Podium reporter Stuart Appleby interviews Great Britain’s most decorated Olympian – Sir Steve Redgrave. The former rower won an incredible five Gold medals in five successive Olympic Games from 1984 to 2000.
Great Britain’s greatest Olympian supports the role of education in sport
Having won an incredible five Gold medals in five successive Olympic Games from 1984 to 2000, Sir Steve Redgrave is considered, by many, as Great Britain’s most successful Olympian of all time.
Since retiring from rowing after his victory at the Sydney 2000 Games, Redgrave has received many high-profile awards, established the Sir Steve Redgrave charity fund and played an active role in promoting the best of Great Britain to the world in the run up to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Although Redgrave progressed straight from secondary school education into sport, the 50-year-old underlined the important role further and higher education plays in an athletes development.
“Education is hugely important to an athletes progression. For most athletes from different sports it’s their college and university experiences which make a big difference as they develop. It’s great to be able to get an education, but also to concentrate on your sport as well,” said Redgrave, before the official opening of the Olympic Stadium during the British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) championships.
With the London 2012 Games approaching, Podium have been following the progress of many of Great Britain’s brightest medal prospects, who are still immersed in their studies (on top of their training and competition schedules). Redgrave, who also won World and Commonwealth championship Gold medals during his career, admitted the equilibrium of education and sport are “ideal” for a modern-day athlete.
“I think the balance between the two is the ideal preparation in some ways and it’s in those early years when you know whether you’re really going to make it or not.
“Nowadays more athletes realise the importance of having something else to do alongside their training, and then eventually, have as a career after they finish sport. It’s really good to have an education behind you,” said the University of Durham Honorary Doctorate.
Sir Steve Redgrave was talking to Podium’s Stuart Appleby at the Olympic Stadium.