Chris Maddocks

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Chris Maddocks
Personal information
Full name Christopher Lloyd Maddocks
Nationality British
Born (1957-03-28) 28 March 1957 (age 61)
Tiverton, Devon
Country  United Kingdom
Sport Athletics
Event(s) Racewalking
Retired 2000
Achievements and titles
World finals 1983 - 50km - 9th
1989 - 20 km - 15th
Regional finals 2000 European - 20km - 49th
Olympic finals 1984 - 50km - 16th
1988 - 20km - 24th
1992 - 20km - 16th
1996 - 50km - 34th
2000 - 50km - 39th
Updated on 16 July 2012.

Christopher ("Chris") Lloyd Maddocks (born 28 March 1957) is a retired race walker from Great Britain, who competed in five consecutive Summer Olympics for his native country, starting in 1984. He retired from international competition after finishing last after being injured in the 50 km race at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia. He became the first British track athlete to compete in five Olympic Games. Following his retirement, he became a sports journalist.


Born in Tiverton, Devon, he started in athletics as a cross country runner, and had ambitions to run marathons.[1] Prior to the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow, he set a new British record in the 50 km walk, but was not chosen for the Games. He broke the record again a month after the Olympics, retiring from the sport on a "semi-basis" for two and a half years.[1] Maddocks made his first Olympic appearance at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles,[2] finishing his race in sixteenth place.[3]

Maddocks was runner up in the English Commonwealth Games trials in 1986, qualifying him for the 1986 Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh.[4] At the Games, he finished the race in fourth position, having set a new British record in the process.[1] At the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, South Korea, he finished in 24th position in the men's 20km walk.[5]

He competed once more for the British team at the 2000 Summer Olympics.[6] He had set an Olympic qualifying time of 3 hours 57 minutes and 10 seconds at the Dutch 50 km championship race in March 2000.[1] Prior to the games he was refused National Lottery funding and he couldn't find a shoe sponsor, although ASICS sent him a complimentary pair.[2][7] He injured his hamstring a week before the race but entered the race nonetheless;[8] he fell behind the rest of the athletes. He entered the Stadium Australia as I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles) by The Proclaimers was played over the loudspeakers in his honour, and as the 100,000 crowd cheered him on to finish. His time was four hours, 52 minutes and four seconds, more than an hour after Robert Korzeniowski won the race. His completion of the race meant that he became the first British track athlete to compete in five Olympic Games.[6] Tessa Sanderson remains the record holder in all sports, having appeared at six Olympic Games for Great Britain.[1]

After the 2000 Summer Olympics, his lack of an honour in the New Years Honours List was criticised as he took a break from competitive athletics.[7][8] He sought Lottery funding once more in order to compete at the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester. After a year, he hadn't ruled out attempting to qualify for the 2004 Summer Olympics.[7] In April 2002, two months after he started studying journalism at University of Leeds, he announced his retirement from professional athletics.[3]

He won an award for services to athletics at the 2000 British Athletics Writers Awards, having become a freelance journalist following his retirement from professional athletics. For the 2012 Summer Olympics, he is to be an analyst for the racewalking events for American television network NBC.[9]

Personal life[edit]

He has a daughter named Eleanor, with his wife Fiona.[9] Whilst he competed, he worked as a veterinary assistant in Plymouth.[1]


Chris struggled with his inner demons for many years before writing his autobiography. "Money Walks" was published to coincide with the 2012 Olympics, at which time Chris was a specialist TV sports commentator for NBC. The book is available on Amazon.


  1. ^ a b c d e f Turnbull, Simon (23 April 2000). "Long walk into history Chris Maddocks is heading for his fifth Olympics. Yet he remains unknown". The Independent. Retrieved 16 July 2012. (Subscription required (help)). 
  2. ^ a b Turnbull, Simon (30 July 2000). "There's no business like shoe business". The Independent. Retrieved 16 July 2012. 
  3. ^ a b "Hemery praises five-times Olympian". BBC News. 5 April 2002. Retrieved 16 July 2012. 
  4. ^ "Women athletes closer to agreement". The Glasgow Herald. 28 April 1986. p. 10. Retrieved 16 July 2012. 
  5. ^ "Olympic results". The Vindicator. 23 September 1988. p. 9. Retrieved 16 July 2012. 
  6. ^ a b "Maddocks strides into Aussie hearts". BBC Sport. 29 September 2000. Retrieved 16 July 2012. 
  7. ^ a b c Wilson, Neil (31 May 2001). "Walking back to happiness is on Maddocks' mind". Daily Mail. Retrieved 16 July 2012. (Subscription required (help)). 
  8. ^ a b Fox, Norman (31 December 2000). "No place for gallantry in gongs for gold Norman Fox bemoans notable omissions from the New Year honours". The Independent. Retrieved 16 July 2012. (Subscription required (help)). 
  9. ^ a b "Chris Maddocks: Race Walk Analyst" (PDF). NBC Sports. Retrieved 16 July 2012. [permanent dead link]