One of the more unusual experiences was the decision of New Zealand’s Olympic Champion in the men’s pair Eric Murray to step into the boxing ring for a bout against a  rugby league player known as ‘the beast’. The boxing fight, with two sportspeople standing up against each other was staged for charity, but there was no doubt of the seriousness of the match when the two athletes stepped into the ring. Murray and his opponent Manu Vatuvei were given the top billing with the press, prior to the match, expressing doubt in Murray’s ability to hold his own against such a strong challenger.

Murray managed to win points in the three rounds while Vatuvei was declared the winner. After spending his time focusing on learning boxing skills, rowing training will soon start again for Murray.

Also punishing his body, but doing it with no human contact, Australia’s Todd Skipworth (fourth in the lightweight men’s four in London) recently completed the Canberra half Ironman. His time of 3.53 for the swim – bike – run placed him tenth overall and first in his age group.

An interview with Skipworth can be viewed here.

Meanwhile 2008 Olympic Champion in the men’s single sculls, Olaf Tufte of Norway, has been busy promoting his new line of bamboo fibre boxer shorts.

Julien Bahain, who raced in the men’s double sculls in London for France has announced that he plans to row the Atlantic Ocean. Bahain, along with partner Patrick Favre, hope to break the record for the crossing.

Bronze medallists in the women’s pair, Juliette Haigh and Rebecca Scown of New Zealand left rowing behind and headed to Kenya for a volunteering stint. Haigh and Scown were placed in a slum project where they helped in a school. Haigh then returned to New Zealand and soon after her return she announced her retirement from competitive rowing while Scown plans to continue.

As expected, there has been a number of post-Olympic retirement announcements and coming into the 2013 season some athletes are still waiting to decide.