James Cracknell Biography
Since retiring from competitive rowing in 2006, James has continued to be a household name, carrying out dangerous and gruelling challenges for the BBC and Discovery. He has also used his passion for adventure and fitness to front successful campaigns to get the nation moving. And, has provided commentary for several high-profile sporting events.
James has completed several demanding challenges since his retirement that have been documented both on screen and in his written accounts. James and his friend completed ‘The Race Across the Atlantic’ with the experience documented in the BBC show ‘Through Hell and High Water’, the pair wrote a book about the race, titled ‘The Crossing: Conquering the Atlantic in the World’s Toughest Rowing Race’.
Only two years later, James paired up with Ben Fogle and Dr Ed Coats, to take part in the gruelling ‘Amundsen Omega3 South Pole Race’. This adventure was also broadcast on the BBC in 5 1 hour, prime-time Sunday night programmes, titled ‘On Thin Ice’. James wrote about this experience in his book, ‘Race to the Pole’.
In 2010 he completed the Marathon des Sables, which consists of the completing the equivalent of six marathons in six days. He then went on to complete the Yukon Arctic Ultra, cycling over 430 miles in the race across the frozen Alaskan countryside.
In 2010, James attempted to cross America by cycling, running, rowing and swimming from LA to New York in record time. It was during this trip that James suffered a near fatal accident after being struck from behind by a truck while cycling through Arizona. After a difficult six-month recovery period, James went to the Canadian Yukon, completing The Coldest Race on Earth. These stunning adventures transmitted as Unstoppable: The James Cracknell Trilogy on Discovery.
Additionally, James is the BBC’s commentator for Rowing, and was heavily involved in the coverage for the Rio Olympics in 2016.
James has held ambassadorial roles for brands across a wide range of industries. He’s partnered with American Express, JML as the ambassador for Nutriblitzer and Awesome Gym, worked on the Dove Men + Care Father’s Day campaign and faced campaigns for Karrimor and Biosynergy.
James was announced as the long-term ambassador for Renault, supporting Renault-featured events throughout the UK, including Men’s Health magazine’s ‘Survival of the Fittest’ races.
James is leading the Policy Exchange’s work on obesity and physical activity and has been heavily involved in their report calling for sugary drinks to be taxed as part of a series of measures to combat rising levels of obesity. Following this, James appeared in The Secret Plan to Save Fat Britain: Channel 4 Dispatches.
He is currently studying for a Masters in Philosophy from Cambridge University & is politically active, striving for greater awareness in childhood obesity and healthy living.
In 2019 James made history when he became the oldest competitor in the Boat Race, winning alongside his Cambridge teammates.
James Cracknell Videos
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Testimonials for James Cracknell
“James was excellent last night. Relaxed, funny, poignant, steady and smooth. He achieved just the reactions from the audience that I was hoping for and it rounded off the day perfectly. He impressed many people with his gentlemanly behaviour and friendliness.”
“Very engaging, very entertaining, very motivating… a brief yet fabulous insight into the life of a double Olympic Gold Medal winner; “A very engaging and inspiring individual”; “His talk was very relevant to understanding teamwork and self-development.”
“Please would you pass on a huge thank you to James for his time at our event yesterday. He went down a storm – his presentation was interesting and engaging and I had many comments afterwards from people saying how much they had enjoyed his session. So a big thank you once again.”
“Thanks for joining us last week and giving a fantastic talk to our HR Solutions leaders. There was nothing but positive feedback from the group. People found your story interesting and inspiring so it really hit the spot. Bringing along the medals was a nice touch too!”
“He (James) went down extremely well. I’ve had loads of comments on how good he was – and how appropriate his content was to us. People also appreciated his honesty and his straightforwardness. Overall a delightful guy and I can’t recommend him highly enough!”
James Cracknell‘s Topics
James talks about the lead-up to both the Sydney and Athens Olympics and how they were far from the straightforward wins that had come to be so expected by the British public. He addresses the highs and lows of a tough training regime and the different characters that ultimately make a successful team. He offers an insight into his personal drive, having missed out on 2 Olympic games prior to Sydney and the sacrifices he made to stay at the top. As a key member of one of Britain’s most successful teams, James has dealt with having the expectations of a nation on his shoulders and he offers a rare and amusing insight into how this pressure manifests itself in the boat.
Atlantic Rowing Race
James took on the mighty challenge of the Atlantic Rowing Race in 2005. The amazing experiences that he went through with TV presenter Ben Fogle whilst completing the 3000 mile race are a unique addition to his already exciting and inspirational presentation. Applying the same determination, competitiveness and stubborn streak that James showed during Olympic preparations, Ben and James were the first boat to arrive in the Caribbean despite there only being one professional rower on board. The dramatic and emotional tales of James’ and Ben’s gruelling adventure are enough to drive anyone to take on new challenges and go the extra mile. The amazing powerful and emotional footage which made up the documentary – ‘Through Hell and High Water’ can also be part of this presentation.
Sport Relief Cross Contintent Challenge
In March 2008, James achieved another giant feat, this time on his own, when he successfully completed his Cross Continent Challenge in aid of Sport Relief. James talks of his amazing journey where over seven days he travelled to Africa from the UK under his own steam – rowing the channel, cycling through France and Spain and finally swimming the shark infested Strait of Gibraltar, accompanied by David Walliams and four pilot whales.