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I come from a family of three boys, and was born in Wadestown, Wellington in 1983. I went to school in Wellington, and went away to boarding school when I was 9 years old.
How did you get into rowing?
My parents were keen for me to row because I was a lazy teenager! My English teacher at Wellington College first suggested I try it out.
What key things helped you succeed in rowing?
Discipline, keeping to my goals, and motivation.
What are your major achievements?
Olympic bronze medal 2008
Silver medal World Championships 2006–07
World Champion 2005
What do you like to do when you’re not rowing?
Eat, sleep, and study.
Describe a typical day’s training.
6:00 – Wake up and eat a light breakfast
07:00 – Rowing
10:00 – A big breakfast (baked beans, eggs, bacon, or toast)
11:00 – University study
12:00 – Weights session
01:30 – Light lunch
03:00 – Rowing
05:00 – Study or relax
07:00 – Dinner
09:00 – Bedtime
What were some of the major challenges you have faced and overcome?
My team did not pick me for the ‘rowing four’ team in 2003, which I found hard. So, I came back and won the following year at the national championships.
Who are some of the people who have influenced you?
My friends, team members, and family.
How do you deal with nerves in a major event like the Olympics?
I try to forget about it. I only think of the race when I need to, or the nerves get too much. Nerves help me perform well.
How important is food and nutrition to your performance?
Very important. I try to eat plenty of meat, vegetables, bread and pasta, and stay away from fast foods. I think the timing of when I eat is more important, than what I eat.
What are your goals?
Pass my Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree, which I am studying for at Oxford University in England.
Race in the Oxford-Cambridge university boat race next year - and win, of course.
What advice can you give to young people that want to get into rowing?
Do it! Rowing will help you with almost every sport, and you will make lots of friends.
What would you like to say to students who want to participate in the Olympics one day?
You will learn more about yourself than you would in most other environments. There are highs and lows, but you only ever remember the highs.