Rising Star – August 2015
At age 21, New Zealand’s up and coming rower, Thomas Murray, already has a great deal of experience to his name and medals to prove it. Three years ago, he won his first world championship medal, gold, in the junior men’s coxed four. He then went on to win two under-23 World Championship titles in the men’s eight, in 2013 and 2014. And now he has joined the senior ranks, with his most recent success being a World Rowing Cup bronze in the men's eight in Lucerne, just a few weeks ago.
World Rowing caught up with Thomas Murray to discover more about this promising athlete.
Rowing is a sport that suits me best, because.... "Rowing takes you to your breaking point and teaches you to bend rather than snap" - unknown. Nothing I've ever come across pushes me like rowing. I love the feeling of accomplishing something I didn't know I could do. It takes you across the world and introduces you to people who, I'm pretty sure it's safe to say, you wouldn't have met otherwise.
I like racing in the men's eight, because... after nearly three campaigns together, the number of inside jokes is ridiculous. Quite often it only takes one word, or in some cases, one pulled face to set the guys into uncontrollable laughter. Having such a big group of guys to share the races and the experiences with is hugely rewarding.
The qualities I most appreciate in my teammates are… dependability and definitely their humour, ha!
If I could form a dream men’s eight crew with any of the rowing athletes in the world, I would pick… I don't think there is another combination out there that would make me as excited to get into the boat and race as the one we have now.
The rowing venue I like most… Lake Ruataniwha, New Zealand. The memories and home crowd are hard to beat.
My favourite training session is... Bungees. I will always moan and groan when I see it on the programme, but being able to just let loose and get rowdy is always a good time.
As a pre-race ritual… I try to stay away from rituals, the lead up to one race can be a lot different to another and rituals can get in the way of being adaptable. They are also too close to superstition and I'm not superstitious… because that's bad luck.
What keeps me rowing is… the constant and varying challenges rowing throws at you. Be they physical or mental, they are sure to test you.
My sporting hero is... Rather than having one sporting hero, I take a lot of inspiration from the athletes around me. The work ethic and determination that I'm surrounded by on a daily basis is what I look up to.
If I was an animal, I would be… easily the Mantis shrimp. This shrimp can see colours we can't even imagine! (http://theoatmeal.com/comics/mantis_shrimp
a link to show just how incredible this little unassuming crustacean really is!)
In my fridge, you will always find… some fizzy drink and a lot of empty space, nothing seems to stay in there very long.
What I most like about travelling to Europe is… I don't have much love for the cold, so escaping the New Zealand winter is always a pleasure.
If I could have dinner with any three people in the world… If we are talking people that have been of this world: Genghis Khan, Julius Caesar and Alexander of Macedon. Assuming they all bring a translator each, I would be fascinated to hear the story of their lives as told by them. If we are talking about people here and now: Harry, Tom and Corey, three friends I don't see enough of.
My non-rowing friends think… I'm off gallivanting the world. They are not far wrong.
In ten years’ time… retired somewhere with my feet up. Dreams are free of course - haha.