Since retiring from his 13 year international career, James has distinguished himself as an adventurer and extreme sportsman.
In 2005, James teamed up with TV adventurer Ben Fogle and set off in a 7m boat to race across the Atlantic to raise funds for Children in Need. After 49 days at sea, the pair were first to arrive in Antigua. On their return, James and Ben wrote the critically acclaimed ‘The Crossing’ and the BBC transmitted RTS award-winning documentary series ‘Through Hell and High Water’.
At the start of 2008 James again pushed himself to his limits for charity, this time in collaboration with Sports Relief. James rowed the Channel; cycled down through France and Spain and finally swam the Strait of Gibraltar, accompanied by comedian David Walliams. It took him a mere ten days to cover just under 1500 miles and raise £340,000.
By the end of the year, he was ready for another challenge and it proved to be his toughest yet. In December 2008 he set off with former team-mate Ben Fogle and Dr. Ed Coats to take part in the inaugural Amundsen Omega3 South Pole Race. The team traversed the 473.6 miles, coming second only to a pair of Norwegian polar experts. The BBC showed a 6 part, prime-time Sunday night series of the adventure in summer 2009 called ‘On Thin Ice’. The show proved so popular it will be repeated in the winter. The series was accompanied by a self-penned book of the race, ‘Race to the Pole’. It was also the first trip since Captain Scott’s ill fated journey in 1911.
In August 2009, James attempted to break to the Land’s End to John O’Groats mixed tandem world record, alongside Olympian Rebecca Romero. Unfortunately the duo were stopped in their tracks in Johnstonbridge in Scotland, having cycled 500 miles in 30 hours and being well on course to the break the record, due to medical advice for Rebecca. The pair were devastated not to reach John O’Groats. He also canoed the historical Devizes to Westminster race; cycled in The Tour de France's Etape, rode a rickshaw from Edinburgh to London with Ben Fogle and completed his second sub three hour marathon, this time in New York, all in 2009!
In 2010 James finished a phenomenal 12th in the Marathon de Sables, cycled the inaugural Deloitte Ride Across Britain before turning his attentions to ‘James Cracknell Takes on America’ for Discovery. It was during this latest challenge that James suffered a near fatal accident after being struck by a truck while cycling. After a period of recovery James is now planning his much anticipated comeback for 2011!
James has also managed to fit in a whole host of other physical feats: an incredible sub-three-hour marathon (2008); The London to Paris bike ride (2008); the New Zealand Coast to Coast Race (2007); the Mark Webber Challenge (2006); setting a new world record for paddling the Channel on a surf-board (2005) and has now qualified to represent Great Britain in Triathlon competing at the 2009 European Championships for his age group.
Life as one of Britain's most successful athletes is not all boats and water and this year James has made the successful transition from the river to the studio. As ITV Sport's new all-action presenter he has embraced the new challenges that broadcasting has set and has already covered the Superbowl in the US, the Rugby 7s in Hong Kong and the Boat Race... This also include a ten-year post as a Daily Telegraph journalist which is about to evolve into a figure-head columnist position over the next four years. James was the Olympic presenter for ‘ITV News at Ten’ in Bejing; hosted Channel 4’s ‘Red Bull Air Race’ and ITV 1’s ‘British Superbikes’.
An ex-teacher and Masters graduate James' wide appeal means that he is as likely to be found on Children's BBC as he is on a debate for Radio 5Live and has presented gongs at both the BAFTAS and the Disney Kids Awards.
In 2009 James was appointed Sustainability Ambassador by the London Organising Committee of the 2012 Olympic Games (LOCOG). Chosen for his ability to articulate the key areas to combating climate change to a wide audience, James will be actively involved in advising on policy issues and attending committee meetings where crucial decisions will be made.
Passionate and articulate, James is keen to encourage the growth of sport where he can and earlier this year was on the panel at the Observer's debate ‘Why Doesn't Sport Matter' along with key decision making figures Richard Caborn MP and Sir Trevor Brooking.
He has the ability to tailor his experiences and is happy to work to a client’s brief to captivate and motivate a variety of audiences. James speaks with a relaxed yet informative style and offers a young fresh approach to corporate speaking which is always well received. However his standard presentation, that is naturally adapted with each individual audience in mind, is truly inspiring and he never fails to engage his audience. He is relaxed, bright and extremely charismatic. With his natural style and sense of humour, audiences really warm to his unique laid back approach.
James has inspired and entertained many blue chip clients including KPMG, Ernst & Young, GlaxoSmithKline, Centrica and Abbey...
He is married to television presenter and journalist Beverley Turner, with one young son Croyde and baby daughter Kiki and is an ambassador for Adidas and BMW.
Key Points: teamwork, dedication, responsibility, drive, sacrifice, overcoming setbacks, maintaining excellence and responding to pressure.