Tom James MBE
Double Olympic Gold Medallist 2012 & 2008 and World Champion in 2011.
Welsh born rower Tom James first took up the sport at school in Chester. He went up to Trinity Hall, Cambridge in 2002, obtaining a degree in engineering in 2007. A member of the Cambridge University Boat Club Tom took part in The Boat Race four times in five years, between 2003 and 2007 (He took a year off to train for the 2004 Summer Olympics).
Cambridge lost the Boat Race on three of the occasions when Tom was rowing but in 2007, this time as President of CUBC, Cambridge were strong favourites based on the team members' individual successes and the light blues won by a length and a quarter, finally providing James with a victory.
James decided that training for the Olympics and studying for his engineering degree were incompatible so took a year off from his studies and trained with the Leander Club in Henley-on-Thames.
In 2008 he was selected for the GB coxless four along with Andy Triggs-Hodge, Steve Williams and Peter Reed. The GB four dominated their heats and semi finals at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. But in the final the Australian four led for most of the way. Only a dramatic push by the British boat in the closing stages made the difference; they won the nail-biting final to become gold medallists in a time of 6 minutes 6.57 seconds, beating the Australian four by 1.28 seconds.
At the 2011 World Rowing Championships in Bled, Slovenia, James raced in the men's four to win gold, ahead of Greece and Australia.
The 2012 London Olympic Games saw the GB coxless four of James and Alex Gregory, Peter Reed and Andrew Triggs-Hodge beat their main rivals Australia in the semi-finals, and then repeated their win in the final.
As winners, the four were honoured with appearing on Royal Mail stamps, and having a post box in each of their home town painted gold. James' 'golden' post box is located in Coedpoeth, Wrexham where he grew up.
James received his MBE in the 2009 New Year Honours.
He lives in Henley-on-Thames, rowing for Molesey Boat Club, Surrey.