Issue 92 - September 1996
Redgrave supreme achievements
This piece of Olympic history brought Redgrave and Pinsent's life together to an end. They focussed on the morning of July 27 1996 so single-mindedly for four years that their avowals that they hadn't a clue what their futures hold came across as genuine. Relief summarised if after a tense week of media hype coupled with no escape from their proclamation in 1992 that they would see off all-comers in style. It was a policy that took no prisoners, carried out with panache.
The physical power, strength, fitness, technical refinement and control of an absurdly narrow shell by two hunks were never in question. But 80 per cent of what they did at the Olympics was mental. An hour-and-a-half later, the strain was still draining from Pinsent's still-schoolboy complexion and the surliness was still lifting from the shoulders of the Iron Oar, the Athlete of the Century.
It has been a thrilling 16 years watching Steve Redgrave's achievements on the end of an oar. We all humbly salute. Now he faces the void. The unanswered question for him is what does the dyslexic who will be awarded an honorary DCL by Durham University in December do after such a single-minded life?
For Pinsent, supporter, sustainer, background of the double act, there is a question of a future too. But he has further strings to his bow as well as youth enough to become as great a star as his partner. Rowing must continue to cherish and nourish them both.
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