Martin Gough |

‘All eyes are on gold’ – Josh Bugajski on the men’s eight Olympic campaign

Josh Bugajski would have missed the Tokyo Olympics if they had taken place last year because of a freak injury. Just the latest in a list of things in his life that could have turned out differently. He speaks to Martin Gough

When Josh Bugajski, pictured above at centre, takes his place in the Great Britain men’s eight at the start of an Olympic summer like no other before it, he is unlikely to have either the time or the inclination to think about how different things could have been.

However you look at Bugajski, he is far from an average rower. Few can expect to make an Olympic debut aged 30. Only the best in the world can produce numbers on the rowing machine like he can. And many start rowing in the public school system, rather than his background on the edge of a council estate in Stockport.

“When I got on the rowing machine it felt like I didn’t have control of my right side; I finished the session in immense pain”

Even though he was firmly established as a Great Britain oarsman at the start of 2020, he would have missed the Tokyo Olympics had they been held last July, because of a freak injury that saw him ruled out of the squad last March.


At the start of last year, Bugajski flew with the squad to Namibia for a training camp. He thinks he slept in an odd position on the long-haul flight and woke up with a sore shoulder.


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