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

PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
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 Assistant / Human Resources Assistant

£Neg + Excellent Benefits: Guru Careers: An HR Assistant / Human Resources Ass...

Talent Community Coordinator

£Neg + Excellent Benefits: Guru Careers: A Talent Community Coordinator is nee...

Business Support - Banking - Halifax - £250 pd

£150 - £250 per day: Orgtel: HR Analyst - Banking - HR - Halifax - £150 - £250...

Geography Teacher

£24000 - £33600 per annum + pre 12 week AWR : Randstad Education Manchester Se...

Day In a Page

Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform