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Steve Redgrave:
"Really I didn't have any plans that I would carry on""
 real 14k

Matthew Pinsent:
"It's good he's so sure of himself"
 real 14k

Steve Redgrave:
"It's totally down to my decision"
 real 56k

Tuesday, 31 October, 2000, 09:28 GMT
Redgrave quits rowing
Steve Redgrave
Redgrave claimed his fifth gold medal in Sydney
Britain's greatest Olympian, Steve Redgrave, has announced his retirement.

Redgrave, who rowed into the record books when he clinched a fifth consecutive gold medal in Sydney, told the BBC: "I'm not carrying on. But I didn't want to make an announcement at the Olympics."

I'm not carrying on, not in a boat anyway
  Steve Redgrave
Speaking exclusively to BBC Radio Four, Redgrave admitted that he did consider attempting a sixth gold in 2004. But admitted: "Then I thought of the long winter training and the full commitment you have to put into it.

"So I'm not carrying on, not in a boat anyway."

After successes in Los Angeles (1984), Seoul (1988), Barcelona (1992) and Atlanta, Redgrave became the first Olympian to win gold at five successive Games in an endurance sport.

He famously announced his retirement in 1996 after winning his fourth crown, saying: "I hereby give permission to anybody who catches me in a boat again to shoot me."

But he changed his mind four months later when he revealed he would be taking part in Sydney.

Asked if he might change his mind at a later date, Redgrave insisted: "Once I've made my mind up to do something or not do something I stick to it.

Well deserved break

"I don't think I'll go into coaching. The coaches have the same time commitment as the athletes so if was going to do that I might as well keep on rowing. But maybe in the future I will once I've had a break from the sport. I still want to be involved in the sport.

"I've been involved with the super sprints during the last few years and I want to develop that into a European circuit and maybe a world circuit. We're hunting sponsors at the moment that will make that dream come alive.

"On a short-term basis over the next few years I'll be doing promotional work, motivation speeches and things like and still taking a keen interest in the sport itself."

His Olympic achievements are unrivalled in endurance sport. Only Aladar Gerevich, with six successive golds with the Hungarian sabre team at the beginning of the last century, has achieved more.

Redgrave had previously staved off questions about whether he would attempt a sixth successive Games gold in Athens in 2004.

But teammate Matthew Pinsent said he was glad Redgrave had made up his mind.

"It was interesting hearing Steve finally say it," Pinsent said. "I thought he would retire, but then again I thought that four years ago.

"It's good that he's finally decided."

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31 Oct 00 |  Other Sports
Redgrave: ultimate Olympian
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