Page 3 Profile: James Cracknell, oarsman and broadcaster


Done much special?

As a professional rower, he won Olympic golds at Sydney and Athens and six World Championship titles. Post-retirement, he’s completed two sub-three hour marathons, ridden the Tour de France, suffered frostbite and pneumonia walking across the South Pole, completed the multisport New Zealand coast-to-coast race, represented the UK in triathlon, ridden a rickshaw from Edinburgh to London, had a near-fatal accident with a truck while attempting to cycle, row, run and swim from Los Angeles to New York in 16 days – and endured 49 days in a boat with Ben Fogle, rowing across the Atlantic.

So, a fair bit. What’s next?

Announcing that he will stand as Conservative MEP for the south-west, he told i: “I benefited massively from public support when I was a sportsman and in ventures I’ve done since retiring, especially after the accident, and I resolved as part of my recovery to use my skills and talent to help other people. I feel I can best do that in politics.”

Is he feeling confident?

“[In] sport, if you train well, prepare well, race well, you get the result you deserve. Politically, you can canvas well, get a good campaign, talk to so many people who say yes I’ve voted for you, but when they’re alone, they do what they want.”

Any other revelations?

He eats Frosties with yogurt and hard-boiled egg whites for breakfast. The breakfast of Eurocrats!