By Shelby Brooks
AS a member of the Oarsome Foursome, Drew Ginn has had his fair share of Olympic success with three gold and one silver medal across four Olympics.
Born in Leongatha and raised in Inverloch and Cape Paterson, Drew actually began his competitive journey as a BMX rider when he was a teen.
Drew transferred from Newhaven College to Scotch College in Year 9 and in Year 11, a maths teacher recruited Drew to rowing.
“I loved water sports as a kid and I was athletic,” Drew said.
“So I had a natural affinity to it.”
But he did fall in the Yarra River in the first 10 minutes of being in the boat.
“That’s something they don’t teach you- how to get back in,” Drew said.
“I wouldn’t have found rowing if it hadn’t been for boarding school, because unfortunately it’s a private school sport, its costly.
“I did start really late to the sport, but I was part of a good healthy community competition sport from an early age [with BMX and surfing].”
After graduating from Scotch in 1992, Drew progressed to state and then national level before making the Olympic team for the 1996 Atlanta Olympics as part of the Oarsome Foursome, winning gold in the coxless four.
Drew compared winning gold to being a child at Christmas time, having never experienced a Christmas before.
But rowing in a team with the men he considered to be his own heroes was surreal.
“Standing there with a gold medal around your neck, you’re thinking ‘I can’t believe, add a few expletives, I’ve got a gold medal’.”
By the 2000 Olympics, Drew had unfortunately ruptured a disc in his back and was unable to compete.
“There was a lot of envy and frustration but I got to watch on from the sidelines,” he said.
He won gold again in Athens and Beijing and silver in London.
“The 1996 Olympics was very special because it was the first time,” Drew said.
But he also has fond memories of London 2012, knowing it was the last of his career.
“It was nice to experience that with younger members,” he said.
“You don’t know what you don’t know at the start but then you know what it all means and help young members achieve their dreams.”