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Nathan Twaddle Retires From Rowing


Former World Champion, Olympic medal and Halberg Award winning rower Nathan Twaddle has announced his retirement from the sport.

Nathan (32) had recently announced his intention to carry on through to London 2012 after finishing seventh in the men's quad scull at the Lake Karapiro World Championships in November but has since had a change of heart.

Twaddle is one of the top performers in New Zealand rowing’s recent history, with nine national titles including the single and the rowing pair. It was in this latter boat that he carved out a successful international career, starting with Rob Hellstrom and international medals in 2003 before teaming up with George Bridgewater to take the World Championship title in 2005 in the famous Gifu Kiwi medal haul. The duo went on to take two more silver medals, Olympic bronze in Beijing and eight further FISA World Cup medals, four of which were gold. Accolades and awards followed, including the Halberg Team of the Year title in 2005.

"I loved being a rower but I don't feel I have the potential for medal performances in me," he explained. "It has become clear over the last month that even with my desire to get to London, my ability to overcome the odds and push to get myself there has waned. To continue on without that drive wouldn't have produced the result and would have been unfair to both my crew mates and my family.

"I know this may come as a surprise given my public intention to focus on the London Olympics. However I did say then that I had no desire to be there just to take part. I wanted to at least be a contender for a podium performance. I have already had the privilege of attending two Olympic Games and being a medallist. If I’m not able to give the training 100% then I am standing in the way of someone else becoming not only an Olympian but hopefully an integral part of a medal performance that I'm no longer sure I can deliver."

"I am incredibly grateful for the opportunities that rowing has given me over the past 20 years. I have been lucky to be part of our sport’s recent rise to prominence and I am very proud of my small part in making the black singlet respected internationally and cause for celebration at home."

“I have had the most amazing support from my family, friends and sponsors over the last 12 years; they deserve the biggest public acknowledgement I can give. No sporting experience is done in isolation, my time as an athlete would not have been possible without the example of those legends that went before, the talent of the athletes I rowed with and against. I also want to acknowledge coaches and administrators, most of whom do it purely for the love.”

Twaddle - who has a wife Andrea and a young son William – now plans to step from a successful sporting career into a working one. "Combing the skills and knowledge I’ve gained from my experiences as a professional athlete with the business and finance studies I’ve been able to complete, I’m confident there are exciting opportunities ahead."

He also plans to keep his oar in and stay engaged with sport. “Rowing and sport in general will be a lifelong connection for me. I’m keen to continue my role with adaptive rowing, particularly with the opportunity to build from Danny McBride’s recent World Champs success. Also as part of the NZOC athlete’s commission and a recent senior athlete within rowing, I hope I can continue to effect positive athlete involvement in shaping sport.”


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