James Cracknell OBE takes to the floor with Strictly Come Dancing

The former Olympic rower, who had a brain injury in 2010, attempts a personal challenge on Saturday’s BBC1 show.

Credit:BBC/Ray Burmiston
  James Cracknell OBE danced the Tango on Saturday’s Strictly Come Dancing with dance partner Luba Mushtuk. Last week he had spoken about the challenges he faces in the training, particularly as he had a brain injury in 2010. In 2010 James Cracknell was hit from behind by the wing mirror of a petrol tanker while cycling across Arizona, USA, on a sporting challenge to cycle, run, row and swim from Los Angeles to New York. He was wearing a helmet but suffered damage to the frontal lobes of his brain. Speaking on This Morning last week, James said this injury made him more aggressive than he was before and left him with epilepsy and a short temper. On Saturday night, James pushed his personal boundaries and took part in Strictly Come Dancing. James acknowledged that dancing was not his forte. In an exclusive interview with the mailonline, he said: 'It's giving myself permission to look stupid. That's the big hurdle for me: Just give myself permission to fail and if I get over that then I'll be alright.” Speaking on This Morning (as reported on mailonline), James said he found the hours spent practicing to learn the routine quite gruelling and admitted that having to stand for such long periods was a challenge even for a trained athlete. He also mentioned that he found it hard to remember everything towards the end of the sessions. James’s dance partner, Luba, said he had been working very hard and putting in the hours to do as well as he could on the night. On This Morning, before Saturday’s show, as quoted in Mirror.co.uk, James admitted that he was struggling a bit and joked that he was "really bad". Despite him knowing he may not be the best dancer on the floor, Hello Magazine reported James saying: "I guess it's being a sportsperson in the past, you know what you're good at and you just stick to that. You don't show any weakness. Whereas actually doing something that you're bad at and throwing yourself into it is a totally new experience. I'm just getting over that bar of letting stuff go and really learning."  Talking about important moments in his life to Mirror.co.uk in 2015, James said: “The accident is something that happened to me, but I’m not going to let it define me - in the same way, the Olympics is something I did but that’s not all I am.” James is hoping to reach Week Four at least as his son turns 16 just before the show, and will then be the minimum age to watch the show live. Good luck, James! Strictly Come Dancing is on Saturday evenings on BBC1.  
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