5-time Olympic gold medallist, Sir Steve Redgrave, has revealed today that he lives in constant fear of being "found out as being nothing special and a very lucky so and so to boot," despite the plaudits heaped upon him by a British press desperate to try and grimly hang on to our once phenomenal reputation as an international sporting giant; a reputation that is now, according to the rowing legend, "completely in tatters."
Speaking candidly to Piers Morgan the Knight of the Realm said, "At the end of the day what I did was paddle a boat when all's said and done. And although I paddled it pretty well that’s really all it was. If I'm being honest there were probably only about ten of us in total on the world stage worth considering in my heyday, and as at least a half of us were Brits then the phrase big fish in a minuscule pond just about sums it up. There was nobody more surprised than I was to be awarded all the gongs I've received over the years, but I guess it's sadly symptomatic of our rather poor standing on the world stage when it comes to achievement in real sports. I mean I'm not exactly Lionel Messi, Tiger Woods or Sachin Tendulkar now am I?"
But Lord Sebastian Coe has moved quickly to try and play down Redgrave's comments. He told the BBC earlier, "That's just Sir Steve all over. He’s such a great guy and so modest with it too. Don't you believe him that his achievements in the global mega-sport of rowing are nothing to write home about. When he won his 5th Gold there was at least an estimated worldwide viewing audience of up to nearly another 300 people, not counting the 20 million watching in Britain. Make no mistake about it, the UK is still a global sporting giant and the upcoming Olympics later this month will put us firmly on the map once more. If you want proof of that then you need look no further than young Tom Daley. You show me where there's anybody in the world who can jump into a swimming pool better than he can! And we also excel in many other sports too. There are all those ones with guns and bows and arrows and so forth and not forgetting the guys and girls on push-bikes too. I mean come on. What more do I need to say?"