Four times Olympic gold medallist Sir Matthew Pinsent is one of Great Britain’s most successful and highest profile athletes of all time.
In 1992 Matthew graduated in Geography from St Catherine’s College, Oxford, where he was President of the Oxford Rowing Club. Also in 1992, at the age of only 21, Matthew had his first taste of Olympic success, when In a Coxless Pair with Sir Steve Redgrave, he won Gold at the Barcelona Olympics. Prior to that Olympic win he and Redgrave had enjoyed an unbeaten International season, and it was already obvious that Matthew was developing to become one of the world’s greatest oarsmen.
At the Atlanta Olympics in 1996 the Pinsent/Redgrave duo won another Gold medal and throughout the nineties their outstanding combination also brought them Seven World Championship Gold’s.
Their unbroken run of successes continued through to the Millennium Olympic Games in Sydney when Matthew Pinsent, still with Redgrave but now in a Coxless Four with James Cracknell and Tim Foster, again triumphed earning Pinsent his THIRD Olympic Gold Medal. “THE RACE” in which he did it was voted ‘Britain’s Greatest Sporting Moment’ and the crew secured themselves a very special place in the heart of the nation.
After Sydney, Matthew formed a seemingly invincible Coxless Pair partnership with James Cracknel MBE. Undefeated throughout 2001, they went on to complete a unique feat in the history of rowing, by winning the Coxless Pair at the World Championships in Lucerne, a mere two hours after winning the Coxed Pairs. In the 2002 World Championships in Seville they defended their Coxless Pairs title, beating an experienced Australian crew and breaking the world record by 4 seconds in the process.
On Saturday 21st August 2004 at the Athens Olympic Games, Matthew Pinsent CBE entered Olympic history by becoming one of only 5 athletes to win 4 consecutive Gold medals. In one of the classic sporting moments of all time, he led the Great Britain coxless four to victory over the Canadian World Champions by only eight one hundredths of a second.
On 30th November 2004 Matthew announced his retirement from international rowing. He undoubtedly sealed his name amongst the greatest Olympians of all time by winning again in Athens. His autobiography, “A lifetime in a race”, which he wrote himself was published on 2nd September 2004.
Matthew was awarded the MBE in 1993, the CBE in 2001 and in the 2005 New Year’s Honours list he was awarded a knighthood.
An outstanding motivational and after dinner speaker, Matthew Pinsent also currently writes for The Times as well as working for the BBC as a broadcaster. During the London 2012 Olympics, Matthew was one of the leading presenters and fronted the BBC World Olympic Dreams series.
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