Graham Bell

Graham is a British Olympic skier, TV presenter, adventurer and journalist who continues to be regarded as one of the finest downhill skiers the UK has ever produced, claiming the title of the Ski Champion of Britain on eight occasions during his illustrious career.

The five time Olympian, sporting enthusiast and television personality has remained at the forefront of British sport, commentating on the Winter Olympics, fronting the popular and iconic BBC primetime series ‘Ski Sunday’ and working with a range of organisations and events to support the development of both winter sports and summer sports, including sailing, triathlon events and cycling.  He uses his experience as a TV presenter and a cameraman to enable him to cover extreme sporting events, as well as winter sports.   He was a key pundit for the BBC’s coverage of the World Triathlon Series and has also presented the prime-time sports programme ‘High Altitude’. ‘I retired from international ski racing after my fifth winter Olympic Games in Nagano 1998, after racing on the World Cup tour for 16 years.  I was 32 years old and knew that I wanted to avoid the ex-sportsman bloat. The problem was motivation, as a professional athlete you train because it is your job, as the saying goes: every day you are not training hard is another day your competitors are.  But without the professional need, I struggled to find ways to motivate myself. A great motivator for me is fear.  I would pick a challenge that was likely to push me outside my comfort zone and the fear of not completing or suffering the whole way through was what I needed. So.. to my latest and probably toughest challenge: The Marathon des Sables.  A strange choice for me as I have never competed well in the heat and running is by far my weakest of the three Triathlon disciplines, but therein lays the challenge.  I have always liked the desert, at least the times I have spent driving through it, strangely the isolation and danger of it reminds me of high Alpine glaciers or polar ice caps.  However running 250km in 40 degree heat carrying all your food and supplies needed for the week was close to lunacy. Watching the incredible exploits of the Walking With The Wounded team with their expeditions to Everest and the North and South Poles, inspired me to get involved with this crazy desert challenge. My biggest concerns are dehyration and foot-management, but it seems the more I read up on the MDS the more worrying it all becomes. You can sponsor Graham here.

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