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With London 2012 almost upon us, five-time Olympic gold medallist Sir Steve Redgrave sends us off with his favourites.
BUZZ: There’s a lot of talk about the beach volleyball being the hottest ticket but, as a sport, I don’t think it’s great to watch. Anything you see at the Velodrome will be exciting and being in
the Stadium on an evening when the athletics finals are taking place will be completely unmissable.
BEST WIN: It’s really difficult to answer this question. It’s like someone asking you who is your favourite child. If you’re really twisting my arm, I’d say the first, because you have this dream to go to the Olympics and win a gold medal and once it becomes reality and you’ve done it you know you can do it again.
BEST HOSPITALITY: I love Wimbledon and have been fortunate enough to be invited to the Royal Box every year for the last few years – I’m hoping for the invite to come through this year!
BEST GAMES: All five of the countries I’ve competed in for the Olympic Games were really special but Sydney (Sydney’s Opera House, below) really got it right. There was such a great rapport between us and the volunteers – they were all so friendly.
BEST BASH: At the Barcelona Olympics, I stayed in a village outside the city called Banyoles, which was right on the beach. During the closing ceremony, a bar, on a clifftop above the beach, had an
amazing party and there were bubbles everywhere. Going back to when I was in LA, we had musicians in the Olympic Village most nights and I remember watching The Beach Boys one evening.
BEST VENUE: There is a lake just inland from Lake Lucerne in Switzerland called Lake Rotsee and, if I had to choose one venue where rowing events would be for the rest of time, that would be the one. At the heart of the town, you’re walking distance from the rowing lake, which is a natural lake and the rolling mountains are in the background.
BEST BITES: We went to the Waterside Inn in Bray a few weeks ago for my daughter’s 18th birthday and had a very nice meal there.
BEST DRINK: I’m not a really a heavy drinker but I do like the odd glass of Champagne. When I was younger I invented a drink called the ‘Black Sod’ which was Pernod, blackcurrant and soda. I haven’t had one of those for a long time.
BEST OF THE BEST: There is an island at the start of Henley called Temple Island, which you can only get to by boat, that would be a pretty stunning venue for a party.
This article was first featured in Square Meal Venues & Events, spring 2012.