Celeb SAS: Who Dares Wins’ James Cracknell reflects on near-death head injury

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Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins' star James Cracknell found himself finishing in fourth place during Sunday night's tense finale episode.

The former Olympian, 49, became the eighth celebrity to leave the competition just moments after speaking openly about his head injury.

In 2010 during a cycling trip across America, James was hit by a fuel truck that was travelling at 70mph.

The rower suffered a frontal-lobe brain injury and was subsequently placed in a medically induced coma, while wife Beverly was left sat at his bedside for ten days, unsure if he would wake up.

Discussing his injury on Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins', James said: "The frontal lobes of my brain were badly damaged.

"That controls cognitive thinking, motivation, there's no doubt that I have changed," before he and co-star Alexandra Burke attempted to tackle one of their final challenges.

James was later praised on social media following his decision to walk away from the programme.

"Fair play to James Cracknell knowing his limits. Mental Health matters. #SASWhoDaresWins," said one.

While a second penned: "Seeing James go so late on in the game is a shock. #saswhodareswins."

"Well done James for coming this far. You've had a great journey #SASWhoDaresWins," wrote a third.

Previously speaking on the Channel 4 programme, James said: "The assumption of having had a serious brain injury is that that then defines the rest of my life and 'you won't be able to do that, you won't be able to do this.'

"My wife, well now ex-wife – she is an amazing woman and an amazing mother – but she always viewed me through the prism of that incident."

He continued: "For someone who you love unconditionally to chip away at your confidence and then me not to reach out to mates and hideaway, you're left thinking… The worst things about yourself, I've really struggled."

Explaining his experience on the show, James said: "I guess it's just that reflection on your life, the things you wished you said and could never say.

"It took me right back to the accident and being a day away from never seeing my kids again."

He insisted that nothing could prepare you for the challenges that are faced on the intense programme.

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  • SAS
  • Channel 4

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