Australian rowing star is 2014 Thomas Keller medal winner
For immediate release
Lausanne, 3 July 2014
The World Rowing Federation, FISA, is delighted to announce that Australia's Drew Ginn will be the 2014 recipient of the Thomas Keller Medal for an Outstanding Career in Rowing.
Ginn was selected from an impressive group of finalists that included Caroline and Georgina Evers-Swindell of New Zealand, Slovenia's Iztok Cop and Katherine Grainger of Great Britain.
His achievements stood out with Ginn's list including being part of winning crews in the eight, four, coxed four and pair. He started his international career in 1994 at the age of 19. Two years later Ginn became an Olympic Champion in Australia's celebrated 'Oarsome Foursome.' This was the first of four Olympic medals, three of them gold. In between, Ginn collected five World Championship titles during his international career that spanned 18 years.
Known for his tenacity and positive attitude, Ginn endured two back operations, one caused him to miss the chance of winning gold at the Sydney 2000 Olympics. Then during the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, Ginn barely made it to the start line. He still went on to win gold in the pair along with partner Duncan Free before undergoing another back operation. Ginn used his setbacks to motivate his further successes stating, "Over time I have found each setback, although hard at the time, has actually been a great thing which I feel has helped make me a better athlete over all."
Ginn's back problems made him a master of discovering alternative training methods and encouraged him to learn to row as effortlessly as possible. His technique has thus been used as an example by coaches worldwide. These ideas Ginn freely shared with the rowing world. He now shares them with the next generation of rowers as the Australian team’s head coach.
The Thomas Keller Medal will be presented to Ginn on Saturday, 12 July 2014 during the World Rowing Cup finals in Lucerne, Switzerland. He will receive the medal from Dominik Keller, son of the late Thomas Keller, FISA's former President, at a gala dinner.
To view the list of previous Thomas Keller Medal winners, please click here.
About the Thomas Keller Medal
The Thomas Keller Medal is the highest distinction in the sport of rowing. It recognises an exceptional international rowing career as well as exemplary sportsmanship and legendary aspect. The award was named after the late President of FISA, Thomas Keller (Thomi). Born in 1924, Keller was elected President of FISA in 1958, at the age of 34 and was then the youngest-ever president of an international sports federation.
Following the 1988 Olympics, Thomi Keller spontaneously awarded the FISA Medal of Honour to Peter-Michael Kolbe and Pertti Karppinen to commemorate one of the greatest rivalries in the history of the sport and recognising their exceptional talent and sportsmanship. This shaped the idea of the Thomas Keller Medal which was initiated by the Keller family following Thomi's passing in 1989. It was first awarded to the great Norwegian oarsman Alf Hansen in 1990.
Each year, the winner is carefully selected by the Thomas Keller Medal committee, after a broad international nomination process, to ensure that the true values in which Thomi so strongly believed are represented in this award.