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Going for gold: how to work through your worst days – Duncan Goodhew MBE, Olympic Champion

About This Episode

It’s 10 years since the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games in London. To celebrate, Change Makers is delighted to welcome one of our greatest ever Olympians, who many say is one of the trailblazers that paved the way for the world class athletes representing Team GB today.

Duncan scored gold in the 100 metre breaststroke in the 1980 Moscow Olympics, in a dramatic nail biting finish that went down to the wire. It marked a remarkable transformation for a young man who described himself as “drowning” during his time at school, struggling with the challenges of dyslexia.

In a story of resilience and ambition, Duncan overcame the odds to become one of the most recognisable British sporting figures of the past 50 years, and lives by the motto, you’re only as good as your worst day.

Listen to his conversation with Michael now.

Duncan Goodhew MBE, Olympic Swimming Gold Medallist

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Lockdown List

What is a book that has changed your life?

Wild Justice by Wilbur Smith. The book I was reading in the holding room just before winning gold.

What are you watching at the moment?

Gentleman Jack, BBC

Who is your biggest inspiration?

My father, who died when I was in my teens, and Henry Cooper. Henry’s life philosophy has impacted all I have done since I won gold.

In one sentence, describe your ‘new normal’

The same but different

What is your best tip for life?

You’re only as good as your worst day

A quote for life (if you have one)

Fun’s fun but works more fun, God is in the detail and you have to work to explore it.

What tracks are you listening to right now?

  • Buena Vista Social Club – Chan Chan
  • Rodrigo y Gabriela – Electric Soul
  • Amor Verdadero – Afro Cuban All Stars
  • Oye Como Va – Tito Puente

Find out more

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