Sportsman, athlete and adventurer
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With 2 Olympic Gold Medals, 6 World Championship titles, James Cracknell OBE is an inspiring sportsman, athlete and adventurer.
After retiring from competitive rowing in 2006, James and his friend, Ben Fogle, completed The Race Across the Atlantic, an experience which was documented in the BBC/TwoFour television programme, Through Hell and High Water. Cracknell and Fogle also wrote a book about the race, titled The Crossing: Conquering the Atlantic in the World’s Toughest Rowing Race.
Only two years later in 2008, James paired up with Ben Fogle again, this time alongside Dr Ed Coats, in order to take part in the gruelling Amundsen Omega3 South Pole Race, which they successfully completed. This adventure was also broadcast on the BBC in 5 1 hour, prime-time Sunday night programmes, On Thin Ice. Again, James wrote about this experience in his book, Race to the Pole.
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.
Following this, James’s fronted a series for Discovery; ‘World’s Toughest Expeditions’ in 2012. The series saw James push himself to the limit of endurance by attempting to completed the 4 greatest adventures of our time. A year later in 2013, James paired up with Ben Fogle yet again for the BBC documentary Ben & James Versus the Arabian Desert.
2015 saw James launch his partnership with JML as the ambassador for Nutriblitzer and Awesome Gym, as well as continuing to face campaigns for Karrimor and Biosynergy. Alongside this, James also starred in ITV’s new sports-science programme Eternal Glory, in which he competed against other former athletes and sports stars, showcasing his outstanding mental and physical dedication by making the final of the competition.
James partnered with American Express in early 2016. Drawing on the brand’s 100 years of travel experience, the campaign will uncover the travel adventures and destinations that can be enjoyed by every generation; inspiring consumers with the exciting and adventurous travel opportunities that families can enjoy.
In April 2016, James was announced as the long term ambassador for Renault. He will support Renault-featured events throughout the UK, including Men’s Health magazine’s ‘Survival of the Fittest’ races. In one of the first showings of this partnership, James filmed a number of daring idents with the Renault Kadjar around Snowdonia National Park, Wales, which aired on the Discovery Channel. James has also worked on the Dove Men + Care Father’s Day campaign in 2016.
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.
James is the BBC’s commentator for Rowing, and was heavily involved in the coverage for the Rio Olympics in 2016. He also has announced a long-term partnership with the Great West Run, the long-running and popular half-marathon staged annually in the heart of Exeter and the surrounding countryside. James is a keen marathon runner, completing many marathons for chosen charities including the London Marathon in 2006, 2015 and 2016. He will help to develop and grow the profile of the run regionally and nationally.
James is as an entertaining and motivational after-dinner speaker, being able to draw on his different experiences throughout his varied career and personal life. He lives with his wife, TV and Radio presenter Beverley Turner, and their 3 children.