Best of British Events welcomes Linford Christie OBE to Brighton

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Last week, more than 500 business leaders attended Best of British Events at the Grand Hotel Brighton, to meet Athletics legend, and ultimately the most decorated British Athlete in History Linford Christie OBE

Christie is a Jamaican-born former sprinter and athletics coach who represented Britain.

During the event, Christie shared his story of growing up in Jamaica and moving to Shepherds Bush, in London, at the age of 7 years old. His career started when he was first seen by his teacher, who saw him run across the playground and noticed his speed. He then went on to train for the school team and the rest was history.

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“Initially I thought I had all the talent in the world, and I didn’t need to train. But I was wrong," he said.

Linford Christie (left) with Presenter and Comedian, Aaron James.Linford Christie (left) with Presenter and Comedian, Aaron James.
Linford Christie (left) with Presenter and Comedian, Aaron James.

"My coach wrote me a letter and told me if you can change your lifestyle, you could be really good. After a discussion with my family, I gave it a try. I sacrificed a lot – I gave up chocolate, sweets, and alcohol. I increased my training to six days a week. Within six months I went from being 104 in the world to fourth.”

Christie went on to become the only British man to have secured gold medals in the 100 meters at the four major competitions available to British athletes: the Olympic Games, the World Championships, the European Championships, and the Commonwealth Games. Christie was the first European to run the 100 meters in under 10 seconds and held the British record for nearly 30 years.

He was also the oldest Olympic 100-meter Champion by four years, having won gold at the age of thirty-two. Christie discussed the challenges he faced as a mature runner but firmly believed in the power of mindset. Despite the limitations others presented to him, while he still believed, it could still be achieved.

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He said: “I was told that I was too old from the age of 26. I was unbeaten in Europe for eight years. But I was still told I was too old.

Best of British Events at The Grand Hotel, Brighton.Best of British Events at The Grand Hotel, Brighton.
Best of British Events at The Grand Hotel, Brighton.

“Belief is the biggest thing. If you don’t believe in yourself, how can you expect anyone else to believe in you. So I changed my mindset. I never got into a race that I thought I couldn’t win. And if I didn’t win, my best wasn’t good enough. That was my attitude.

“I was born to run, there is no doubt in my mind about it. But you have the have the right people around you to help you and a lot of people just don’t have that. I was lucky.”

This prestigious networking event was in aid of the Chailey Heritage Foundation– a Sussex based charity dedicated to changing the lives of young people with complex disabilities. The charity providing education, care and transition services to children and young adults.

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Gareth Germer, CEO Chailey Heritage Foundation said: “It was an honour for our Specialist Services, which make such a difference to the children and young people at Chailey Heritage, to be supported by Best of British and the inspirational Linford Christie.

Headline Sponsors, Rubix VTHeadline Sponsors, Rubix VT
Headline Sponsors, Rubix VT

"We rely on supporters like Best of British and all their guests to fund essential services like Hydrotherapy, therapeutic riding, and our on-site therapy farm. The film showing the progress a young pupil, Faith, has made at Chailey brought it home to everyone the impact their support makes to children with complex disabilities. We are hugely grateful and would like to thank everyone involved with putting on such a fantastic event!”

Guests included business leaders from Rubix VT, Creative Pod, Extech Cloud, Bennett Oakley Solicitors, Webtrends Optimize, Sussex Business Times and Dev Assist.

Ryan Heal, CEO of Best of British Events said: “Linford’s story was very inspiring, and it was an honour to welcome him to The Grand Hotel to explore his story and wins. With his support and the generosity of guests and sponsors, we raised in excess of £25,000 for the Chailey Heritage Foundation.”

The Best of British event hosts a range of leading business networking events and fundraisers across Sussex and London. For more information please visit: https://bestofbritish.org.uk