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James Cracknell OBE

British Rowing Champion and Double Olympic Gold Medallist

In addition to numerous wins in international races James Cracknell is probably best known for his Olympic gold medals at the 2000 Sydney Games and the 2004 Athens Games. In 2009, James took part in his latest epic adventure, a race to the South Pole. James' team QinetiQ are one of six teams who have taken part in the historic race, which is the first race to the South Pole for almost 100 years. In 2006 he participated in an emotional BBC documentary series in which he came second in the pairs division of the Atlantic Rowing Race in "Spirit of EDF Energy", partnered by TV presenter Ben Fogle. In 2006, James announced his decision to retire from competitive rowing. In 2010, he became the highest-placed Briton ever to complete Marathon des Sables after finishing 12th and attempted to cycle, row, run and swim from L.A. to New York in 16 days, but was hit by a truck in Arizona and almost killed, forcing his trip to end early.

"There's nobody else I would rather have in my boat than the big fella" Sir Matthew Pinsent CBE

James Cracknell OBE speaker profile photo

In detail

James began rowing whilst attending Kingston Grammar School and rowed at the Junior World Championships in 1989 and 1990. In 1997, he won a seat in the men's coxless fours, with Steve Redgrave, Matthew Pinsent and Tim Foster. With this crew, he won the rowing World Championships in 1997, 1998 and 1999 and finally the gold medal at the 2000 Summer Olympics.

What he offers you

A brilliant host and after dinner speaker, James' story is an inspiring one which focuses on the issues of personal commitment and motivation, goal setting and the power of strong teamwork. He is tireless in his attempts to undertake the biggest physical challenges on the planet - and has almost died in the process. His outstanding sporting achievements, intelligence and good sense of humour have made him a popular choice of corporate speaker.

How he presents

One of Britain's true sporting heroes, James puts special emphasis on teamwork, motivation and communication. His descriptions of the dynamics of teamwork in a rowing crew are outstanding and mirror those that businesses aspire to achieve. He has the uncanny ability to tailor his experiences to captivate and motivate a variety of audiences.


He presents in English.

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  • The James Cracknell Story
  • After Dinner
  • Host/Awards
  • Teamwork
  • Leadership
  • Motivation


  • 2007
    Against the Flow
  • 2006
    The Crossing: Conquering the Atlantic in the World's Toughest Rowing Race
  • 2006
    James Cracknell's No Gym Health Plan
  • 2004


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