Steve Redgrave

On July 27, 1996, shortly after winning the fourth of his five Olympic gold medals, alongside Matthew Pinsent in the coxless pair, in Atlanta, Steve Redgrave famously declared, ‘If anyone sees me go near a boat, you’ve got my permission to shoot me.’ However, Redgrave had a change of heart and returned to training for the Millenium Olympic Games in Sydney, only to be diagnosed with type two diabetes, at the age of 35, a few months later. Unsuited by the low-calorie diet he was prescribed following his diagnosis, he reverted to his previous high-calorie diet and opted, instead, to inject himself with insulin, up to ten times a day, to maintain his training regime.

Despite expressing doubts, more than once, that he would make it to Sydney at all, Redgrave took his place alongside Pinsent, James Cracknell and Tim Foster in the coxless four and, on September 23, 2000, at the age of 38, became the most successful rower in Olympic history. Indeed, he also became one of only four athletes to win five consecutive Olympic gold medals and was duly knighted, for services to rowing, in the 2001 New Year Honours.

Born, fittingly, in Marlow, Buckinghamshire – a Georgian market town on the River Thames, between Henley and Windsor – Redgrave won his first Olympic gold medal alongside Richard Budgett, Martin Cross and Andy Holmes, under the guidance of coxswain Adrian Ellison, in the coxed four in Los Angeles in 1984. He subsequently triumphed three times in the coxless pair, alongside Andy Holmes in Seoul in 1988 and Pinsent in Barcelona in 1992 and Atlanta in 1996, before ending his career on a high note in Sydney.

Pinsent & Redgrave win Gold (1996 Olympics)

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Tom Watson

Tom Watson Thomas Sturges Watson, invariably known as Tom, had the distinction of being, officially, the best golfer in the world between 1978 and 1982. Indeed, in 1980, won seven tournaments, including the Open Championship at Muirfield Golf Links, become the first golfer to earn $500,000 in a single season.

All told, Watson won the Open Championship five times, in 1975, 1977, 1982 and 1983. Indeed, he went agonisingly close to winning for a sixth time, at the age of 59, at Turnberry in 2009; he failed to make the par he needed on the seventy-second hole to win and ultimately lost a four-hole playoff to Stewart Cink. The Open Championship aside, Watson also won the Masters twice, in 1977 and 1981, and the US Open once, in 1982. His career total of eight victories in major championship golf places him sixth in the all-time list.

Watson recorded the first of jhis 39 victories on the PGA Tour, the Western Open, now the BMW Championship, in 1974. Although a longer than average hitter, he once said, ‘By learning how to get the ball up and down, you will have mastered the art of scoring your best.’ Indeed, he became renowned for his short game, not least his apparently fearless putting stroke, which enabled him to ‘scramble’ so-called ‘Watson pars’ and manufacture good scores even though not, necessarily, playing at his very best. Ironically, for a player who produced most of his best performances by the seaside, Watson recalled, ‘I didn’t like links golf. I didn’t like St. Andrews at all when I played in ’78 for the first time.’

Tom Watson’s Secret to the Golf Swing

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