James Cracknell To Turn From Sport To Politics

The Chiswick-based Olympian selected to fight for European Parliament seat for Tories


Sign up for our free weekly newsletter

Comment on this story on the

Double Olympic rowing medallist James Cracknell, who lives in Chiswick, has been selected to fight for a European Parliament seat for the Conservative Party.

He was the third candidate selected this weekend for the South West constituency of the Parliament which comprises Cornwall, Devon, Somerset, Dorset, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire. The European elections will be held in May 2014.

At the moment the area is represented by six MEPS- three Conservatives, two UK Independance Party, and one Liberal Democrat.

Cracknell who is married to television presenter Beverley Turner, with whom he has three children, needed to get third place to stand a chance of replacing the retiring MEP Giles Chichester.

James pictured with wife Beverley

He will be the second prominent Olympian to take to politics. Olympic medallist Lord Coe came Conservative MP for Falmouth before he went on to lead the London Olympic Games last year.

The current MEPs Ashley Fox and Julie Girling were also selected to run for election with Cracknell in third place. Other candidates for the local Conservatives were Georgina Butler, Sophie Swire and Melissa Maynard.

James Cracknell suffered brain injuries following a serious cycling accident in 2010 while attempting to cross the US by bike, rowing, running and swimming in 16 days.

Along with his wife, he published a book' Touching Distance' last year documenting his recovery and the impact of his accident on their relationship.

Asked whether health problems would affect his ability to hold a political seat he said last month; “People will ask am I capable to do it after my accident. I ask myself that, but I don’t want to live in a society where people impose ceilings on you.

“I just want to go for it and see it through. If I make a bad politician so be it, but it could quite easily be that I would have made a bad politician before the accident."

Yesterday he participated in the RideLondon cycle race across London and was one of the winners.

August 5, 2013