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RA media release: Drew Ginn announced as 2014 Thomas Keller Medal recipient

Australia’s most successful Olympic rower to date receives World Rowing’s highest honour

World Rowing today announced that Australia’s three-time Olympic gold medallist, Drew Ginn, has been announced as the recipient of the 2014 Thomas Keller Medal.

The Thomas Keller Medal is the most prestigious award in rowing and is in recognition of an exceptional international rowing career, the ‘type’ of career, technical mastery of the sport, sportsmanship and the ‘legendary’ aspect of the athlete.

Ginn was chosen as the winner by the Thomas Keller Medal committee following an extensive worldwide public nominations process.

The current Australian Rowing Team Head Coach – Integration was nominated alongside Iztok Cop of Slovenia, New Zealand sisters Caroline and Georgina Evers-Swindell and Great Britain’s Katherine Grainger.

Upon hearing the news Ginn said: “I am extremely honoured that Thomas Keller Medal committee has selected me to be this year’s recipient. I would also like to congratulate my fellow nominees this year, all of whom are as equally worthy of the honour.

“I consider myself privileged to join a group of individuals who have excelled in our sport, including three of my former Australian team-mates, Peter Antonie, Mike McKay and James Tomkins. I am grateful for the honour being bestowed upon me.”

Ginn shot to fame as part of Australia’s Men’s Coxless Four when they won gold at the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games. Following on from that Olympics, Ginn went on to medal at various World Rowing Championships in the Men’s Eight, the Men’s Coxed Four, Men’s Coxless Four and Men’s Pair.

At the 1999 World Rowing Championships, Ginn, along with James Tomkins (2010 Thomas Keller Medal winner), became World Champions in the pair setting themselves up as favourites for the 2000 Olympics. A back injury forced Ginn out of the boat and out of rowing at the eleventh hour. But Ginn’s tenacity and perseverance saw him back on form two years later and in 2003 he was again a World Champion. Ginn followed this up with Olympic gold in Athens.

After a post-Olympic break, Ginn returned with new partner, Duncan Free, and together they won the 2006 and 2007 World Rowing Championships. Leading up to the 2008 Olympic Games Ginn again suffered back problems. That didn’t stop him and he won another Olympic Champion title.

A back operation and a break followed the Beijing Olympics with Ginn declaring he would make a comeback in the men’s four. The four took on the British four to finish with silver at the London Olympic Games.

Ginn, who is currently in Italy with the Australian Rowing Team ahead of the World Rowing Cup 3, is well-known for his willingness to share his rowing ‘secrets’ as well as his outstanding rowing technique and is regularly used as an example of the ‘right way to row’.

His former coach and the current National Performance Director of Rowing Australia, Chris O’Brien said: “Having worked with Drew both as his coach and now as a member of the Australian Rowing Team coaching staff, I am delighted to see his achievements recognised by the Thomas Keller Medal Committee.

“Drew is passionate about mentoring and helping athletes to reach their potential and this accolade is a fitting reward to not only all his on-water achievements but his continued dedication to the sport of rowing.”

Rowing Australia Chief Executive Officer, Andrew Dee, echoed Mr O’Brien’s congratulations of Ginn and his achievements: “On behalf of Rowing Australia and all the Australian rowing community I would like to offer my hearty congratulations to Drew on being named the recipient of the 2014 Thomas Keller Medal.

“It is only fitting that Australia’s most successful rowing Olympian to date, should join some of the greatest names in world rowing in becoming a recipient of such a prestigious and highly regarded award.”

Information on the Thomas Keller Medal, including previous recipients and also the Committee can be found here:

For more information, please contact:

Lucy Benjamin
Rowing Australia – Media and Communications Manager
Mob: +61 457 744 434
Email: [email protected]