World Champion and two-time Olympian set to focus on his family and injury management and rehabilitation career
Olympic rower and World Champion Sam Beltz today formally announced his retirement from rowing. Beltz represented Australia at the Beijing 2008 and London 2012 Olympic Games, as well as at multiple World Rowing Championships and World Rowing Cups.
The 36-year-old Beltz, who with Anthony Edwards, Ben Cureton and Todd Skipworth, won gold at the 2011 World Rowing Championships in the Lightweight Men’s Coxless Four, last competed for Australia at the 2014 World Rowing Championships in the Lightweight Men’s Four but has made the decision to now formally retire from the sport.
“I have been part of the Australian Rowing Team since 1999 and the sport will always be one that I have a great connection but after some time away from it post the 2014 World Rowing Championships I have now made the decision to formally retire.
“At the end of 2014, I made the decision to take some time out from the sport to consider my options and whether I wanted to continue rowing and aiming for a place in Rio, or to look beyond that at my injury management and rehabilitation business and also spending time with my young and growing family. The decision, while it took some time to make, is the right one for me.”
Beltz won a number of medals in his time rowing for Australia, beginning in 1999 when he represented Australia in an U23 crew at the Nations Cup in Hamburg where he claimed a bronze medal in the U23 Lightweight Men’s Quadruple Sculls.
Beltz later went on to win a silver medal in the Lightweight Men’s Quadruple Sculls at the 2003 World Championships in Italy, a silver medal in the Lightweight Men’s Four at the 2010 World Rowing Championships and of course the following year claimed the World Championship title in the same boat class in Bled, Slovenia.
Born in Hobart, Tasmania, Beltz rowed out of Lindisfarne Rowing Club and trained with the Tasmanian Institute of Sport while also studying and working as a physiotherapist.
“I have to thank everyone who has been so supportive of my rowing career, the numerous coach and athletes, as well as of course the TIS who supported me for many years. I would specifically like to thank John Driessen and Antonio Maurogiovanni for their support in my early years and also Brett Crow for his role in our performances in 2010, ’11 and ’12.
“I would also like to thank Rowing Australia and all those involved in the Australian Rowing Team for the last 15 years for the support they have afforded me over the years. Finally, I have to of course have to say a special thank you to my wife, Emma, and my whole family who have sacrificed a lot to see me row for Australia.”
General Manager – Sport, Jaime Fernandez said: “Sam has been a leader within the Lightweight Men’s rowing program and Australian Rowing Teams for many years, over 15 to be precise. We wish Sam and his family all the best with his retirement and future endeavours.”