Matthew began rowing when he was President of the Oxford Rowing Club during his time at University. He took part in the Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race in 1990 and 1991, and lead Oxford to Victory, beating Cambridge by substantial distances.
In 1992, Pinsent won the Gold Medal at the Barcelona Olympics with partner Sir Steve Redgrave, this was the beginning of a long partnership as the outstanding pair took winnings at seven World Championships, and gold medals at the Olympic Games in 1992, 1996, 2000 and 2004.
In August 2000, Pinsent took part in a 3-part BBC documentary entitled ‘Gold Fever’. This followed the coxless four team made up of Redgrave, James Cracknell and Tim Foster, in the years leading up to the Olympics.
After the 2000 Sydney win, Matthew formed Coxless Pair partnership with James Cracknell. Undefeated throughout 2001, they broke the world record by 4 seconds.
Matthew was elected to the International Olympic Committee’s Athletes’ Commission in 2001.
Matthew announced his retirement from rowing in 2004 and was made a Knight Bachelor later that year. He had already been appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire and was raised to Commander. He was awarded the coveted ‘Thomas Keller Medal’ by the International Rowing Federation in 2005.
Since retiring from rowing, Matthew has worked for the BBC as a sports bulletin presenter and reporter. Umpiring & commentating key events on the rowing calendar such as the Olympics, Henley Royal Regatta and The Boat Races. Pinsent also directed “Unbelievable – The Chad Le Clos Story”, a documentary following swimmer Chad Le Clos.
In June 2012, Matthew rowed on the Gloriana as part of the royal pageant for the Diamond Jubilee of Elizabeth II. He appeared again on the Gloriana the following month, bearing the Olympic torch as it crossed the river Thames.
Matthew is an outstanding motivational speaker and after dinner speaker. He has appeared at corporate events for some of the most prestigious UK & International companies such as Proctor & Gamble, IBM, British Telecom, NatWest, Camelot and Lombard.