Featured Video: Row360 Editor Benedict Tufnell's Favorite, 'Gold Fever'

It's an old one, but still so watchable. In August, 2000, the BBC aired a three-part documentary series named Gold Fever on primetime TV in the UK. The episodes followed the British coxless four crew of Steve Redgrave (who had at that point won four consecutive Olympic gold medals), Mathew Pinsent, Tim Foster, and James Cracknell through the highs and lows of four years training in the run-up to the Sydney Olympics, and what would be Redgrave’s fifth and final Olympic Games.

The series, comprising mainly intimate video diaries recorded by the four athletes, shows everything from Redgrave’s diabetes diagnosis to the birth of his daughter between training camps, erg testing, and tough selection decisions.

"In fact, I truly believe that it was the catalyst that sparked my head-first jump into complete rowing obsession."

The real life drama of it—not only a must watch for anyone who has experienced life as a rower—would be interesting to anyone.

The series holds a particular poignancy for me, however, as its release coincided neatly with the very start of my rowing career. In fact, I truly believe that it was the catalyst that sparked my head-first jump into complete rowing obsession.

In August 2000, I was 11 years old and just about to start at an English boarding school, which happened to have a rowing team. It was my mother who spotted the show in the TV listings and suggested I watch it one evening; having never yet rowed, I was instantly hooked.

I remember waiting impatiently for each new episode to air for those three weeks at the end of those summer holidays; I was utterly inspired. I went straight to sign up for the rowing team as soon as the new school term started and never once looked back.

-Benedict Tufnell,
Editor, Row360

Thanks very much to Benedict for taking the time! Also, coming soon on RR: The 3rd and final part of our 3-part series on the Top 30 Rowing Coaches of All Time. (You can catch up on Part 1 and Part 2 in the meantime.) 


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