Date Born/Est
10 Oct 1970
Biographical Display
MATTHEW PINSENT CBE, Olympic champion oarsman (updated September 2004)
Matthew Pinsent won his fourth Olympic gold medal on 21 August 2004 in Athens when the GB four beat the Canadians by 0.08 seconds. Pinsent was stroke of the crew, his companions being Steve Williams (bow), James Cracknell (2) and Ed Coode (3). They came together on July 2 when Coode replaced Alex Partridge who was diagnosed with a collapsed lung. The four was thus in this line-up for only four races - the final of the Stewards' Challenge Cup at Henley, and the heat, semi-final and final of the Olympic regatta, all of which they won.

Pinsent came to prominence in 1989 as a member of the British coxed four which won the bronze medal at the world championships in Bled, Slovenia. He was persuaded to try a pair with Steve Redgrave who was looking for a new partner after Andy Holmes, with whom Redgrave won his second Olympic gold medal in 1988, retired, and replacement Simon Berrisford was injured and had to stop rowing.

Pinsent and Redgrave realised that they had a future as a pair, winning the world bronze medal in 1990 and their first title together in 1991, now under a new coach, J├╝rgen Grobler, who came from East Germany where he had been chief coach of women. The pair won the Olympics in Barcelona in 1992 and remained unbeaten until they won the next Olympic title in Atlanta in 1996.

Pinsent then went on to win his third Olympic gold in a four with Redgrave, James Cracknell and Tim Foster. After Sydney 2000 he teamed up with Cracknell in a pair to win the world title in coxed and coxless pairs in 2001. In 2002 they were beaten by the Australians James Tomkins and Drew Ginn at the final world cup regatta in Lucerne, coming back to win the world title in Seville six weeks later in a world's best time. The Australians were fourth. In 2003, however, the tables were turned at the world championships in Milan, Tomkins and Ginn winning and Cracknell and Pinsent fourth.

The drastic measure eventually taken by chief coach Jurgen Grobler was to demote the pair and proclaim the coxless four as prority boat for the men's team for the Athens Olympics in 2004, but to move Cracknell and Pinsent to the four. This happened in February at a camp in Seville. Toby Garbett and Rick Dunn moved from the four to the pair. Weeks of changes and illnesses followed, during which period, Josh West was replaced by Alex Partridge in the 3 seat after final trials in April, Ed Coode and Tom Stallard both subbed in the boat, and finally Coode (who had rowed in the four in 2001, winning the world title) replaced Partridge when he was grounded from flying and rowing. Throughout, Steve Williams remained in the boat. The spare man at Sydney, he is the only one of nine men who rowed in the four from 2001 to 2004 who was there from the first to last outing.

Pinsent, son of clergyman, was a junior international while a schoolboy at Eton. He rowed for Oxford in the Boat Race three times, losing the race in the year in which he was president of Oxford University Boat Club. He was awarded a CBE after Sydney and was elected a member of the IOC athletes commission from 2000-2004, making him a member of the IOC. He is a vice-president of the River & Rowing Museum.

In November 2002 he married Demetra 'Dee' Kousoukos, a Canadian former rower whom he met while coaching her at Oxford.
Place Of Birth
Holt/Norfolk/England

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