. Retrieved 10 December 2020.
  20. ^ "Redgrave targets Olympic gold for China in Tokyo and Paris". Reuters. 16 May 2019. Retrieved 10 December 2020.
  21. ^ "GB Rowing's Coaching line-up". British Rowing. 1 October 2008. Retrieved 3 August 2012.
  22. ^ "Structure". British Rowing. Archived from the original on 20 January 2013. Retrieved 3 August 2012.
  23. ^ "Natalie Redgrave helps Oxford win Women's Boat Race". BBC News. 27 March 2011. Retrieved 3 August 2012.
  24. ^ "Steve Redgrave: My Family Values". The Guardian. 26 September 2012. Retrieved 3 August 2014.
  25. ^ Quarrell, Rachel (3 March 2011). "Natalie Redgrave ready to follow her father's footsteps and take the plunge for Oxford in varsity Boat Race". The Daily Telegraph. London.
  26. ^ "No. 56070". The London Gazette (Supplement). 30 December 2000. pp. 1–2.
  27. ^ "No. 56313". The London Gazette. 24 August 2001. p. 10049.
  28. ^ "Heriot Watt Annual Review". 2001. Archived from the original on 5 March 2016.
  29. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 17 November 2015. Retrieved 6 April 2016.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  30. ^ "100 Greatest Sporting Moments – Results". Channel 4. Retrieved 5 February 2015.
  31. ^ a b Quote taken from the programme notes of the ceremony in McEwan Hall, Edinburgh 8 October 2013
  32. ^ a b "A celebration of achievement". Retrieved 26 August 2014.
  33. ^ "Heriot-Watt University". Archived from the original on 13 April 2016. Retrieved 30 March 2016.

External links edit