Quotes





James Quotes:

'Shortly after 8am, a tall, massively muscular figure shuffles into the gym and yawns. It's James Cracknell, the man who crossed the finishing line first in Sydney, the gentle giant to whom Redgrave turned and said: "Whatever you do, remember the next 15 minutes of your life, because nothing will be better than this." Nothing except doing it again. Which is why Cracknell has returned to training so quickly.'

'Fourteen years ago a young Cracknell asked Redgrave for his autograph at the World Rowing Championships in Nottingham. Redgrave said No. Now he is trusting his destiny to the boy'

'A Romanian rower once nudged Cracknell at a regatta. "How heavy is he?" whispered Redgrave's admirer, beholding the shapely 16.5 st bulk. Cracknell wisely added a few pounds for effect. The Romanian rolled his eyes in despair. "Oh, he's so strong. I am very weak'

'Foster and Cracknell had to think hard to remember whether they had ever seen Redgrave drunk. "We haven't," they concluded. "Because whenever he is, so are we.'

(The Daily Telegraph)



His MBE:

'I am delighted to receive the MBE, it is a real honour for me to represent my country at sport, and this is a fantastic award that shows people appreciate the hard work and effort that sportsmen and women have to go through to win.'

'I feel a bit of a fraud when you see all these other people here receiving awards for helping others. But I have to admit today is special.'



About the moment when the four presented Jugen Grobler with BMW:

''For 30 years he'd looked over the wall in East Germany and seen them on the other side. He took one look and collapsed onto Matt's chest.'



About the Red Hot Chili Peppers' album Blood Sugar Sex Magik:

I was listening to that CD on my Discman until about an hour before we competed [In the olympic final]. The music's vaguely aggressive and powerful, but it's also familiar, so it serves a joint purpose. It makes you relax a bit, but also winds you up at the same time. It keeps you going, which is very important.



GB swimmer Paul Palmer was challenged to a race by Steve Redgrave and James in a pair last year. Paul was given a 2 minutes 25 second headstart; James had this advice for him:

Don't swim in front of us.



About what he researched for his Msc:

My research was comparing the use of urea and mood state disturbance as measures of

fatigue. Find that interesting?



About Ed Coode, when he replaced Tim in the four:

Tim and I have always shared a room on trips away. Living on top of each other for

weeks at a time requires some getting used to. Luckily, Ed is as easy-going as Tim.

I've convinced him that my CDs deserve priority on the stereo and that I beat him on

the Playstation or he can't use it. He gets his own back by falling asleep instantly, and

snoring.



About Cross Training:

Spirits rise as we prepare to go cross-country skiing. At the moment, the centre is

looking for some size 14s for Matthew Pinsent. The official at the centre said that with

feet that size, skis weren't a necessity.



His philosophy of sport:

Go as far as you can, and be as good as you can get. Never get complacent.



Quite a derogatory one about lightweight rowers!:

The motto of the Olympics is "Faster, Higher, Stronger", not "Slower, Shorter, Weaker".



About Tim Foster:

He looks like he's just got off the magic roundabout!



About Steve Redgrave:

To me, he's just one of the crew, but it's only over the last two weeks I've realised how much he means to people.People sometimes ask me if I ever get jealous of the attention Steve gets but I don't at all... I think he's fantastic.



About cycling as an alternative form of training:

After the first cycle ride, when the novelty had worn off, two thoughts occurred to me: I didn't fancy following Matthew Pinsent's arse for four hours, and I was going to get through a lot of Vaseline.



The Daily Telegraph, Friday 15th September 2000

"Steve and I were just dropping off to sleep when we heard a terrible crash," Pinsent said, "and then, worse than that, a terrible silence. It seems that James stood on the bedside table to jump up to the top bunk, and the table collapsed. We went in to check that he was all right and he was more concerned about the state of his Walkman and sunglasses." Cracknell is indeed unscathed, but the table is not expected to recover.



'I inwardly hate people I'm racing'



'Spirits rise as we prepare to go cross-country skiing. At the moment, the centre is

looking for some size 14s for Matthew Pinsent. The official at the centre said that with

feet that size, skis weren't a necessity.'







Matthew Quotes:

The Daily Telegraph, Friday 15th September 2000

"Steve and I were just dropping off to sleep when we heard a terrible crash," Pinsent said, "and then, worse than that, a terrible silence. It seems that James stood on the bedside table to jump up to the top bunk, and the table collapsed. We went in to check that he was all right and he was more concerned about the state of his Walkman and sunglasses." Cracknell is indeed unscathed, but the table is not expected to recover.



