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Olympic medalist Ollie Wynne-Griffith targeting victory in the boat race for the Cambridge team

Tokyo 2020 Olympic medalist Ollie Wynne-Griffith aims for Cambridge team boat race win – as he becomes the THIRD member of his family to compete in a venerable event

  • Ollie Wynne-Griffith won bronze in Great Britain’s eighth at the Tokyo Olympics
  • Sunday’s edition marks Wynne-Griffith’s first and likely last boat race
  • Wynne-Griffith is one of four British medalists from Tokyo in the race

For Ollie Wynne-Griffith, the Boat Race isn’t a fleeting few months in light blue; it’s part of the family mythology.

Growing up, he saw the belts his grandfather, David Christie, used in the 1958 and 1959 races hanging on the wall, a win and a loss to Cambridge. That’s not all. His great-grandfather, Harold Rickett, won three Boat Races, again for Cambridge, in 1930, 1931 and 1932, and led the race in 1946.

Sunday’s 167th edition – back at the Championship Course in London after a two-year hiatus – will mark Wynne-Griffith’s first and likely last participation in the venerable event.

For Ollie Wynne-Griffith, the Boat Race isn't a few months in light blue;  it's family mythology

For Ollie Wynne-Griffith, the Boat Race isn’t a few months in light blue; it’s family mythology

Wynne-Griffith is one of the four British medalists from the Tokyo Olympics in the race

Wynne-Griffith is one of the four British medalists from the Tokyo Olympics in the race

“It’s inspiring to know that you’re going through the same process as family members 60 or 90 years ago,” the 27-year-old Olympic medalist said during a one-year MBA course in Cambridge.

“They are a big part of the reason I started the sport. I now have the opportunity to write my own piece of history. The great thing about the Boat Race is that everyone can add something to the story.

“You carry the legacy while you’re here in the boathouse pulling the punches, and then you pass it on to the people who come after.”

Wynne-Griffith is one of four British medalists from the Tokyo Olympics in the race. His old school friend from Radley, Tom George, is another. The pair took bronze in eight at the Games, along with Charlie Elwes from Oxford.

Wynne-Griffith, who studies at Peterhouse, aims for the Paris Olympics in 2024

Wynne-Griffith, who studies at Peterhouse, aims for the Paris Olympics in 2024

Angus Groom, who won silver in the double sculls, completes the quartet, also with Oxford. Wynne-Griffith, who studies at Peterhouse, is aiming for the Paris Olympics in 2024.

But no matter how much international experience a rower has, the Boat Race is a unique spectacle with 250,000 spectators on the banks along the 6.25 mile course from Putney to Mortlake.

“What I’m always told is you can’t imagine how much noise there will be,” Wynne-Griffith said.

Sunday's 167th edition is back at the Championship Course in London after a two-year hiatus

Sunday’s 167th edition is back at the Championship Course in London after a two-year hiatus

“I’ve never been in such an atmosphere, where thousands of people cheer as you sail, and then you go out of sight in almost deathly silence for the warm-up.”

Oxford are the bookmakers’ favourites, not least at almost half a stone per man heavier than Cambridge: just over 14th 12lb versus fractionally less than 14th 5lb.

If the Dark Blues are victorious, they will end a three-year era of Cambridge domination in the men’s and women’s races.

TV: Sunday LIVE on BBC One from 1.50pm.

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