Double Olympic gold medallist Alex Gregory has announced his retirement from rowing - more than 12 years after pulling on a Great Britain vest for the first time.
Gregory’s Olympic successes came in the men’s four, continuing the GB boat’s unbeaten run at the Games in both London and Rio de Janeiro.
He made his GB debut in 2004 at the World U23 Championships in the quadruple sculls, following it up with fourth place in the double sculls in 2005, and finishing his U23 career in the single scull in 2006 before moving up to the senior ranks.
The Cheltenham-born rower’s first gold in London was in the men's coxless four with Pete Reed (from Nailsworth, Gloucestershire), Andrew T Hodge and Tom James. The men’s four rowed to victory on so called 'Super Saturday' in 2012.
He went on to complete a ‘golden Olympiad’, winning Worlds gold in the eight in 2013, the four in 2014 and the eight again in 2015.
Then he teamed up with a new crew in the men's four for Rio 2016. Alex was joined by Moe Sbihi, George Nash and Constatine Louloudis - they beat the second place Australian crew by nearly two seconds at last year's games.
“I’ve been incredibly lucky to pursue something I love for so long. Rowing has taught me so much about myself and those around me. Through the continued support of the GB Rowing Team, family and friends I found a way to reach my goals.
“I will miss being a part of something very rare and very special, especially in this incredibly successful era of British Olympic sport. It has been a privilege to represent my country in rowing and I’ll hold onto this time with very fond memories.
“I’ve only ever felt supported on my rowing journey so to coaches who have pushed and guided me, friends who have encouraged and understood me, public who have continually sent messages of support, crew mates who have pulled me across the line and family who have never faltered – thank you!”
Gregory graduated from GB Rowing Team’s Start Programme, having learned to row at Evesham RC and going on to race for Reading University BC.
Sir David Tanner, British Rowing’s Performance Director, said:
“Alex has been the consummate team player and crew maker. He can look back with a smile on his rowing career as one of the best GB rowers of all time. I wish him all the best and I am sure he will bring his many talents to bear on an interesting and successful career.”
Gregory, who was Leander Club captain in 2015, has three children with his partner Emily and is now looking forward to spending more time with his family and indulging in his passion for traveling and wildlife.
I’m now leaving the sport with far more knowledge and experience than when came into it so I aim to push myself into other areas, wildlife, the outdoors and adventure is where my passions lie. My family is now the priority, but I’ve learnt that if there’s something you want to do, you should just go and do it!