My Secret Life: Kriss Akabusi, 53, former athlete - Profiles - People - The Independent

My Secret Life: Kriss Akabusi, 53, former athlete

'I wish I'd been born 20 years later'

The household I grew up in... It was fantastic. It was a children's home – [there were] people from all walks of life, very vibrant and colourful.

When I was a child I wanted to be... England's next centre forward and score a goal at Wembley in the Cup Final. But I would have settled for West Ham!

If I could change one thing about myself... I would have been born 20 years later and competed in the Olympics 2012. Nothing can compare to being good enough to actually compete in them in your own country. I wouldn't need to win; it would have been lovely just to compete.

You wouldn't know it but I am very good at... walking my dogs at midnight in the dark, and missing all the trees.

You may not know it but I'm no good at... driving slow on motorways. I've got to be very careful because I drive big cars and they have a mind of their own.

I wish I had never worn... an imitation silk shirt with oriental dragons and tigers all over the back. It was the Seventies.

What I see when I look in the mirror... Somebody who's tall, dark and handsome.

It's not fashionable but I like... my fake silk oriental dragon shirt, that my ex-wife threw away – I've never forgiven her!

I drive... a Bentley GTC convertible for the summer, a Jaguar for my day work, and a Range Rover Sport for the winter.

My house is... my sanctuary. I've got a wing of a big country house in the middle of 70 acres of woodland.

My favourite work of art... Something that was commissioned for me, called The Diaspora series. It's five artefacts, five-foot tall, that depict the story of the African diaspora. They're by Chinwe Roy.

A book that changed me... I'd have to say The Bible. It's a no-brainer – it had the most fundamental bearing on my life.

Movie heaven... I really enjoyed Gladiator. I like the story about legacy and duty and the idea that there a few things you need to lay down your life for.

My greatest regret... Not learning French at school. There's something about the French language – it has a certain je ne sais quoi.

My real-life villain... I'm of Nigerian origin, so I'll say Sani Abacha, who had a hold on the country in the Eighties – but anyone who takes away freedom, liberty and happiness.

The last time I cried... When my dog died. You don't realise how close you get to your dogs till they move on.

What's the point? The point is that the other option is not worth contemplating.

My life in six words... It's been fantastic, enjoyed the journey.

A LIFE IN BRIEF

Kriss Akabusi MBE was born in London in 1958. His parents returned to Nigeria when he was four, leaving him in care. He joined the Army in 1975, before moving on to professional athletics. He won three Olympic medals: silver in the relay race in 1984, plus two bronzes in the hurdles and the relay at the 1992 games. Since retiring, he has become a motivational speaker and television presenter. Akabusi has been working with Innocent, official smoothie sponsors of the London 2012 Olympics. He lives in the Chilterns

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

HR Manager - London - £40,000 + bonus

£32000 - £40000 per annum + bonus: Ashdown Group: HR Manager (Generalist) -Old...

Talent Manager / HR Manager - central London - £50,000

£45000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Talent / Learning & Development Mana...

HR Manager (standalone) - London

Up to £40,000: Ashdown Group: Standalone HR Manager role for an SME business b...

HR Analyst - Banking - Bristol - £350-£400

£350 - £400 per day: Orgtel: HR Analyst - Banking - Bristol - £350 - £400 per ...

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week