James Cracknell

James Cracknell

In the run up to the London 2012 Olympics James Cracknell, an Olympic gold medallist, is launching his very own Legends Collection medallion. This will be one of twelve available and all proceeds will go to the British Olympic Association.

So tell me a little about how you got involved with the “Our Greatest Team” Legends Collection?
The British Olympic Association phoned up and said would you like to have your head made into a medallion and I was like “Woah Yes!” The other people that were doing it, it will be like having to name the top five, or top ten Olympians.

You would have Coe, you would have Redgrave, you would have Daley Thompson. And just to have a medal of them is great.

"There is no point in being the best the year before the Olympics, you want to be the best at the Olympics."

Where you excited to be chosen to have your face on a medallion?
Generally very, very honoured to have been chosen.

All the profits raised from the sales of the medallions goes to the BOA (British Olympic Association) and the BPA (British Paralympics Association), what will this money help them do?
They look after our athletes and prepare our athletes properly. The BOA doesn’t have any state funding and that is part of what makes it very special. It doesn’t have to do what it is told by the government necessarily. It is out of the realm apolitical decision making.

And it is about sport and helping athletes perform, which is incredibly important. You don’t want to train for four years for it to be taken away from someone outside your control. It looks after the interest of the athletes and the nations at it’s heart, which is important.

Having been a key player in the Olympics for rowing, how do you think this years athletes will do?
They know what they are doing, they don’t need tips from me. We ended last years world rowing championships as the top ranking nation, so they should if they don’t end the Olympics as the top nation, be pretty disappointed. There is no point in being the best the year before the Olympics, you want to be the best at the Olympics.

So this year will you be watching the Olympics at home and chilling out or will you be going to the Olympics?
I’m going to be working for the Daily Telegraph and for the BBC at the games, so I am lucky enough to have a press pass and so I can get to see some things. Then I will try and scout tickets for my wife and kids.

Your new show “Worlds Toughest Exhibitions” starts on the 22nd April, tell me a little bit about it?
It’s a set of four programmes following in the footsteps of explorers of the past. In fact two of them, a guy called Percy Fawcett and David Livingstone. One was an explorer of Brazil and obviously Livingstone in Africa.

And then another one was a gold rush pioneer across the states. And another was on the crew that survived a crash of a south Island of New Zealand. So looking at moments in those tips which ultimately detail whether they were a success of a failure. And thinking 100 years on, could we have made these decisions? Conclusion is that we don’t make them like we used to really.

Who do you think will have the most popular medallion?
Good question. I would like to say it would be mine, but I don’t think it will be. I think hopefully Redgrave will light the flame, so his will be a well sought after one. Daley Thompson.

Because I watched him in 1984 when I was 12, and he was a lot of the reason why the Olympic were flagged up in my head. He is the face of the London Olympics. So I’d say it was between those. And I’ll go for the bald, grumpy one, Redgrave.

Olympian, James Cracknell, is one of 12 British Olympic and Paralympic Legends featured in Our Greatest Team Legends Collection, a series of collectable medallions created to support Team GB and ParalympicsGB available exclusively from BP forecourts now. www.bp.com/medallions

FemaleFirst Sage Fitzpatrick

by for www.femalefirst.co.uk