Steve Williams OBE

World champion Olympic gold medalist and professional rower

Steve Williams OBE | NMP Live

Steve Williams OBE won his second consecutive Olympic Gold medal in Beijing. He started rowing at Monkton Coombe School aged thirteen then carried on with the sport at Oxford Brookes University where he studied History and Town Planning. In 1999 Steve was selected for the Great Britain squad and in 2000 he won Gold at the World Championships in a coxed four after dominating the event.

In 2001 Steve had an outstanding season, becoming World Champion in the coxless four, proving his crew were worthy successors to the Sydney Olympic four. In the 2002 and 2003 World Championships he won silvers.

In the build up to the 2004 Athens Olympic Games legendary coach Jurgen Grobler dropped a bombshell and split up Steve's crew to bring in Matthew Pinsent and James Cracknell who had become inconsistent in the pair. His decision sent shock waves through the whole GB squad.

In the most unsettled season he has ever experienced the crew suffered setbacks from illness and injuries in the build up to the Olympic Games.  Arriving in Athens the four were not considered serious contenders having never rowed together as a competitive unit. However they progressed to the final and in one of the greatest races ever seen the GB four beat the World Champions Canada by inches to win Gold.

In 2005 Steve Williams was selected into the men's lead boat, again, a coxless four, and they were unbeaten all year winning the World Cup and the World Championships. He successfully defended the World Championship title in front of a home crowd at Dorney Lake, Windsor in August 2006, making it his 4th World Championship title.

Strong performances in 2007, winning three World Cups, unfortunately ended with a poor result at the World Championships. That loss certainly gave the crew a major boost during winter training and a new addition to the crew for 2008 gave them extra focus for the Olympics.  The hard work and dedication paid off as an emphatic finish took them to victory as they came from behind to claim Gold in Beijing, Steve's second Olympic medal at consecutive Games.

Steve Williams is an excellent corporate speaker and ambassador. He has worked with several blue-chip companies, as a team building / motivational speaker at sales conferences and award ceremonies. Steve has also hosted several learn-to-row team building days.


Steve Williams gave an impressive and inspiring speech at the Living Well West Midlands first annual conference. His positive approach to the subject area lifted the mood and brought a few laughs. Steve left people feeling motivated towards being the best they can possibly be and to set their own 2012 goals.

Living Well, West Midlands

It was great to have a double Olympic Gold medalist with us for the evening. Steve Williams' relaying of Olympic experience really hit home with the team on many fronts; what dedication truly is, what it takes to achieve your personal best, and why you need to keep learning to keep winning. His modesty and engagement with the group was really appreciated, and left us simply wanting to know more.

Ely Lilly

Sainsbury's have been pleased to have worked with Steve Williams over the past 3 years. Steve has over this period worked collaboratively with our own internal teams and suppliers to produce work that has been inspirational, structured, focussed and delivered with style and charisma. Steve has shown his versatility and flexibility in working across a variety of projects with us, from coaching to conference appearances and "performance/winning workshops" working with groups numbering from 10 to 600. We will continue to use Steve - above all - for personal qualities, values and the energy he puts into always working to do a great job for us.

Judith Batchelor, Director for Sainsbury's Brand

Steve Williams is a humble champion! He could tell his story as a hero, but he does it as a human being which made it very personal and all the more credible. His journey was full of recognisable “aha-moments” for us as individual professionals, as well as of metaphors that do apply to success as a team in a tough business environment.

Guy De Herde, Senior Vice President, Leadership Development, Unilever

Our work with Steve Williams could not have gone better. We were able to evolve the conversation about 'team' to a different level at the same time as offering a challenging, fun, energising and illuminating experience for the group that was universally well received. Following our clients experience of the session we invited Steve to bring the same messages to our own team meeting. The key messages transfer extremely well to the business context and once again the themes left a lasting impression that will impact on our own attitudes and actions. Steve's involvement was full of impact eye-opening and inspiring in equal measure and I have no hesitation in recommending his contribution for those seeking to achieve elite team performance.

Peter Williams, Senior Consultant, Cegos UK Ltd.

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Steve Williams OBE | NMP Live
Steve Williams OBE

World champion Olympic gold medalist and professional rower

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