Tuesday, 26 October 2010
Andy Holmes Set to Row Over the River Styx*
There once was a time which younger readers may find odd that Britain didn't turn up at international rowing regattas and expect to pick up medals. However, before Los Angeles in 1984 there was not a sniff of gold since the London Olympiad of 1948 for the rowers.
1984 saw the arrival of an Olympic giant Steve Redgrave but along with Adrian Ellison, the cox, Richard Budget and Martin Cross was the man that would be Redgrave's pairs partner to two World, two Commonwealth golds as well as a gold in the coxless and bronze in the coxed pairs in Seoul in 1988.
Andy Holmes was the man, who was then replaced by Matthew Pinsent, was the first to switch boats with Redgrave and help set him up for the gold at 5 successive games. However, the sad news is that after 17 years away from the sport before a recent return 51 year old has died from the bacterial infection Weil's disease, also known as leptospirosis. This is picked up from river water infected by urine of animals in the water.
As a tribute here are Andy's two Olympic gold medal performances.
Andy Holmes 1959-2010
* The River Styx is the mythological Greek boundary between Earth and the afterlife.