LONDON, June 11, 2012
Five-time Olympic rowing gold medallist Sir Steve Redgrave believes the host nation’s rowing team could be the most successful of all time.
Speaking in an interview with Laureus.com, ahead of this summer’s London 2012 Olympic Games, Laureus World Sports Academy Member Sir Steve predicts a record medal haul for the British rowers, of whom so much is expected this summer.
Sir Steve said: “This team will produce more medals than probably any other rowing team in British history. There are 14 events, we’ve qualified for 13 and ten of the teams won medals at the last World Championships. It could be our most successful Olympic rowing team ever. That goes back to 1908, when our previous strongest team won eight medals, so, hopefully we can beat that with a high percentage of being gold.”
Sir Steve was part of the bid team for London 2012 and believes the Games will be a huge celebration that will leave an enduring sports legacy.
He added: “I was in the stadium recently and it’s the first time I’ve seen it for two and a half years. I am very proud of being British, and having a little bit of involvement in the bid process.
“At the Olympics, there is something going on from first thing in the morning until very late at night every day and some world class performances, with world class athletes, for 17 days. That’s what makes the Olympics so special I think.
“The sporting legacy that’s going to be left over is immense. London 2012 is all about a usable legacy and I think that’s one of the things that the IOC sort of picked up on. I’ve been helping this government and the previous government with their human legacy side of the Games. It’s not just about bringing the Games to this country. It’s really about what you can embrace for young people and moving the next generation on.”
Sir Steve also admitted that he plans to get more involved with Laureus once the Games have ended. He added: “I’m more determined to be involved in Laureus. Up until now it’s been pretty difficult because of 2012. How can I sit around and not do anything when there’s a lot of people in the world that can have a little bit of support from a little bit of my time?”