Marlborough Express

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.

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