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Sir Matthew Clive Pinsent CBE (born 10 October 1970) is an English rowing champion, four-time Olympic gold medallist and broadcaster. He is married to Demetra, Lady Pinsent, and together they have twin boys, Jonah and Lucas, born in summer 2006, and a daughter, Eve, born in March 2008.


Pinsent was born in Holtmarker, Norfolk, his father being curate of St Andrew's parish church. He attended Aysgarth Schoolmarker in North Yorkshire before he began rowing at Eton Collegemarker. He began his international career at the Junior World Rowing Championships in 1987. He raced again in 1988, winning the junior coxless pairs with Tim Foster. After finishing school, Pinsent studied Geography at St Catherine's College, Oxfordmarker. He competed in three Boat Races, winning in 1990 and 1991 but unsuccessful in 1993 (when he was Boat Club President), having taken a year out in 1992 in order to concentrate on preparing for the Barcelona Olympics.

Recent studies of his genealogy seem to suggest that he is in fact descended from Caroline of Brunswick

International Rowing Career

In 1990, while still at Oxford, he joined Steve Redgrave in the coxless pair at the World Rowing Championships – winning bronze. This was the beginning of a long partnership, and the pair won at the World Championships in 1991, and at the Olympic Games in 1992 and 1996.

In 2000 he won Olympic gold again as part of a coxless four with Redgrave, James Cracknell and Tim Foster. In August 2000, the month prior to winning gold in Sydney, he took part in a 3-part BBC documentary entitled Gold Fever. This followed the coxless four team in the years leading up to the Olympics, including video diaries recording the highs and lows in the quest for what would be Pinsent's third consecutive gold.

Pinsent and Cracknell then formed a men's coxless pair and won the coxless and coxed pairs (with Neil Chugani coxing) in the 2001 World Championships, and the coxless pair in 2002. However, after a disappointing 2003 season that saw Pinsent's first World Championships defeat since 1990, he and Cracknell moved to the men's coxless four for 2004.

At the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athensmarker, Pinsent's fourth Olympic Games, Pinsent stroked the boat, with Cracknell, Ed Coode and Steve Williams. In a close race with world champions Canada, they again won gold.

Pinsent was elected to the International Olympic Committeemarker's Athletics Commission in 2001, replacing Jan Železný. In 2004, at the Athens Olympics, Pinsent failed to secure re-election to the post, being replaced by Železný.

The , 105 kg Pinsent had the largest lung capacity ever recorded in Britain, drawing in an astounding 8.5 litres of air with each breath, but has now been surpassed by fellow rower Peter Reed who has been measured at 11.68 litres.

Retirement from Rowing

Pinsent announced his retirement from rowing on 30 November 2004, and was made a Knight Bachelor in the New Year's Honours list announced on 31 December 2004.

He ran the Flora London Marathon on 23 April 2006, in 4 hours and 8 minutes, finishing over an hour behind his rowing team mate James Cracknell.

Matthew Pinsent has been chosen to participate as one of the international torchbearers in the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Torch Relay. He is schedule to run a portion leg on February 5th, 2010 in Whistler, British Columbiamarker.

Broadcasting career

Pinsent has recently begun making steps into broadcasting, as a sports bulletin presenter for BBC News. He has also worked on the BBC series Inside Sport, where his work has included a controversial interview with Dwain Chambers. Pinsent was in Beijing during the 2008 Summer Olympic Games working for the BBC.


Pinsent is directly descended from John Howard, 1st Duke of Norfolk and thus from Edward I of England and William the Conqueror.


Olympic Games

World Championships

  • 2003 – 4th, Coxless Pair (with James Cracknell)
  • 2002 – Gold, Coxless Pair (with James Cracknell)
  • 2001 – Gold, Coxless Pair (with James Cracknell)
  • 2001 – Gold, Coxed Pair (with James Cracknell, Neil Chugani)
  • 1999 – Gold, Coxless Four (with James Cracknell, Ed Coode, Steve Redgrave)
  • 1998 – Gold, Coxless Four (with James Cracknell, Tim Foster, Steve Redgrave)
  • 1997 – Gold, Coxless Four (with James Cracknell, Tim Foster, Steve Redgrave)
  • 1995 – Gold, Coxless Pair (with Steve Redgrave)
  • 1994 – Gold, Coxless Pair (with Steve Redgrave)
  • 1993 – Gold, Coxless Pair (with Steve Redgrave)
  • 1991 – Gold, Coxless Pair (with Steve Redgrave)
  • 1990 – Bronze, Coxless Pair (with Steve Redgrave)
  • 1989 – Bronze, Coxed Four (with Terry Dillon, Steve Turner, Gavin Stewart, Vaughn Thomas)

Junior World Championships

  • 1988 – Gold, Coxless Pair (with Tim Foster)
  • 1987 – 4th, Eight


  • A Lifetime in a Race (2004) ISBN 0-09-190149-9

Styles and Honours

  • Mr Matthew Pinsent (1970–1993)
  • Mr Matthew Pinsent MBE (1993–2000)
  • Mr Matthew Pinsent CBE (2000–2004)
  • Sir Matthew Pinsent CBE (2004–)


  2. BBC SPORT | TV/Radio Schedule | Inside Sport | Pinsent on Chambers
  3. BBC SPORT | Athletics | Disgraced Chambers in drugs claim
  4. Who Do You Think You Are?, 18 October 2007

External links

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