Sir Steve Redgrave CBE
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Quintuple Olympic Gold Medallist Rower Sir Steve Redgrave has proved himself the greatest Olympian Britain has ever produced. After striking gold in Sydney 2000 he became our only athlete ever to have won Gold Medals at five consecutive Olympic Games.
In addition to his Olympic successes and following four unbeaten seasons from 1993 to 1996, Steve won his ninth World Championship Gold in August 1999 in St Catherines, Canada. His previous World Championship Golds were in 1986, 1987, 1991, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1997 and 1998.
He has also won many other honours in the sport over the past eleven years, including the Henley Royal Regatta Diamond Sculls several times and the Silver Goblets a record seven times. In 1986 Steve became a Triple Commonwealth Gold Medallist at Edinburgh, winning the Single Scull, Coxless Pairs, and Coxed Four. His other sporting interests include golf and winter sports, and during the 1989/90 season, he was a member of the British Bobsleigh Team.
Together with partner Matthew Pinsent, Steve was the holder of the World Record in Coxless Pairs set in Lucerne in 1994 until 2002 and still retains the Olympic Record, set in Atlanta in 1996. Steve and Matt enjoyed an exclusive sponsorship deal with Lombard, which allowed them to devote all their time to training for international regattas and to winning more honours for Great Britain.
Already established as the world's most outstanding rower of all time after his Atlanta victory, Steve announced in 1997 that he had decided to carry on competing through to the Millennium Games in Sydney in the hope of winning a fifth consecutive Olympic gold medal - a feat which has confirmed him as one of the greatest athletes in Olympic history.
Steve was awarded the MBE in the New Year's Honours List in 1987 and the CBE in the New Year's Honours List of 1997 and following his success in Sydney was awarded a Knighthood in the 2001 New Years Honours List. The University of Durham also awarded him an Honorary Degree in December 1996.
He famously announced his retirement in 1996 after winning his fourth crown, saying: "I hereby give permission to anybody who catches me in a boat again to shoot me."
But he changed his mind four months later when he revealed he would be taking part in Sydney.
Asked if he might change his mind at a later date, Redgrave insisted: "Once I've made my mind up to do something or not do something I stick to it.
His Olympic achievements are unrivalled in endurance sport. Only Aladar Gerevich, with six successive golds with the Hungarian sabre team at the beginning of the last century, has achieved more.
Now off the water, in addition to maintaining a busy schedule as a popular after-dinner and motivational speaker, Steve is absorbed in commericial projects including a men's leisurewear range. The Steve Redgrave Trust is forging it's way towards the £5million target that Steve set when launching the charity in 2001.
Meanwhile, in his previous life on the water, Steve built a reputation second to none.