Andrew Matthews is a British bobsleigh Athlete and 2 time Olympian as well as a Track and Field athlete. Andrew competed at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi and again at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeong Chang in South Korea. He has appeared at 4 World Championships, the first in 2013 after first competing in bobsleigh in 2012, with his highest placing to date being 5th at the 2015 World Championships.
Previously Andrew was a sprinter for Great Britain specialising in the 60 and 100 metres and Junior National Champion as well a European U23 finalist in both the 100m and 4x100m relay. Andrew was also a member of the British gold medal winning 4×100 metre relay team at the 2003 European Junior Championships. He was coached for 4 years by his childhood hero Linford Christie, the Olympic 100m Gold medalist but when Injury hampered his plans to compete in the London 2012 Olympics he made the decision along with Linford to make the switch to Bobsleigh.
It seems from what Andrew told us that he was always destined to be an Olympian, he just had no idea how he would ever get there. He grew up with his Mother and Grandmother without a Father in the home and Andrew told us that both of them sacrificed so much so he could pursue his athletics career. He said they were always the driving force behind him, as through good results or bad they always supported him. He also had a Father figure around in his Uncle David who himself used to be a sprinter and therefore a real inspiration. Andrew was always fast and everyone from school friends to teachers had told him so. He particularly remembers regularly challenging his Uncle David to races and although beaten to begin with, he eventually began to turn the tables on him.
Unfortunately that potential he had while at school was being wasted. Andrew admits his attitude was all wrong and although he was one of the most gifted students in sports somehow he ended up with an F grade in Physical Education. He also failed to finish college despite 3 attempts. During this time he was determined that that wasn’t going to define him and after not having done anything with his running, he took the advice of a childhood friend and finally went to a track where he met Simon Duberly who became his first coach.
In the beginning it was a poor attitude that held him back. Andrew admitted that throughout his life had always leaned towards the comfort of being one of the boys and hanging with his friends instead of working hard. The turning point came in 2002 when he had those first victories at national level. He’d just beaten the best sprinters in his age group in the country and his coach pointed that out in no uncertain terms a moment that instilled great confidence in him and from then on he gave it everything including a whole change in mental approach. Unfortunately in 2007 a hamstring injury resulted in Andrew although still phenomenal at 60m doubting he could ever be at his best at a 100. With a little encouragement from Linford as was one of the fastest starters out the blocks in the country he decided to make the switch to bobsleigh and the rest as they say is history.
Andrew when asked if his faith had been a factor throughout his life said “As a child I knew God was always there and that you could always go to God if you needed help” but he had never really thought much about how powerful faith could be till a lady in church told a miraculous story of recovering from being really sick. As a young boy we’re sure he’d heard of the the miracles that happened in the Bible but that was thousands of years ago and this was now and there was no denying that it was something amazing. when we asked Andrew how that changed things he said “It made me believe even more, I knew the things I’d heard about God doing amazing things were true and even though I wasn’t perfect or good all the time, I knew he would help me too.” Andrew said From that point on at around the age of 9 he’s always believed that God always has something good waiting for him just around the corner despite all the challenges he’s faced that belief never changes.
At the end of Andrew’s story he finished by saying this, “I hope my story will give you kids hope to realise that we aren’t superheroes, we are just the same as you and the guys like us you see on tv are within reach. Look at me I never dreamed I could actually get to the Olympics and now I’ve been to two.”
With 2022 not that far away we wouldn’t bet against Andrew making it to a third and achieving so much more than he already has. With God in his corner, whatever happens, he knows there’s no way he can ever lose.