Did grime help Team GB win its first gold medal in Rio? I’m not saying it definitely did, but Adam Peaty, the medal-winner, is a huge grime fan. Yesterday (Sunday 7) he broke the world record for 100m breaststroke for the second day running at the Olympic Games. The Staffordshire 21-year-old’s final time – 57.13 seconds – was more than a second faster than he’d ever gone before arriving in Rio. He also became the first British man to achieve an Olympic swimming gold in 28 years. All this establishes that Adam Peaty is an outstanding athlete – but could grime have helped him get there?
Before the race he said he listened to Birmingham grime MC Jaykae. “It just sounds like Jaykae and all his mates singing about their lives,” he explained to The Guardian, “but in the call room [before the race] it will almost feel like I’ve got them behind me.”
Elsewhere, he’s gone into further detail about how it helps. “I like the dark undertow of grime and it gets me aggressive. You need that aggression. Grime reminds me that swimming is very gladiatorial. The roar of the crowd when you come out for a final is like nothing else: when 15,000 people are cheering you, a lot of adrenaline goes right through you.”
You can keep track of Peaty’s music choices on Twitter – it’s mostly grime, obviously. He’s been showing Skepta love for years:
…and he loves Dr Dre too
But his favourite musician is definitely Jaykae: