Paralympic champion Pam Relph retires from rowing
PUBLISHED: 17:26 08 February 2017 | UPDATED: 17:26 08 February 2017
Double gold medallist bows out at the top
Double Paralympic gold medallist Pam Relph has announced her retirement from rowing.
The 27-year-old Histon-based oarswoman goes out at the top after taking victory in the LTA coxed four in Rio last year, adding to her success in London in 2012.
“I feel so proud to have been able to represent my country for the past six years and though it was a hard choice to make to move on from the sport, I feel so excited about life after sport,” said Relph.
“I have had the pleasure of rowing with some amazing athletes during my rowing career and I will miss being part of the best rowing team in the world.
“The one thing I definitely will not miss is the blisters. I tried for six long winters to toughen up my hands but to no avail. I even had tape on my hands during the Paralympic final in Rio!
“I’m looking forward to baby soft hands, racing the Virgin Money London Marathon in April, and planning my wedding.”
Relph had planned to join the Army in the Royal Engineers, but her young career was ended by arthritis. She went on to study physics at the University of Birmingham, graduating in 2011.
Having been introduced to the sport by sister Monica – also a former British rower – she won the first of four world championships in 2011 in a crew alongside Naomi Riches, David Smith, James Roe and cox Lily van den Broecke.
The four went on to earn victory in front of a home crowd at the Paralympics in London, and after a change in crew, Relph earned three more world championship medals between 2013 and 2015.
And she completed the Paralympic double when crossing the line first in Brazil, alongside James Fox, Grace Clough, Daniel Brown and cox Oliver James.
Sir David Tanner, British Rowing’s performance director, said: “Pam has been a real inspiration for Paralympic rowing over the past six years, helping our LTA coxed four become a dominant force in the sport.
“As a double Paralympic champion, Pam’s dedication and winning mentality will be missed by all those in the Great Britain squad and to upcoming rowers across the country.”