London 2012 - 60 seconds with Sir Steve Redgrave

Mon, 26 Apr 15:07:00 2010

Eurosport spent 60 seconds with five-times Olympic gold medallist Sir Steve Redgrave and learnt a valuable lesson about "pregnant" women.

Sir Steve Redgrave - 0

So Steve, you are helping to launch The Games Brain of Britain online quiz which tests people's Olympic knowledge. Have you done the quiz yourself and how is your own Olympic knowledge?

I have done the quiz and I thought my Olympic knowledge would be quite good. There are 15 questions in total, the first five are very easy, I think most people would get them, the next five are a bit hit-and-miss and then the last five I found very difficult. The best I've got up to so far is 11.

So this is all part of the London 2012 build-up of course. This Olympic lark though, it's just a waste of money isn't it?

There is no doubt that staging major sporting events is expensive; the infrastructure that has to be put in is not cheap. But I've been told that we are now actually ahead of schedule and on budget, although I'm not quite sure which budget that is at this stage! But the value that the Games will bring in, not just in the build-up but afterwards as well, will be immense - so it is going to be money well spent even if it might not always seem that way at this time.

Who was your sporting hero growing up?

Olympic-wise it would have to be Mark Spitz. I was 10 when he won his seven gold medals.

And was Spitz's seventh gold your favourite sporting moment not involving yourself?

Yes, it probably was. I also have fond memories of watching FA Cup finals, that was always a highlight of the sporting calendar, but the Munich Olympics made a big impact on me. I used to pick up the morning paper and read about what Mark had done the day before and it is just something that really stuck with me.

What do you think you would have done if you were not an athlete?

That's a good question... my father was a builder so I probably would have gone into a construction industry of some sort. I have worked on a lot of building sites over the years, so I probably would have done that by trade. I did a lot of landscape gardening as well, so I could have done that too.

Did you know that there is a block of apartments named after you in Sheffield (and also Pinsent, Foster and Cracknell)? What sort of an honour is that?

I did not know that. I'm extremely honoured. It is very nice when you get things named after you and honours are bestowed upon you for just doing a sport that you really do for yourself and that you get a lot of enjoyment out of. There are a number of schools now that have a Redgrave House which is always very special. But I remember when we won our first gold medal in 1984, there was a building company that wanted to name roads after us beside a site that they were building. I always wanted to have Redgrave Row for obvious reasons, and one of the guys in the four was Martin Cross, so we thought they had to have a Cross Road too.

If you were at Karaoke, what song would you sing?

I would avoid it like the plague!

What's the best freebie you have ever blagged?

Probably upgrades on flights. Our sport is full of very tall athletes and we used to have to fly economy, so I was always trying to get the emergency exit seat or sneak up to business class if I possibly could.

Who would be your three dream dinner party guests?

This question gets asked quite a lot and Nelson Mandela usually comes into the equation, so I will go with him again. I have been out to South Africa a number of times and visited Robben Island so it would be quite nice to meet the man. I had the opportunity once but the event got cancelled at short notice. As for the other two... probably Jack Nicklaus as I am a reasonably keen golfer and for the last one let's go a little left-field, Kenny Everett... he would be an interesting one.

What was your most embarrassing moment? A certain interview by a lake in Atlanta by any chance?

No, actually. We do a rowing promotion at May Fayre in Marlow as part of Marlow rowing club and we took some rowing machines into the fields. We were getting people to do little short bursts on the rowing machine as a competition. A lady got on to the rowing machine, and I said 'be careful because you are doing it for two' - obviously I thought she was pregnant, but she turned around and said she was nothing of the sort. Very embarrassing!

Who would you least like to be stuck in a lift with?

Oh, probably any of the politicians who are around at the moment - but I'm not naming anyone in particular.

If someone was stuck in your hometown for a day, what would you recommend they do?

My hometown is Marlow. You would have to go down to the river and see the ducks and you might see a statue of me too; normally with a traffic cone on my head!

The Games Brain of Britain is the ultimate test of Olympic and Paralympic Games knowledge has been launched by The National Lottery to celebrate the fact that £500 million has been raised for London 2012 by lottery players by playing specially designated games. Click on the link under the picture to play.


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