James Cracknell: Britain's Greatest Gold Medallists
With the 2012 Olympics kicking off to a great start with Women’s Football yesterday, ITV1 took a look back at some of Britain’s greatest athletes on Britain’s Greatest Gold Medallists.
James joined a host of top sports historians, journalists and broadcasters to count down Britain's Top 20. The panel took into account gold medals won at Olympic and Commonwealth Games, the competition faced and the impact of their victory on the nation.
James came in at Number 19 with the British Rowing Team’s 2004 win in Athens. Team mate Steve Redgrave spoke of James determination leading up to the event: “James is a very very driven guy, they... called him Mr Motivator.
“Matthew and I had been there, some of our problems was complacency; not pushing ourselves as hard as we should do, where James would never let that happen.”
Looking back on his achievement, James said: “We believed our best would be good enough, but we had no proof because we hadn’t raced together and we hadn’t got a track record as a four, so that made it different.”
The biggest challenge came from world champions and favourites Canada, who Great Britain overtook at the very last minute. Once the finish line was crossed, James saw the Canadian team had drifted ahead and presumed his team had lost: “I was trying to work out how not to be in a bad mood for a decade, and suddenly all the Union jacks started waving, and that was the best way to be told.”
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