Exclusive interview with British rower Greg Searle: My top 5 moments at the London 2012 Olympics

20 years after winning a gold medal in the Barcelona Olympics, British rower Greg Searle is back winning a bronze medal in the men’s eight for Team GB at the London 2012 Olympics. ACHICA Living caught up with him this week to talk inspirations, find out what his favourite moments have been this London 2012 Olympics and check out what music he listens to when he works out…

Congratulations on your win last week in the men’s eight rowing. How does it feel to be part of the Olympics again?

I’m very proud of the whole of Team GB and London, showing the whole world how well we can put on a party. Personally, I feel very proud of having done something that I set my mind on. I came out of retirement three years ago as the London Olympics were coming and, although I wanted to win a gold medal and that was my dream, I’ve come away with a medal and that makes me feel very proud.

Did you find it hard getting back into training having retired?

No. As we’re very well supported by the National Lottery and we’ve had some good sponsors like BT I was able to train as a full time athlete this time round. When I trained 20 years ago I had to do it alongside being a student and not having a job. Being a full time athlete feels like a luxury – particularly being a bloke who’s had a day job and normal lifestyle. My day job was about taking ideas from sport into business - consulting with other organisations on how to maximize their performance.

For you, what has been your top 5 most spectacular events this London 2012 Olympics?

1.  Super Saturday and watching the rowing races – the women’s lightweight double was great. Then to have Jessica Ennis deliver with all the pressure was incredible, as was watching Mo Farah get an Olympic Gold in the 10,000 metres final and Greg Rutherford get a gold in the long jump - that was a great day in itself.

2. Second would be seeing the Brownlee brothers win. To see two brothers win was a big one as I’m a brother myself and I rowed with my brother in '92 when we won.

3. Seeing the street party outside my house after the men’s eight was special, which my wife Jenny had prepared with the kids - complete with bunting all over the house. It was great to have all the people I love ready to celebrate and all go for a meal together.

4. Going to the Velodrome and seeing Chris Hoy win his 6th gold medal was a definite highlight.

5. And coming to speak at BT House at BT London Live and going on the main stage – feeling the atmosphere and happy people in the crowd, enjoying London in the sun – great fun.

Have you kept your medals close and where are they on display?

I’m carrying my 2012 medal with me all the time as people want to see it and I’m really happy to show it off and share the experience. People have paid a lot of money and gone to a lot of trouble to get involved in the Olympics – the volunteers I think are particularly amazing – and if it makes their day for me to let them hold a piece of metal and have a photo with me then that’s the least I can do to repay them.

What inspires you daily?

Having a really clear goal inspires me – and that was to win a medal at this Olympics. Now the goal is about taking the next step and just being happy.

I’ve written a book called If Not Now, When? It's been a race in itself getting it published in time but I’m looking forward to seeing what I can do with that.

What sport do you think should be an Olympic sport and isn’t? How about dodgeball?!

Ha! Squash is always on the edge and should be more considered.

What did you think of Danny Boyle’s opening ceremony and what was your favourite bit?

I loved it but I couldn’t march in it as we raced the next day. My favourite bit was the musical house party – it took me through all the music I’ve always loved.

Dizzy rascal or Paul McCartney?

Neither! Red Hot Chilli Peppers!

Sir Steve Redgrave or Chris Hoy?

Steve Redgrave.

Favourite song to work out to?

Smells like teen spirit by Nirvana.

Favourite way to spend the weekend?

Watching my kids playing sport. Swimming and cricket. And having a full English breakfast.

What event are you looking forward to most this weekend?

Being in the London 2012 Olympic Closing Ceremony as I think it will be very special.

What three things could you not live without?

My wife Jenny and my two children Josie and Adam! To be honest, I feel really comfortable with everything that’s happening at the moment – so I’m not craving anything.

What’s next for Greg Searle?

A family holiday as we haven’t had one for three years – I compete in the summer holidays so haven’t been able to go away with them so it’s been quite tough on my wife. A holiday touring across America is pretty high on the list right now...


[Images: Top: Greg Searle and his Olympic Bronze medal, August 2012]

Emily Peck from ACHICALiving.com interviewed BT Ambassador Greg Searle at BT House, BT London Live on 09.08.2012. To see who else will be there and what’s on offer head to http://www.btlondonlive.com/

For more on Greg Searle, check out the BT London Live interview with Greg Searle here:


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Emily Peck, Editor

View all posts by Emily Peck, Editor