Birth Date: 25/01/1981
Born: San Fransisco, USA
Trains: Henley, Buckinghamshire
Lives: Henley, Buckinghamshire
Occupation: British Rower
2012 – Olympic Bronze: Mens Eight
2008 – Olympic Silver: Mens Eight
From the highs of an illustrious career spanning 15 years, to the lows of missing out on Olympic glory due to injury in 2004, Alex Partridge is one of the most interesting and experienced athletes to have ever rowed for Great Britain. Awarded the British Olympic Athlete of the year in rowing in 2010 for his contribution to excellence in the sport, his hard work saw him consistently achieve podium finishes which culminated in another medal, this time Bronze, rowing in the men’s eight at one of the most pulsating races of the London 2012 Olympics.
Alex initially started rowing in 1996 to complement his rugby training. He immediately enjoyed it and quickly progressed through its ranks, declining an opportunity to participate in the Bath Rugby development program. By 2004, Alex claimed the scalp of his seniors in winning the GB Rowing Selection Trials to gain a place in the Athens Olympics as part of the men’s four with Pinsent, Cracknell and Williams. However, after suffering cracked ribs which led to a collapsed lung, Alex was forced to withdraw shortly before the Games. The crew went on to win an Olympic gold medal, naming their boat after Alex.
After a period of recovery and intensive rehab following the accident in 2004, Alex was back on the water a year later and regained his place in the four. The crew won Gold in the World Cups at Eton, Munich and Lucerne. The highlight of the season was taking Gold in the World Championships in Japan. 2006 proved to be equally successful, with the four winning Gold in all 3 of the World Cup events and a further Gold in front of a home crowd at the World Championships. The 2007 season proved to be disappointing, with the crew finishing 4th in the World Championships but only after having won all of the World Cups of the season, including one in the eight!
In 2009 as part of the men’s four, Alex won the World Cup series and Gold at the World Championships in Poznan. For the 2010 World Cup Series Alex again raced in the men’s four, taking Gold in Bled, Bronze in Munich and an exceptional Gold medal in Lucerne. Following a shake-up in the men’s team, Alex returned to the 8 for 2011 to provide stability and much needed experience which proved crucial – the team finished the World Cup series with two Silver’s (Munich and Bled) and one Bronze (Lucerne).
When it came to selection for London 2012, Alex’s name was one of the first on the list but he faced an agonizing wait on whether he would be in the Men’s Four or the Men’s Eight. Wanting to take the decision in to his own hands, Alex opted for the Eight and in turn playing a vital role in the team gaining a well-deserved place on the podium with a hard fought Bronze medal.
Alex was unfortunately at the centre of a media storm when his medal and Hockey player Hannah Macleod’s medal were stolen at a function following the Athletes parade in London. Despite a police investigation and huge push on social media sites which resulted in Hannah’s medal being returned, Alex’s still remains missing which is a sad episode to end an otherwise successful year.
Alex’s story is truly compelling and since the Games he’s dived straight into the corporate market delivering motivating speeches to varying audience sizes. Inspiring others to strive for world class performance, he brings his own experience to bear on the greater challenges of sustaining world class performance for the long term and overcoming adversity which may befall an individual or an organization. Nominated athlete’s representative for the men’s rowing team for the previous two years; Alex can provide his first-hand account of the systems which motivate high performance teams to excel. He can also discuss the human side of leadership, and how to break down dreams into achievable goals.