NZ Olympic rower Mahé Drysdale announces retirement

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Thu, 10 Jun 2021, 12:23PM
New Zealand's Mahe Drysdale after taking gold in the Olympic Games men's single scull rowing at the 2012 Olympics. Photo / Mark Mitchell
New Zealand's Mahe Drysdale after taking gold in the Olympic Games men's single scull rowing at the 2012 Olympics. Photo / Mark Mitchell

NZ Olympic rower Mahé Drysdale announces retirement

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Thu, 10 Jun 2021, 12:23PM

New Zealand Olympic great Mahé Drysdale has announced his retirement from competitive rowing, aged 42.

The two-time Olympic champion missed out on this year's Tokyo Olympics after Jordan Parry earned the single sculls spot.

Drysdale began rowing for Auckland University out of West End Rowing Club in 1996 at the age of 18.

He first represented New Zealand in 2002 in the men's coxless four and competed at his first Olympic Games in Athens 2004 finishing fifth in the men's coxless four.

In 2005 he moved to the single sculls, which he dominated to an unprecedented level for the next 12 years spanning three Olympic games.

Highlights include bronze at the 2008 Beijing Olympics followed by back-to-back Olympic gold medals in London 2012 and Rio 2016.

"It's been an amazing journey. Rowing has given me a huge amount and shaped me into the person I am today. I went from sitting on the couch watching the Olympics in 2000, to realising my dream of wearing the silver fern and winning three Olympic medals," Drysdale said.

"I wish to thank all those that have contributed to my journey, and rode out the highs and lows with me. I also want to thank the rowing community and the New Zealand public for all your support - I have taken huge pride representing you on the world stage and I hope I have made you proud."

Drysdale has won multiple World Rowing Cup and World Rowing Championship medals of every colour, including five World Rowing Championship single sculls titles, and three silver medals. He set the world's best time twice in 2006 and 2009 during his World Rowing Championship wins and set the Olympic best time at the Rio Olympics.

Drysdale and the late Simon Dickie are the only New Zealand rowers to win three Olympic medals. Internationally Drysdale's record in the single is unmatched by any other athlete.

Drysdale has won numerous awards during his long career. In 2009 he was the International Rowing Federation's male Rower of the Year. He won the Halberg Supreme Award in 2006 and was Sportsman of the Year in 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012 and 2016. He was awarded the Lonsdale Cup by the New Zealand Olympic Committee in 2009. Drysdale was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the 2009 New Year honours.