Olympic gold medallists Eric Murray (left) and Hamish Bond
in Queenstown yesterday. They said they were not sure if
they would commit to racing at the Rio Olympics in four
years' time. Photo by Tracey Roxburgh.
Two of New Zealand's Olympic gold medallists say the
possibility of rowing in an eight is a real one, but no
decisions have been made.
Former Dunedin man Hamish Bond and his rowing partner, Eric
Murray, who blitzed the competition in the men's pair final
at the London Olympics, gave one of their first formal
speeches since their victory in Queenstown yesterday to the
Property Council of New Zealand national conference.
When asked about rumours the pair would join fellow Olympic
gold medallist Mahe Drysdale and others to form an eight,
Murray said the pair had given it some thought.
"We've got some people that are there; the problem is we need
people that have a similar drive and focus as what we've got.
"We haven't seen anything really inspiring from the guys that
went away last year - they went away, [didn't] qualify and
then spent 13 weeks eating and getting fat."
Bond - who has only put on 1kg since the Olympic final - said
the sport's funding was determined on a performance-based
model and, in recent years, New Zealand had enjoyed success
in smaller boats.
While the pair said rowing in the 2016 Rio Olympics was "on
the cards in some way or another", no firm decisions had been
"Your heart's got to be in it," Murray said. "It's easier to
do it when you're winning ... but it's a four-year
The pair said they were largely unaware of the hype building
in New Zealand before their Olympic race, and any pressure
they felt was self-applied.
"It was going to be us that was going to be far more
disappointed than anyone else [if we lost]," Bond said.
Murray said it was the first time the pair had raced with
stands on both sides of the course.
"Coming down into that last 500m you can just hear the noise
picking up and when you hit the stands it was like white
After crossing the finish line there was the trademark Murray
fist pump, followed by a water slap from Bond - signs of
"elation and a sense of achievement", combined with "a huge
element of relief".
However, following the medal ceremony Bond said he
experienced a degree of "aimlessness", having spent four
years focusing on the race.
"What do you do now? It was quite bizarre.
"Having had that single purpose for the past four years and
[it] being completed, you'd think you'd get this massive
sense of self [satisfaction], but you're a little bit lost as
Since returning to New Zealand, Murray said life had been a
"We just go about our daily routine as rowers and go about
our business trying to succeed on the world stage, but there
has been so much enjoyment [for us] seeing the reaction."
While Bond had not yet found time to visit his parents in
Twizel, the men would be in Dunedin next weekend to watch the
All Blacks take on South Africa at Forsyth Barr Stadium
during their three-month break.