‘Nice to be recognised’: rowing, cycling champ

Hamish Bond in action with the New Zealand men’s eight at the 2019 World Rowing Championships in...
Hamish Bond in action with the New Zealand men’s eight at the 2019 World Rowing Championships in Regattaverein Linz-Ottensheim, Austria. Photo: Getty Images
Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit (CNZM)


North Carolina

For services to rowing

Hamish Bond is moving to Dunedin in the next year or so and he will have something fancy to stick in the sock drawer of the new house.

The 36-year-old three-time Olympic gold medalist has been made Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to rowing in the New Year Honours.

"It is not the reason you do the things you do but it is nice to be recognised," he told the Otago Daily Times from North Carolina where he lives with his wife and three children.

Wife Lizzie is an orthopaedic surgeon and is completing a fellowship at Duke University, so Mr Bond has switched roles from elite athlete to stay at home dad to Imogen (4), Phoebe (3) and Finlay (1).

The couple plan to move to Dunedin once Lizzie has completed her fellowship.

It is a home-coming of sorts for Bond. He discovered rowing while boarding at Otago Boys’ High School as a 13-year-old.

He went on to have an incredible career.

Mr Bond formed a remarkably successful partnership with Eric Murray

and the pair won back-to-back Olympic gold medals in the coxless pair (2012, 2016) and were unbeaten between 2009 and 2016, stringing together 69 consecutive wins in the discipline.

They won seven consecutive World Rowing Championship titles in the coxless pair and a further two in the coxed pair.

Their world best times in the coxed pair, set in 2014, and coxless pair from 2012 still stand. They won 16 World Rowing Cup medals and have had 11 wins at the Henley Royal Regatta, two wins at the Holland Beker, and 14 domestic wins in New Zealand.

It was an extraordinary effort which brought more accolades. They were named Supreme Halberg Decade Champions in 2021, and in 2018 they received International Rowing Federation’s Thomas Keller Medal for their outstanding career.

When the pair eventually split, Mr Bond turned to cycling and won bronze on the bike in the time trial at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in 2018.

But he returned to rowing and was part of the winning men’s eight crew at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021.

Mr Bond was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the 2013.

Now a parent, those long hours out on the water preparing for greatness seemed like a breeze.

"I’ve won a few gold medals but I’d put this job right up there with them in terms of difficulty. From two [children] to three was an exponential increase not an addition."