For their champion efforts at Tokyo 2020, Australia’s eight Olympic gold medallist rowers have been awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) as part of the 2022 Australia Day Honours List.
The rowing athletes are among 24 Australian Olympians from the Tokyo Games to receive an Honour. There were also 13 Paralympic Gold Medallists who were honoured.
In winning Gold, the Women’s Coxless Four, consisting of Annabelle McIntyre, Jessica Morrison, Rosemary Popa and Lucy Stephan, became the third female crew in Australia’s history to be crowned Olympic Champions and the first four-member female crew to win an Olympic Gold Medal.
The crew won their heat and advanced to the final where they defeated a fast-finishing Netherlands and won the Gold Medal by a slender margin of just 0.34 seconds.
The Men’s Coxless Four, consisting of Alexander Hill, Jack Hargreaves, Spencer Turrin and Alexander Purnell, also made history as they broke Australia’s run of three consecutive Olympic silver medals in this event. The timely result came almost 25 years to the day since Australia last celebrated gold medal success in this race, at the Atlanta Olympics in 1996.
The crew defeated Silver Medallists Romania and Bronze Medallists Italy, with a surge to the line that resulted in victory by a margin of 0.37 seconds.
AOC President John Coates congratulated all the athletes on their achievements.
“So much has been said about these athletes and their wonderful Teammates. We are so very proud of every one of them – and we can be that little bit prouder today with this group honoured by their country in this way.
“We all know what every athlete had to contend with to just get to the start line in Tokyo, let alone reach the pinnacle as gold medallist in their sports.
“We thank their families and sports who helped them achieve this honour,” he said.