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BBC BREAKFAST WITH FROST INTERVIEW
STEVE REDGRAVE OBE SEPTEMBER 24TH, 2000

Please note "BBC Breakfast with Frost" must be credited if any part of this transcript is used

DAVID FROST
Well he's been described as the greatest living Olympian, and we all like to agree with that. Steve Redgrave proved that he was worthy of that title in the early hours of Saturday morning when he won his fifth consecutive gold medal in five consecutive Olympics. He and the rest of that great coxless four team led the race from the beginning, it was a tight finish, incredibly tight but very exciting and ensured the place in history was hard won. And I'm joined now live from Sydney by Steve Redgrave. First of all Steve, hope you can hear us, congratulations.

STEVE REDGRAVE
Yeah thank you very much, it's, I can only just hear you, we're having a few hearing problems here but it's nice to be with you this morning.

DAVID FROST
Well we really appreciate it because you must have had quite a bit of celebrating to do since the middle of the night our time on Friday?

STEVE REDGRAVE
It sounds a little bit sad so far but hardly any celebrating's been done so far, been doing quite a lot of media work, I spent the last two and half hours with my family and some relatives out here in Australia but the celebrations haven't really started yet.

DAVID FROST
You said in one of your quotes that the first gold medal is always the most special, but this one must have been almost as special, at least as the first one?

STEVE REDGRAVE
Oh I think that was taken slightly out of context in some respects, people always want you to try and pick one medal that was better than the others and I described it as how can you choose one child better than another, if you've got more than one child, you can't do it, they're very different. The first one is special in some respects because you have a dream to try and achieve something and if you have your dream of trying to win Olympic gold medal the first one is that becoming reality. The ones after that, you know if you train properly and prepare right you've done it once, there's no reason why you can't do it again but each one has been very, very special in its own right and obviously the memories of the last one is actually only yesterday but, but are very strong at the moment and the hardships I had to go through to try and achieve it.

DAVID FROST
Absolutely and was the pain threshhold, the pain barrier very bad this time, you said somewhere, hopefully quoted correctly, that after 200m you were ahead and you'd knew you'd win?

STEVE REDGRAVE
That's right, there's about 2, 200, 250m gone of the race of a 2000m race, that we'd moved out to quite a decisive lead in some respects and I felt at that point that there was no way that we were going to lose. Yes the boats were closing a little bit quicker than we would have liked at the end but we always felt that we were going to get to the line first.

DAVID FROST
That was the moment, seven million people I was saying earlier stayed up here to watch you, that's the report today¿

STEVE REDGRAVE
Ah that's¿

DAVID FROST
Very impressive.

STEVE REDGRAVE
I quite like the sound of that.

DAVID FROST
Tell me how have you managed to overcome first of all diabetes and then colitis, I mean that, to do that together with what you have done is incredible?

STEVE REDGRAVE
Well the colitis was a couple of Olympics back, that was back in '92 when that first flared up but that's something I had to live with through that period right the way up 'til now. But this Olympiad has been more about the diabetes and the problems with that and that's been very tough indeed. Three years ago I was diagnosed and my immediate thoughts was that's it, that's it, my rowing career is over, my dreams of going to Sydney to try and win a fifth Olympic gold medal was going to be finished, at that, that point. I went an saw a specialist and the specialist said well I see no reason why you can't achieve your goals, it's not going to make it easier, I can understand if you, if you want to give up and not, not try and do it and as soon as he gave me that sort of light at the end of the tunnel that he thought it was possible, I decided I had to give it my best shot and see what we could do.

DAVID FROST
Well we were delighted you changed your mind after Atlanta and you did it again. Have you made a decision not to do it again and might you change it and do it again?

STEVE REDGRAVE
I haven't, I haven't made any decisions at all because the statement I made last time that nobody's going to believe me if I say if I'm going to retire or if I carry on, the truth of the matter is I could not see myself carrying on but never say never, we'll have to see what happens.

DAVID FROST
And in the meantime that moment when you received your medal will stay with you forever I guess?

STEVE REDGRAVE
Very special, the second time that the Princess Royal has presented me with Olympic gold medal and her words were this is the second time I've given you a medal, I don't think I'll be doing it another, a third time.

DAVID FROST
How does she know that, you can surprise her again. We do congratulate you, you, you gave us all a boost on Friday night, Saturday morning and congratulations¿

STEVE REDGRAVE
It sounds like it was tremendous fun back there.

DAVID FROST
To all your team.

STEVE REDGRAVE
I'll pass the congratulations on, thank you very much.

DAVID FROST
Thank you very much indeed, Steve Redgrave.

END

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