Sports Writing

Annie’s first book, Mind Games: Determination, Doubt and Lucky Socks – an Insider’s Guide to the Psychology of Elite Athletes, was published by Bloomsbury in 2019.

It was described in The Guardian by Donald McRae as ‘A fascinating book about the psychology of elite sport. Mind Games explores compelling territory. It asks searching questions about the mentality required to succeed at sport’s highest level while mining themes of self-doubt, determination, competitiveness and why “talent needs trauma” to blossom.’

A tour de force of elite sport, nerves, expectation and pressure from all perspectives.’ (Sir Matthew Pinsent)

There is no better person to shed light on the fascinating subject of sports psychology than two-time World Champion, Olympian and talented sports journalist, Annie Vernon (Chrissie Wellington OBE)

Annie Vernon is a freelance sports writer for a number of publications including the BBC Sport website where she had a column in the run up to the London 2012 Olympics. Having been an elite athlete herself, she has a unique perspective and can write with passion and empathy.

Of all the interviews I’ve done, Olympic ones too, I felt that you understood best what I was trying to say, and asked the most thoughtful questions.

As well as doing the main BBC commentary on the inaugural Women’s Boat Race, Annie made a short film for the BBC about women’s rowing, broadcast on BBC News on 3 March as part of the Pioneering Women in Sport series.

Annie had a double-page spread in The Times analysing the business case for women’s sport sponsorship.

She was also commended by Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson for her work promoting women’s rowing in the House of Lords debate on 5 March 2015.

In 2018 Annie was an ambassador for the campaign to secure funding for the Stadium for Cornwall. The project was approved with a mixture of central government and Cornwall Council funds in April 2018 and work has started.

Sports stars backing stadium campaign

I love the challenge of communicating what it is about sport that makes it so human, so emotional, so visceral

Recent work

Sexism in elite sport exists but men and women are different – let’s celebrate that The Times, 21 March 2019

Paralympics offer footballer new hope after assault the ended his career – The Times, 29 August 2016

Steering Towards Gender Equality – Lane4, 21 July 2016

Sandhurst to Beijing – Contrasting Cultures in Two Elite Environments – Lane4, 7 March 2016

Former royal bodyguard to hear Britain’s security team – The Times, 28 December 2015

Katherine Grainger glories in tides of change – The Times, 29 August 2015

A year to go before moment that could change your life – The Times, 5 August 2015

No easy option for GB rowers – The Sunday Times, 5 July 2015

“It presumes guilty until proven guilty” – The Times, 20 June 2015

Judy Murray insists that it’s different for girls – The Times, 5 June 2015

Women’s Sport Pioneers: the Women’s Boat Race – BBC, 3 March 2015

Girl Power – Sport Magazine, 9 April 2015

Why Cornwall needs a Stadium – West Morning News, 19 February 2015

Judging retirement is a difficult business – The Times, 1 February 2015

Seventh heaven as women’s rugby prepares to pursue the Olympic dream – The Times, 29 January 2015

Katie Swan shows she is also a great Briton – The Times, 30 January 2015

Funding cuts threatened as sport participation drops – The Times, 29 January 2015

End of an era as World Cup winner Gary Street leaves England post – The Times, 26 January 2015

Get in touch with Annie about writing

September 2012: An emotional farewell & back to reality (BBC)

September 2012: Proud & confused: but that’s sport (BBC)

August 2012: After the party comes reality of a new life without rowing (Western Morning News)

July 2012: Hard work is done, time for nerves of steel (BBC)

July 2012: Period of greatest pressure (Western Morning News)

July 2012: Tunnel vision (Western Morning News)

July 2012: Olympic hopes laid bare in Germany (Western Morning News)

July 2012: Inside the Olympic bubble on training camp (BBC)

June 2012: The biggest event of 2012! (Western Morning News)

June 2012: Golden skies, bronze necks and tables turned in Munich (Western Morning News)

June 2012: The eight: noisy, aggressive, fast & furious (BBC)

May 2012: World Cup battles (Western Morning News)

May 2012: Sacrifices made are the same for first & last (Western Morning News)

April 2012: If you are serious about winning get used to tag of favourite (Western Morning News)

February 2012: GB rowers battle tan lines and tight jeans (BBC)

February 2012: Having an extra crewmate on board may well be worth its weight in gold (Western Morning News)

December 2011: Every day is Christmas Day for us athletes (Western Morning News)

November 2011: Going back to rowing’s roots (BBC)

September 2011: Learning to live with losing < (BBC)

August 2011: International rowing to the letter(BBC)

March 2011: One day on training camp (BBC)

December 2010: Ashes inspire as tough winter begins (BBC)

November 2010: New Zealand on a high for World Championships (BBC)

July 2010: Hooked on Henley (BBC)

June 2010: Balls and bumps, plus World Cup success (BBC)

April 2010: London Olympians should embrace home pressure (BBC)

March 2010: The Other Boat Race (BBC)

March 2010: Family and friends do more than kiss and cry < (BBC)

November 2009: Bookshelf provides inspiration and relaxation (BBC)

August 2009: Dust settles on world silver (BBC)

August 2009: Olympic obsession (BBC)

July 2009: Life goes on, out of Olympic spotlight (BBC)

June 2009: From Beijing to Mongolia, then back to the boat (BBC)