Sometimes it is not any one individual feat that defines someone’s “greatness” as much as it is the culmination of the many accomplishments they have made as a whole. Sir Stephen Geoffrey Redgrave is one such example that exemplifies this very scenario.
Stephen Redgrave (Now known as Sir Stephen Redgrave after receiving the prestigious Knighthood during the 2001 New Year’s Honors List) was born on March 23rd of 1962 in Marlow, England. While he does not publicly speak much about his past, his incredible list of records speaks for itself.
Steve Redgrave was a British Rower in his earlier years. This at least, is what brought him international fame and recognition. His feats and capabilities as a coxswain manifested themselves early on, but he will likely always be best remembered for his Olympic accomplishments. Steve Redgrave first arrived on the Olympic scene during the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles , California . He won his first Olympic Gold Medal during the Coxed fours events. He again appeared in the Olympic rowing competitions in during the 1988 Olympic Games held in Seoul , South Korea and won another Gold Medal, this time in the coxless-pairs event. He also managed a second medal. He won a Bronze medal in the coxed-pairs events as well. Anybody who is an avid follower of the Olympics knows that scoring two gold medals in consecutive Olympic Games is an amazing accomplishment, but Sir Stephen was not finished, at this point he had barely even started his amazing list of Olympic deeds.
His third Olympic appearance was in the 1992 Olympics held in Barcelona, Spain. During the 1992 games he managed to win a Gold medal in the coxless pairs again. Three consecutive gold medals is an accomplishment which is almost unheard of, but still he was not done. During the 1996 Olympic games in Atlanta, Georgia he scored yet again. Once again, his strongest competition was the coxless pairs and he won his fourth gold medal in four consecutive Olympic Games. He vowed never to compete again in the Olympics after he had won the gold in Atlanta, but shortly afterwards decided that he had chosen his words prematurely. He did indeed participate in the 2000 Olympics held in Sydney, Australia. Could this (now) aging coxswain still compete with the world’s best competitors though?
The Olympic Competition in Sydney, like all Olympic competitions, is between what are arguably the best athletes in the world from any given sport. Sir Stephen had seen his better days. Recent problems with his health led many people to doubt his ability to be truly competitive in such a gathering of exceptional athletes. He still worked very hard in his chosen field though, and he always had the encouragement and found the motivation to excel in whatever endeavor he chose to undertake. During the Sydney Olympics he went on to win his fifth consecutive Gold medal, this time in the coxless fours event. This made him the first Olympic rower in history to accomplish such an amazing record. Never before in Olympic history had any rower racked up Gold in five consecutive Olympic challenges. His receiving the Knighthood and his title was a direct result of the hard work and effort he put forth in his Olympic competition.
While this in itself is Olympic history and one of the great all time moments in Olympic sports, Sir Steve still was not done. His love of sports and athletic competition did not stop with rowing. Sir Stephen was also a member of the British National Bobsleigh team in the 1989-1990 season. To this day he has held numerous world records and still holds an Olympic record. His personal effort and thoughtlessness perhaps, make an even larger picture of Sir Stephen possible. These also help to include him among the ranks of the “best-of-the-best” among historic Olympic figures.
While his Olympic and athletic prowess is beyond question, his personal endeavors are even more impressive. He continues to raise large amounts of money for charity, raising most of the money for children’s charities. He has his own charitable organizations which he promotes selflessly. He is very active not only in the world of sports, but the business world as well. His continued efforts beyond his sports ability alone truly separate Sir Stephen from other, more common heroes. His approach to life makes a greater impact on more people than most people believe is humanly possible. While he should not only be remembered for his accomplishments in the sporting world, Sir Stephen Redgrave could (And should) indeed be a role-model for just about anybody, making him a true spotlight in time to be remembered from the Olympics.
Labels: Inspiring Story