LETTER : In search of our greatest athlete

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The Independent Online
From Mr Tish Reid

Sir: Is it correct to assume that the term "athlete" is restricted to a competitor of track and field athletics? The Magazine article on Linford Christie (21 October) suggested that Mr Christie is the greatest athlete this country has ever produced, but this has been disputed by Tim Mickleburgh (Letters, 25 October) who puts forward Sebastian Coe and Daley Thompson.

I would suggest that this title belongs to an athlete in a different sport - to Steve Redgrave, Olympic champion in rowing in 1984, 1988 and 1992, world champion in 1986, 1987, 1991, 1993, 1994 and 1995, and poised to continue his reign as Olympic champion with his partner Matthew Pinsent in the 1996 Olympic Games.

He is a superb athlete in every sense, still bringing home the goods in a supremely tough sport, and very much produced by this country. Give other sports their due and raise the awareness of the public to the very talented champions there are in this country.

Yours faithfully,

Tish Reid

London, E4

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