Sir Matthew Pinsent is a 4-time Olympic gold medallist and 10-time world championship winning rower.
Pinsent entered Olympic history on Saturday 21st August 2004 at the Athens Olympic Games, 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.
The GB crew of Matthew Pinsent, James Cracknell, Ed Coode and Steve Williams competed for the lead with Canada throughout the 2000 metre race and with 200 to go the Canadians took the lead. However, in traditional fashion, Matthew increased the stroke rate, and the British boat clawed back the lead to win by inches. At the end, neither crew knew who had won until the roar of the British supporters confirmed victory.
In 1992, Pinsent graduated in Geography from St Catherine’s College, Oxford, where he was President of the Oxford Rowing Club. He took part in the Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race in 1990 and 1991, when Oxford beat Cambridge by substantial distances.
Also in 1992, at the age of only 21, Matthew had his first taste of Olympic success, when in a Coxless Pair with partner Sir Steve Redgrave, he won the Gold Medal at the Barcelona Olympics. Before that Olympic win he and Redgrave had enjoyed an unbeaten international season, and it was already evident 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 Golds.
Their unbroken run of successes continued through to the Millennium Olympic Games in Sydney when Pinsent, again with Redgrave (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 Pinsent formed a seemingly invincible Coxless Pair partnership with James Cracknell 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 who had beaten them in Lucerne earlier in the year and breaking the world record by 4 seconds in the process.
Matthew Pinsent was awarded the MBE in the 1993 New Year’s Honours List and the CBE in the New Years Honours list 2000. In the 2005 New Year’s Honours list he was awarded a knighthood.
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.
Some of Matthew Pinsent’s many rowing achievements:
- 2004 Gold Medal Coxless Four
- 2000 Gold Medal Coxless Four
- 1996 Gold Medal Coxless Pair
- 1992 Gold Medal Coxless Pair
- 2000 Flag bearer – Team GB, Sydney
World Championship Gold
- 1991, 93, 94, 95, 97, 98, 99, 2001 (Coxed and coxless pair) & 2002.
Life after Competing:
Since retiring from rowing, Pinsent has worked for the BBC as a sports bulletin presenter and reporter.
His assignments have included interviewing Dwain Chambers for Inside Sport, where Chambers confessed to taking drugs and visiting gymnastics training centre in China where he found evidence of children being beaten, leading to IOC President Jacques Rogge to order an inquiry.
Pinsent has maintained his ties to rowing as an umpire or commentator of key events on the rowing calendar such as the Olympics, Henley Royal Regatta and The Boat Races.
In June 2012, Pinsent rowed on the Gloriana as part of the royal pageant for the Diamond Jubilee of Elizabeth II. He appeared again on the Gloriana the following month, bearing the Olympic torch as it crossed the river Thames.
Furthermore, Pinsent directed “Unbelievable – The Chad Le Clos Story“, a documentary following swimmer Chad Le Clos and his family for 18 months in the run-up to the 2016 Summer Olympics, which was first broadcast in July 2016.
Sir Matthew Pinsent – Motivational Speaker:
Sir Matthew is an extremely authoritative and accomplished motivational and after dinner speaker.
His speeches are always tailored to the client’s brief and audience’s requirements with particular emphasis on teamwork, motivation and communication. His description of the dynamics of teamwork in a rowing crew are outstanding and mirror those that businesses aspire to achieve.
Matthew Pinsent has spoken at corporate events for some of our most prestigious companies such as Camelot, Marks and Spencer, Procter & Gamble, IBM, Lombard, BT, NatWest, RBS to name a few.