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Olympic weekend

The blog has languished a bit for the last few days – particularly over the weekend. The Olympics have dominated my weekend, especially my own sport of rowing. Rowing delivered two golds, two silvers and two bronzes over the weekend.

Yet again the women failed to come through with rowing gold but the men’s coxless four and lightweight double came home. I was particularly pleased for Mark Hunter in the lightweight double. Mark Hunter is a relative veteran at 30, I remember seeing him win the junior quads event in 1995 at Henley. Since then he has worked solidly to get where he is now, always supported by his Dad who is as familiar a face on the rowing scene as his son.

Another largely untold story of the rowing team is Jurgen Grobler. He is the ex-East German coach of GB men’s heavyweight rowing who oversaw Redgrave and Pinsent and the subsequent coxless fours. Grobler has coached a gold medal winning crew at every Olympics since Munich in 1972. That’s 10 Olympics in a row.

Today the Telegraph points out that John Major is the father of the 17 medals picked up by Britain over the weekend. He started the Lottery and it is the Lottery funded machines of British Rowing, Sailing and Cycling that have delivered the goods. I am proud of my sport but I am open-mouthed in admiration of Britain’s cycling machine.

In Atlanta in 1996, Britain only managed to win one gold medal with rowers Steve Redgrave and Matthew Pinsent in the pair. Since then the influence of the Lottery has been clear.