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Steve Williams: Olympic Rower

Steve Williams OBE is a double Olympic Gold medalist from the British coxless fours in Athens and Beijing and four times World Champion. In 2011, Steve skied to the Geographic North Pole and submitted Mount Everest in two ‘back-to-back’ expeditions.

Steve works with businesses using his experiences to give insights into high performance culture that can be adopted by leaders and teams to help them perform better and be more successful. Steve and his teammates won Olympic Golds in two of the most heart-stopping and unforgettable Olympic finals.

The Athens coxless four had a session of high drama fraught with illness, injury and last minute crew changes. In the final, Steve, Matt Pinsent, James Cracknell and Ed Coode were locked in an epic clash with reigning World Champions Canada. At the end of a grueling head to head battle the winner could only be decided by a photo finish, which showed the British had won by just 0.08 seconds.

Steve was back as part of a new team to defend the Olympic title in Beijing. The final saw them put immediately under pressure as the Australians tool a commanding lead. The Brits refused to give in and in the dying strokes of the race their “never-say-die” spirit broke through to win Gold.

Steve’s Everest and North Pole challenge took him back to the beginning in two totally different worlds demanding new skills, fitness and psychology. He first took on the constantly shifting frozen obstacle course of the Polar ice cap climbing over 30 foot collapsing pressure ridges, tiptoeing across perilous “porridge” ice and negotiating leads of open Arctic Ocean.

There was no rest at the Pole and the race was on for Everest where climbing had started three weeks earlier and the imminent Monsoon would soon shut off the mountain. Steve had to run the gauntlet of the Khumbu Icefall as ice towers and avalanches collapsed around him and cross cavernous crevasses in the Western Cwm’s blistering heat. In spite of this hasty acclimatization, Steve achieved his ambition to climb the soaring Lhotse Face and up to the “Deaths Zone” without supplementary oxygen. Then high winds forced him to wait an extra harrowing 24 hours at the desolate South Cole Camp before the final summit push. After a last climb through the night, Steve ascended the knife-edge of the Summit Ridge to finally arrive at the summit of Mount Everest.

Steve will be hosting Wellfit Families

Availability: 20th-28th August 2016

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