• Birthday:10/10/70

  • Place of birth: Norfolk

  • Hometown: Blandford, Dorset

  • Middle name: Clive

  • Secondary school: Eton

  • Height: 1.95m

  • Weight: 110kg

  • Current address: Henley on Thames

  • Boat Club: Leander Club

  • Qualifications:Geography degree from Oxford (he went to St. Catherine's college)

  • Likes: Riding his motorbike, flying helicopters

  • Sponsored by: Lombard and Adidas

  • Sports played: Rugby, golf

  • Music he likes: Sting, Tom Petty

  • Dislikes:Billy Bragg and his guitar

  • Favourite film: The Shawshank redemption

  • Did you know.....

  • Matthew is known for his 'large lungs' - why? Because he recorded over 8 liters oxygen consumption per minute in physiological test on the ergo - this is one of the largest oxygen uptake capacities ever measured. In comparison, the average man can take in 4 litres in a minute.

  • Matthew has never been beaten in any olympic race he has competed in, including heats and semi finals.

  • Starting from May 1992, Matthew and Steve had a streak of 61 consecutive victories in international races.

  • Matthew is only the fourth Briton to win gold at three consecutive Olympics, along with Steve and two water polo players.

  • Matthew played for Henley rugby club, wearing the No.5 shirt in the fifth team.

    Rowing Background

    Three Olympic gold medals and seven World Championship golds make Matt one of Britain's most successful athletes in any sport. The coxless four's dominance of their event for the past four seasons is a testament to Matt's courage, ability and determination.

    Matt began rowing at school and made his international debut in the eight at the World Junior Championships in 1987. The following year he was in the junior coxless pair with Tim Foster and brought home his first gold medal. He has won a World Championship or Olympic medal every year since then.

    In 1990 Matt joined Steven Redgrave in the coxless pair, replacing the injured Simon Berrisford. Although it was late in the season, he and Steve gelled well and came home from the Worlds with a bronze medal. The following year they were unbeaten and stamped their authority on the pairs event by becoming World Champions. The anticipated smooth build-up to the 1992 Olympic Games did not materialize when Steve became ill and they were forced to miss the rest of the pre-Olympic racing season. The strategy worked and they arrived in Barcelona stronger than ever. They totally dominated the racing and Matt won his first Olympic gold medal by the largest margin of the regatta.

    Having taken a year out from his studies, Matt returned to Oxford to finish his degree and to take up the Presidency of the Oxford University Boat Club. In spite of this extra work-load the pair continued to dominate at international regattas and they retained their title at the 1993 World Championships in Prague. In 1994 a very strong German pair emerged to challenge them, but Matt and Steve rowed them down, first at Lucerne (in a new world record time) and then in Indianapolis at the World Championships. The following year Matt won his fourth World Championship gold medal with Steve and the manner of their victory gave notice that the pair had no intention of relinquishing their Olympic title in Atlanta.

    The build-up to the Atlanta Olympic Games went smoothly for Matthew and Steve. However, they had been unbeaten since May 1992 and the pressure of expectation that fell on them was huge. This regatta would prove their mental fortitude as well as their physical superiority. They proved more than equal to the task and, in an exciting final, held off a charge from the Australian pair to make the title theirs for the second time.

    When Steve announced that he was not going to retire, it was decided that he and Matt should try out another boat type and they settled on a coxless four. Sceptics doubted that they could change their style after so long in a small unit. The coxless four requires very different skills from a pair and it is not a matter of simply 'tacking on' two new people. The four's unbeaten run in the 1997 World Cup series and their World Championship gold medal confounded those sceptics and emphasised the extra-ordinary skills of the men involved. They proved this point again when they retained their title at the 1998 World Championships in Cologne and then drove it home with another unbeaten World Cup run in 1999 and an emphatic win at the World Championships in Canada. Matt achieved legendary status by winning his third Olympic Gold medal in succession in Sydney (2000) holding off the Italians and holders, the Australians.

    In his spare time Matt enjoys flying helicopters, riding his motorbike and playing the odd games of golf and rugby. He regularly goes back to Oxford to coach crews from his old college. Matt won the Boat Race twice whilst at university and in recent years has given invaluable support to the Oxford University Women's Boat Club.

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