5 Jun 2014

Olympic rowing hero to become fire-fighter

6:40 am on 5 June 2014

Olympic gold medalist rower Joseph Sullivan has officially announced his retirement from the sport.

After missing initial selection for the international squad for the second straight year after the London Olympics, the Rangiora rower spent three months in limbo contemplating his next move.

He has decided to become a fire-fighter.

The 27-year-old was recently inspired to join the New Zealand Fire Service after meeting some fire-fighters while they competed alongside each other at the ANZA Challenge in April last year.

Sullivan made his international senior rowing debut in 2010 and had a quick rise to the top with Nathan Cohen in the men's double scull.

He has six back to back international titles to his name including three under-23 age group and three elite championships and also won four World Cup medals during his career.

He and Cohen were World Champions in 2010, 2011 and completed a hat trick in 2012 at the London Olympic Games where they won Gold.

Sullivan is a multiple New Zealand champion in the double scull and quad and also a multiple finalist in the Halberg Sports Awards.

Sullivan says he has many career highlights to choose from including winning three gold medals at the Maadi Cup (New Zealand Secondary School Rowing Championships) in 45 minutes for Queen Charlotte College with the pinnacle being the Olympic Gold medal in London.