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UK Athletics

grabarz mad on cars

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Robbie Grabarz Cars
03 April 2014

Better known for his high jumping, Robbie Grabarz is a self-confessed car fanatic, so after putting all the driving puns to one side, we quizzed the man himself on where this love came from.

“Throughout my whole childhood I just loved cars – toy cars, remote controlled cars and anything that had four wheels to be honest! My dad’s into cars, my brother’s into cars and I’ve kind of always been interested too. I saved up for my first car from the age of 16 so that I could buy the car I wanted and I’ve never looked back since I started to drive.”

Grabarz has always been forthcoming for his love of cars, openly admitting that if he weren’t an athlete he’d be restoring antique cars for a living. So when we asked him if he’d done work on his latest set of wheels, a 1989 Mercedes 190 E, himself we were surprised by his answer.

“I actually paid a garage to do some work on it the other day as I didn’t want to get on the floor and do it myself! Usually it is me carrying out the work though, assuming the weather, training and competitions permit.”

We caught up with Robbie a few weeks back during a tour of the MG Motors plant in Longrbridge, Birmingham, home of British Athletics’ latest sponsor and as a local boy you could definitely detect excitement in his voice.

“I’ve never been to a car factory before but I definitely find it interesting. It’s what I expected really, but it’s really cool to see it in motion, especially when the cars are actually being made and built here in Birmingham daily.”

Moving from tarmac to tartan, the obvious starting point is his performance when securing Olympic bronze in front of a home crowd in London. The energy of the crowd on that evening was something only trumped by ‘Super Saturday’, and we talked to Robbie about the impact of a home crowd on your performance, especially with Glasgow 2014 on the horizon.

“I’ve just got to get myself in great shape and enjoy competing, and after that the rest kind of falls into place. The key is getting out there, enjoying myself and ensuring the crowd get behind me, and usually I’ll jump high. The two main aims in my life are to jump high, and enjoy myself!”

Asked where which of the two he needs to put his focus on, Grabarz insisted that when he is enjoying himself he usually jumps high. “Once you’ve got the two hand in hand, you can just relax and stop putting that extra pressure on yourself. That’s when the big jumps come”.