Tokyo Olympics: Kiwi world rowing champion Zoë McBride announces shock retirement

  • 22/03/2021

Kiwi rower Zoë McBride has announced her shock retirement, coming at the age of 25 and just months out from the Tokyo Olympics.

McBride won two world titles in the lightweight double sculls and two in the lightweight single sculls. Alongside double sculls crew member Jackie Kiddle, McBride was among the favourites to medal at the rescheduled Games.

But in a statement this morning, the 25-year-old confirms she's walking away from the sport entirely.

''Sport at an elite level can be very challenging, and my own mental well-being and the mental wellbeing of others will remain a focus of mine," McBride says. "I hope to offer support and guidance in this area to younger athletes in the near future.

''Representing New Zealand has been an absolute honour and whilst the decision to retire was difficult, it has given me an opportunity to reflect on all that rowing has provided me with. 

"I am very proud of what I have achieved in sport and I look forward to the next stage of my life.''

McBride will remain in Cambridge to pursue a career in marketing, with a focus on women's health. Meanwhile, teammate Kiddle will continue training as part of the New Zealand Rowing high performance programme.

New Zealand Rowing will announce its elite squad this week.