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Greg Whyte OBE

Physical Activity Expert


29 September 2015Super-coach aims to discover the ultimate athlete in new TV show

A former Olympian turned celebrity super-coach from Marlow will attempt to prove who the ultimate athlete is in a new ITV show, Eternal Glory.

In his latest venture, Greg Whyte, OBE, will be giving his scientific expertise as sporting legends go head to head and take on physical and mental challenges in a ‘war of the champions.’

Previously, the university professor prepped David Walliams for his epic 140-mile swim along the Thames for Sports Relief, as well as whipping Eddie Izzard in to shape to run 41 Marathons in 51 days.

And now by carrying out scientific tests on the elite athletes prior to the gruelling challenges, he will help scientifically prove who the ultimate champion is once and for all.

Professor Whyte said: “It’s one of those classic age-old pub debates – who is the best athlete? It’s gone on for millennia. Are endurance athletes better than sprint athletes or team game athletes?

“Everyone thinks that footballers are the ultimate athlete and I think what this show does is scientifically prove, with evidence, who the best all-rounder is out of all of them.”

The sports stars participating in the challenge are: Rower, James Cracknell; footballer, Matt Le Tissier; javelin thrower, Fatima Whitbread; long jumper, Jade Johnson; middle distance runner, Liz McColgan; rugby player, Shane Williams; badminton player, Gail Emms, and sprinter Christian Malcolm.

Prof Whyte continued: “What I would like to demonstrate is what differentiates elite athletes from the rest is actually about their approach, their attitude, their tenacity, their unwillingness to give up.”

“I think what we will see by the end of this is that actually the victor on Eternal Glory will not necessarily be the person you pick on episode one as being the fastest, strongest or most powerful.

And when asked about sexism in sport, Mr Whyte stressed that although scientifically women are slower, there is psychological difference between genders.

He said: “If you take any linear endurance event – running, cycling, swimming, triathlon, any distance, any strike – the difference between men and women holds true at around 10%.

“So women are 10% slower than men across any distance. So there is, without any shadow of doubt, a gender difference. But where there is absolutely no difference whatsoever is in their psychology.

Professor Whyte went on to explain that a combination of both nature and nurture is what leads an athlete to sporting success.

He said: “It’s such a complex area. I guess the classic question is, is it nature versus nurture? So are great athletes born, or are they made?

“And the answer to that is they’re both. Imagine how many people have tried to be the best in the world at what they do, and haven’t.

“I’ve met some physically incredible athletes in my time, who just simply aren’t mentally tough enough to take on the training, not tough enough in competition, not tough enough to deal with failure as well as success.

As well as training celebrities, Professor Whyte has worked extensively with Cardiac Risk in the Young, which raises awareness of issues that can lead to children dying unexpectedly of Sudden Death Syndrome.

The show, which will be presented by Richard Bacon, is due to air on ITV in October.

Source: http://www.bucksfreepress.co.uk/news/13791363.Super_coach_aims_to_discover_the_ultimate_athlete_in_new_TV_show/