Various Quotes from Matthew about Steve:

'The Ultimate champion'

'If he were a politician, he'd be like Edwina Currie'

'Sometimes he can be grumpy, but that's just Steve'



Matthew about James:

'The ultimate perfectionist'



Matthew about Tim:

'The best technical oarsman I've ever rowed with undoubtedly. He adds a quarter to the four, and some.'



'There are rumours that my team mate Tim Foster has broken a bedside cabinet in his room. He could be in trouble! Seriously Sydney has been very positive for us. Coming fourth in Lucerne two months ago has given us a good kick. We're working well, feeling positive.'



Tim:

'I have no damaging rumours to spread about Matthew Pinsent. I'm working on it. But our preparations have gone well. We're ready.'



Matt, to To Tiger Woods:

'This is one thing that I've got that Tiger doesn't, until golf's in the Olympics you're not going to win [a gold medal], so try this on for size.'

Matthew about Jurgen Grobler:

'Leander Club brought him over at Henley time, which is a complete circus, and they ply him with drinks and get him to sign on the dotted line. He was a bit of an unknown quantity. And his English was terrible. We were expecting an iron-rod East German - which he isn't really. He has brought a discipline and a consistency to our training that only the best people had before. It's scientific, methodical - and reassuring.'



Why he started rowing:

'We were given a choice between cricket and rowing, and basically, I was crap at cricket. Plus I thought, `Oh, the river, that sounds good, rowing with your mates, splashing about.' I wasn't naturally gifted at it. I had to work hard. But by the time I left school, I was a good junior.'



Describing why the American men's sprint relay team indulged in over - the - top celebrations after winning gold:

'They're w*\\$#@%s'



The Olympic medals:

'It's funny," he said. "The medals almost mean more to other people than they do to us. They are a symbol of what we have achieved but winning the Olympics is not about the medal. It is about how you feel, deep inside, at the moment of victory. It is about how your name changes, from Matthew Pinsent to Matthew Pinsent, Olympic champion. It is about the unbelieveable attraction of history.'

About the Atlanta games:

'It's a right old shambles - the problem is that there's no one in charge. There is never anyone you can lose your rag with. You've either got to complain to a driver who is doing his best or a teenager with a walkie talkie who tells you there will be a bus along in 10 minutes and to have a nice day.'



British Olympic gold medal tables:

'Obviously, in Atlanta, it stared you in the face," says Pinsent. "The gold column was empty to begin with. Then Steve and I finally went up but the solitary gold still looked a bit lonely. Here, the columns were filling up. In that first week, we never gave up that momentum. After cycling it was the shooting. 'Which event?' we'd ask each other. 'Oh, I don't know, double trap or something.' But the point is, it didn't stop.'

From Vogue Magazine, November 2000:

'The 50th Miss World contest will take place tomorrow night in the Millennium Dome. Olympic gold medallists James Cracknell and Matthew Pinsent were among those who offered to judge for free.'



About when he had his gold medal stolen last year:

'I didn't cry when I won the medal but I shed more than a few tears when I realised I'd lost it'

The Olympics 1992:

The nerves for the racing start early at the Olympics, and seem to come in waves. At one moment you can be very relaxed and cool and then suddenly a stray comment or sight of the opposition can bring on butterflies and even nausea. You just get used to ignoring your body for a change. Under pressure it tells you that you're ill, thirsty or tired when your head tells you the opposite. I became practised at reassuring myself that the feelings go hand in hand with racing, and seven years later I go through the same process. You need nerves to get the best out of yourself, but let them get on top of you and successes will be few and far between. We had our warm-up patterns set by this stage and we grew used to them being changed on race days. When you're nervous a half hour routine can take twenty minutes so we practised taking them much slower and spending a few minutes paddling between the pieces.

The last few hours running up to the final were a battle more with yourself than anything. The routine of practise paddle, breakfast, and rest has been settled days before, along with time for each; but it becomes next to impossible to concentrate when you know that before the sun sets, four years of training will be decided by one race. We knew our opposition inside out, we had raced and beaten them so often that we knew if we rowed well we could win. It sounded simple a few weeks before, but with a few minutes to go it didn't seem so easy any more. Our coach, Jurgen Grobler, sent us out for the final almost without any chat at all, but just as he pushed us away from the stage he nodded directly at me and murmured `I'm sure we win, Matt'.

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