Who is James Cracknell? Meet the Strictly Come Dancing 2019 contestant and rower

The class of 2019 is being revealed – find out more about one of this year’s amateur dancers.

It’s that time of year again – Strictly Come Dancing’s celebrity cast for the coming series is being announced.

Find out more about one of the Glitterball Trophy contenders, James Cracknell.

Revealed as a Strictly contestant: Contestant number 14, James, was announced on Good Morning Britain on August 7.

Age: 47

Occupation: Olympic rower

[Read more: All you need to know about Strictly 2019]

Best known for: James is a former World Champion rower and won Gold at both the Sydney and Athens Olympics.

Although he’s now retired, the extreme physical challenges have never stopped for James – he came first in The Race Across the Atlantic with Ben Fogle and was the highest placed Briton ever in the Yukon Arctic Ultra, a cycle race across the frozen Alaskan countryside.


Strictly 2019 just got even more oarsome! Say hello to Olympic rower @jamescracknell! 🥇

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In 2010, he suffered a near-fatal accident while attempting to run, bike, swim and row across the US when he was hit by a truck while cycling, but went on to complete the Canadian Yukon.

Recently, he became the oldest ever Boat Race champion when he competed as part of the Cambridge team while studying for a Masters in Philosophy at the university.

He said: “I’m really looking forward to being a part of Strictly this year. Having spent so many years mucking around in a rowing boat with big men in tight lycra, it’s time I learned a new skill. I need to apologise to my kids in advance for the embarrassment.”

[Read more: Who are the Strictly 2019 pro dancers?]

Strictly partner: Luba Mushtuk

Instagram: @jamescracknell

Memorable moments: James had the dubious honour of being remembered as the first celebrity to be voted out of the 2019 series.

He had been the favourite to go first after a week one Tango that the judges criticised for being "hunched", and a slow-paced Jive in week two.

But fans praised James for his efforts in battling the problems that his serious accident where he was left in a coma after being knocked off his bike by a truck had caused, and the rower admitted he struggled with processing instructions since his injury.

James lost out to David James in the dance off, who was unanimously chosen by the judges to remain in the show.

Eliminated: James was the first celebrity to leave the competition in the first series vote during week two.

Strictly Come Dancing returns to BBC One on September 7.

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