Politics/Peace process

Robin Dixon, Lord Glentoran - Gold Olympic Medal

World class sportsman and Gold medal winning Olympian Robin Dixon, Lord Glentoran brought home Gold for Great Britain and Northern Ireland in 1964

Major Thomas “Robin” Valerian Dixon, 3rd Baron Glentoran, CBE (born 21st April 1935) is a former British bobsledder and Northern Irish politician, known as Robin Dixon. He is a former Conservative Party Shadow Minister for the Olympics.

Dixon was educated at Eton and Grenoble in France. After university, he served with the Grenadier Guards from 1954 to 1966 including service in the Cyprus Emergency

In 1964, Dixon was granted leave from the army to participate in the 1964 Winter Olympics at Innsbruck, where he won the gold medal in the Two-man Bobsleigh as brakeman to Tony Nash and was awarded a MBE a year later. Nash and Dixon also won three medals in the two-man event at the FIBT World Championships with one gold (1965) and two bronzes (1963, 1966).

Dixon retained his sporting links throughout his life: he was President of the Jury at the 1976 Winter Olympics, set up the Ulster Games Foundation in 1983, and was appointed Chairman of the Northern Ireland Tall Ships Council in 1987. He has been President of the British Bobsleigh Association since 1987

By the time, Dixon had left the Army in 1966 with the rank of Major, he had also served with 3 Para and the SAS in the Cyprus and Borneo conflicts, and gone into business at home in Northern Ireland. “My family felt it was time I started contributing to the life of the province,” he explains.

He went on to work for Kodak in their public relations department and in 1971 joined the Northern Irish business, Redland Tile and Brick Ltd, which he built up into a multimillion-pound subsidiary of Redland plc and became Managing Director.

In 1983, he was appointed High Sheriff of Antrim.

Upon the 1995 death of his father, the 2nd Baron Glentoran, Dixon inherited his title, and he retired from business in 1998.

Dixon was Chairman of Positively Belfast from 1992 to 1996, Chairman of the “Growing a Green Economy” Committee from 1993 to 1995 and has been Shadow Minister for Northern Ireland, Shadow Minister for Sport and Shadow Minister for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. He is also a member of the British-Irish Parliamentary Body.

Lord Glentoran was one of 92 hereditary peers that remain in the House of Lords after the passing of the House of Lords Act 1999, and sat on the Conservative benches until his retirement from the House on 1 June 2018, travelling frequently from his family home, Drumadarragh House, near Ballyclare.

Dixon and his driver, Tony Nash, were inducted into the British Bobsleigh Hall of Fame as a result of their success. A curve at the St. Moritz-Celerina Olympic Bobrun is named for both Nash and Dixon. He was appointed a CBE in 1993 for services to Northern Ireland and Industry.