Aug 9 2012 By Paul Warburton
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HE HAS the biggest lungs in sport – and Olympic gold medallist Pete Reed can’t wait to put them to good use strolling up and down his favourite street in his home town of Chiswick.
The man who helped retain Team GB’s rowing fours title at Eton Dorney on Saturday plans a few more trips to Turnham Green Terrace – just around the corner from where he lives.
And Reed, who turned 31 on the day of the London 2012 opening ceremony, reeled off a string of shops and restaurants in which he plans to spend even more time now his Games are over.
He said: “I moved to Chiswick because it was a fantastic area between London and the training centre in Reading.
“I love all the little shops and restaurants there because they’re not big chains. And if I get stopped on my way to one in the next week or so for an autograph or photo – I welcome it. It’s a nice place to be.”
Team GB were certainly in a nice place when they repeated their Beijing win, thanks in no small measure to a man whose lung capacity dwarfs that of other sporting greats.
And the best bit about it is the former Oxford Blue, who is also a double world champion rower, overcame asthma to breathe deeper than anything known to man.
In May 2006, during a routine physical test at the English Institute of Sport, he notched an amazing lung capacity 9.38 litres. The physiologist even tested Reed twice as he wondered whether the equipment had malfunctioned.
Reed’s oxygen intake easily topped former rowing great Matthew Pinsent (8.5 litres), while most regular adults have a standard lung capacity of around six litres.
At the same testing session, he was diagnosed as borderline asthmatic and prescribed an inhaler to improve his breathing efficiency. One cure later, and tests then revealed his lung capacity had risen to 11.68 litres.
The US-born rower who also tried American football for a laugh, then revealed it was no joking matter when it came to winning Olympic gold for the second time.
He said: “Leading into 2012, we trained six hours per day, seven days a week, with a day off every fourth or fifth Sunday. We competed up to four sessions per day, on the water, on the rowing machines and in the gym, as well as casual exercise like running. But I love my sport.”