Select Page

Two-time Olympic medallist Karsten Forsterling retires after 20 year rowing career


Olympic silver and bronze medallist and former World Champion, Karsten Forsterling, has announced his retirement from rowing.

Forsterling represented Australia at the London 2012 and Rio 2016 Olympic Games, as well as multiple World Rowing Championships in a rowing career that has spanned over two decades.

The 40-year-old Forsterling won silver at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games in the Men’s Quadruple Scull, alongside James McRae, Sasha Belonogoff and Cameron Girdlestone. Four years earlier he competed in the same event, at London 2012, winning a bronze medal alongside Dan Noonan, Chris Morgan and McRae.

Alongside Noonan, Morgan and McRae, Forsterling won the 2011 World Rowing Championships in the Men’s Quadruple Scull, while the Melbourne University Boat Club rower has five World Rowing Cup gold medals to his name.  Most recently, he helped Australia qualify the Men’s Eight for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, at the 2019 World Rowing Championships.

“I retire knowing that I hand over to a very capable group of younger rowers. There is some incredible talent in the Australian Rowing Team who will make us all extremely proud in Tokyo.

“The toll of training and time away from my young family was part of my decision to retire, however the admission that it was time to go came when I realised I enjoyed watching and would in fact see more of the race from the grandstand!

“I would like to thank my family, my club, Rowing Australia and the people who provided unwavering support over many years. This support, especially that of my wife Fiona and our three children, was responsible for me finding and keeping a home in rowing for so long,” said Forsterling

Rowing Australia Chief Executive Officer Ian Robson said, “Karsten has been an integral member of Australia’s men’s group for two decades, which in itself is an incredible milestone.   His performances on the world stage speak for themselves, but I am certain his proudest moments in the green and gold are when he won silver and bronze medals at the London 2012 and Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

“We thank Karsten for his significant contribution both on and off the water having also been a senior member of the Rowing Australia athlete’s commission during the 2016 cycle.

“To Fiona, we thank you for your support of Karsten during his decorated rowing career. You will all be missed by the Australian Rowing Team and Rowing Australia.  We wish you all the best in this next stage of life and look forward to staying connected well into the future.”


Career Podium Performances:



Quick Facts:

  • Represented Australia at 19 World Rowing Cups and 10 World Rowing Championships.
  • Born in Newcastle, NSW and member of the Melbourne University Boat Club.
  • Supported throughout his career by the Victorian Institute of Sport.
  • Member of the Reinhold Batschi Men’s NTC in 2019.
  • Member of the Rowing Australia’s Athletes Commission during the 2016 cycle.
  • Forsterling is McVilly-Pearce pin number 621 (A McVilly–Pearce number is awarded to every athlete who has represented Australia at a World Championships, Commonwealth or Olympic Games)