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Steve Backley OBE

Former Olympic javelin athlete, three times world record holder, Steve Backley, is an engaging and dynamic motivational speaker. He is also an accomplished coach and best selling inspirational author.


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Javelin British Number One, Olympic Silver Medalist, European and Commonwealth Champion, Commonwealth Record Holder

After 7 Gold medals, a world record, two Olympic silver medals and one bronze, Steve Backley finally hung up his javelin at the Olympic Games in Athens this summer, showing he is still one of the world’s best by placing 4th in the final.

Steve has been one of Britain’s most consistent and popular athletes for over a decade now as well as being firmly established as one of the all time greats of the sport having been ranked in the world top ten for javelin every year between 1989 and 2002.

A constant fixture in the national athletics team, standing on podiums and setting world records, Steve is the only British track and field competitor to win medals at three different Olympic Games – Barcelona, Atlanta and Sydney.

It has been a long and successful career for Backley, who first made his mark by winning silver at the 1988 Junior World Championships and breaking the world junior record in the same year. He went on in his first two years as a senior athlete to be the world’s number one javelin thrower, the first time ever for a British athlete. In 1989 Steve claimed the UK and Commonwealth records.

In the following year Steve gained gold medals at both the European and Commonwealth Championships. He went on in 2002 to become only the second male ever to complete a successive four European gold medals, although he was joined by British hurdler Colin Jackson later on in the same championships.

In 1990 Steve also became the first British male to set a World Record in a throws event when he threw 89.58m in Stockholm, Sweden. He broke this record himself later that year when he threw 90.98m at Crystal Palace, with a rough tailed Nemeth model. When this was banned at the end of 1991, Steve’s 89.58m was reinstated, until he improved it by throwing 91.46m in New Zealand in 1992, which stood until a year later when his record was broken by his long time nemesis the Czech athlete, Jan Zelezney.

Steve has continually fought back from injury setbacks in his career, including a ruptured Achilles and shoulder and abductor injuries.

In 2003 Steve struggled to find his top form and was disappointed at the World Championships in Paris to finish 9th in the final after a throw of 80.13m.

Off track, Steve was delighted to be awarded with an OBE in 2002 following the MBE he received in 1995. In 1990 he was also voted IAAF Athlete of the Year, British Athletics Writers Athlete of the Year and British Sports Writers Sportsman of the Year as well as coming fourth in the prestigious BBC TV Sports Personality of the Year. Sky Sports signed Steve to present the PGA EuroPro Tour. Steve has written two acclaimed inspirational books, A Winning Mind: A Guide to Achieving Success and Overcoming Failure and The Champion in All of Us: 12 Rules of Success

Steve is now concentrating heavily on his corporate speaking career. With a background in Sports Psychology Steve has a wealth of knowledge to impart and a long and successful career to back up his theories. He outlines clear attributes that he believes are required to ensure success then displays how he put them to practice with humorous anecdotal tales of his own performances. Steve’s immediately likable personality coupled with his direct and straightforward speaking style make for a great combination and inspiring presentation.

Steve gave an insightful presentation on how he was able to get the most from himself when under pressure. The messages were easily translated to a working environment.” – Rob Wallis – National Association for Sports Development

“Thank you very much for speaking at the Goldsmith awards. You were excellently received by all who attended and I personally appreciated all your kind efforts in speaking to people, having photographs taken and being ushered around. The event was a great success.” – David Williams Head of Train To Gain, Hertfordshire

Thank you very much for your presentation at our conference … It was really well received by the delegates and students and brought the conference to a fantastic close…with an unprecedented number of questions from a previously quiet audience!” Rachel Almeida, Events Executive AoC Management Services

Steve, thank you for your fantastic presentation at our conference. The messages were extremely relevant and appropriate for our audience. The feedback that I have received has been excellent and I am very grateful for the amount of time that you spent in both preparation and meeting our employees after the event. I don’t think that I could have found a more appropriate and engaging presenter” Lisa Averns, Honeywell Building Solutions

Steve re-energised our audience of 200 Dealer partners, offering an insightful view into his 15 years as a professional athlete. Steve’s delivery of his presentation made it easy to transfer some of the challenges he faced in his professional career into our own business challenge, and the one key principal that I took away was his importance of understanding your plan. I have received much Dealer feedback from our conference and Steve’s session was a highlight for many. A truly great athlete, motivational speaker and a thoroughly nice guy!” Matthew Stenson BP Oil (UK) Ltd

Steve Backley started our day with a bang, great motivational speaker that connected with every age group in the room which as they ranged from 16 to 87 took some doing!” Leigh Beard
Director of Corporate services NHS / PCT

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