‘Eyes are weeping’ James Cracknell on ‘horrific’ point he was GASSED on SAS Who Dares Wins

SAS Who Dares Wins: Ulrika Jonsson rushed into ambulance

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Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins star James Cracknell, 49, recalled the sensation of being gassed during one of the programme’s tough challenges. The athlete described feeling like he was “burning” and experiencing an intense cough.

He said: “You feel like you’re burning!

“You go into it thinking it’ll be fine, you’ll have plenty of time to do what you need to do.

“And then as you start to burn, and then this is where coming out of it you realise how special these guys are, they can make snap decisions in the harshest of environments.

“I was just so confused, you’re given instructions on what to do but as soon as you get in there and take the mask off, the gas is totally disorientating and then instinct kind of kicks in.”

The double gold Olympic medallist explained that, during the intense moments, he failed to listen to the instructions.

He added: “So for me, years of flying on planes, you kind of remember how they always tell you to put your own mask on before helping other people.

“So that kicked in and I wasted time by not listening and remembering the instructions they’d given us. It was horrible.

“When you get out you’re coughing your guts out, your eyes are weeping, it’s horrific.”

James went on to describe his relationship with fellow contestants, who are also used to being in the media spotlight.

He said people participating in the show are “laid bare” and some might get a “real shock” when asked to perform some of the extreme challenges.

The Olympian said: “I think everyone got on really well. I’d met Shanaze before, I knew Kieron, but only watching him on TV. Same with Ulrika, I grew up watching her do the weather.

“So, those were the only people I had some sort of connection with.

“But everyone is laid bare in every way when you’re there. I think it’s slightly harder for people who haven’t done physical stuff or been uncomfortable, it’s like, ‘Okay, I haven’t prepared for this,’ it is a real shock.

“And the other thing is that if you pick up injuries, yes, you handle it differently from a sporting perspective than a military perspective, but you still get injured and cope with it.

“Whereas if you come from an art or TV background, it’s totally alien, having to take care of your body, knowing it will get better, that you have to trust your body a bit.”

James is joined in the programme by TV presenters Ulrika Jonsson, Saira Khan and Ore Oduba as well as TV personalities Kerry Katona, Vicky Pattison and Jake Quickenden, among other well-known faces.

Some of the mentally and physically demanding challenges the stars are asked to perform include being tear-gassed.

TV sports ­presenter Ore, 35, who also takes part in this edition described becoming “militarised” by the tasks.

Chief Instructor Ant Middleton will be testing the participants’ abilities alongside his team of Directing Staff (DS), Foxy, Billy, Melvyn and Staz.

Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins 2021 airs on Sundays at 9pm on Channel 4.

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