Speaker Profile: Sir Matthew Pinsent cbe

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Speaker Profile: Sir Matthew Pinsent CBE

After an illustrious career in rowing during which Matthew was able to fulfil all his ambitions, he has turned his hand to journalism and broadcasting.

Currently working as a journalist and broadcaster with the BBC, Matthew is covering a wide range of sports from football to horse-racing, from rugby to ice skating.

In the run-up to the London Olympics, Matthew is covering the BBC's World Olympic Dreams where he is meeting with many Olympic hopefuls from different disciplines and reporting on their progress.

On Saturday 21st August 2004 at the Athens Olympic Games, Matthew Pinsent CBE entered Olympic history. 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, 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 the aftermath, Matthew was emotionally and physically drained. After a year of highs and lows, it was the perfect response to the doubters who had wondered if Britain could win and if Jurgen Grobler had made a mistake putting Matthew and James Cracknell in the coxless four. Matthew is now one of only 5 athletes to win 4 consecutive Gold medals.

In 1992 Matthew 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. Prior to that Olympic win he and Redgrave had enjoyed an unbeaten international season, and it was already obvious 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 Gold's.

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 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.

In 2003 an extremely uncharacteristic "bad day at the office" in the World Championship final meant that for the first time in 11 years Matthew ended the year without a gold medal. Although he has never needed any extra motivation, the 2004 victory was particularly sweet given the year he had endured. The crew dedicated their boat and race to Alex Partridge whose freak injury in July denied him from being part of the Four. Their performance was the perfect response.

Matthew is an outstanding motivational and after dinner speaker. He has appeared at corporate events for some of our most prestigious companies such as Procter & Gamble, IBM, British Telecom, NatWest, Camelot and Lombard.

Matthew was awarded the MBE in the 1993 New Year's Honours List and the CBE in the New Years Honours list 2000. He married Demetra in October 2002.

Matthew after taking some time to reflect on his future has undoubtedly sealed his name amongst the greatest Olympians of all time. His autobiography, "A lifetime in a race", which he has written himself was published on 2nd September 2004 and whatever the future holds,

Matthew will no doubt be at the forefront of any career, whether it be in rowing, sport, business or the media.


'Matthew's speech was excellent and extremely motivational. He commanded the stage and captivated the audience. I would like to use him for every conference'.


'On behalf of the Management Team at SCA, I would like to thank you for attending our annual conference. Your excellent presentation was most appropriate for our theme of Delivering Excellence. You told us most clearly, the many aspects to doing just that when you achieved your goals. Our delegates are still talking about your presentation'.


'Our thanks for your professional and inspirational contribution to our conference, the combination of your team and individual achievements was entirely appropriate and hit all the right notes'.

Alliance & Leicester

'Matthew was excellent, he really helped get across the team spirit to achieve success which the client was very happy about. He chatted and spent a great deal of time with the guests. I would certainly recommend him to anyone'.

Royal Bank of Scotland

'All our senior Chief Executives had great things to say about Matthew, he was a fantastic speaker'.


'Thank you so much for speaking at our annual conference, it was a privilege to hear you speak. The delegates were inspired and captured listening to you. You deserved the standing ovation, congratulations.'


'A big 'Thank you' to Matthew for yesterday, it was great to meet him. The whole day went well and Matthew's talk was fantastic! I hope he enjoyed himself too and I hope I have the opportunity to work with him again soon.'

Procter & Gamble

'Many thanks for attending our Business Excellence Awards, you proved to be an extremely popular guest speaker'.

Cambridge Newspapers

'Manpower was delighted to have Matthew present at the CIPD conference last year. He helped to attract a great deal of attention to our stand and went out of his way to talk to both prospective and existing clients thereby giving a good impression on behalf of Manpower. We would like to thank Matthew for his support and professionalism on the day.'


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