Olympic champion hangs up her oars
Olympic and world rowing champion Grace Prendergast has called time on her glittering career.
Prendergast, who announced her retirement yesterday, walks away from high-performance rowing as a reigning Olympic and world champion in the women’s pair, feats achieved alongside Kerri Williams (nee Gowler).
‘‘Rowing has shaped me into the person I am today and I never could have imagined the impact that it would have on my life,’’ Prendergast said.
‘‘I achieved more than I ever thought I was capable of and although I’ll miss everything that rowing has given me, I feel l have fulfilled my dreams and am proud of the career I have had.’’ Prendergast represented New Zealand at the Rio and Tokyo Olympics. The five-time world champion won gold with Williams in the pair and claimed a silver in the women’s eight at Tokyo.
A 15-time national champion, Prendergast
first represented New Zealand way back in 2010 at the world rowing junior championships where she won gold in the coxless four with Eve Macfarlane, Jenny Storey and Bea Heaphy-hall.
‘‘I’m fortunate to have so many amazing memories to look back on and celebrate, but it is the people who will stand out the most,’’ Prendergast said. ‘‘I owe so much to so many people and leave still loving the sport, the team, and everything that it has taught me.’’
In 2014 the dream team of Prendergast is now excited for the next chapter of her life, having achieved a bachelor of business studies and master of business studies at Massey University before completing a masters of philosophy in planning, growth and regeneration at Cambridge University in England.