Paris Olympics: Rower Jordan Parry's windy road back to Olympics contention after motorbike crash

Even on the cold Karapiro mornings, Jordan Parry's just happy to be here.

"I thought that was my rowing career," Parry told Newshub.  

Because when you find yourself lying in a ditch after falling off a motorbike, the ankle hurts, mind wanders, and fingers start typing.

"The first thing I did was I got off and I sat in the ditch and was like 'what's the difference between a sprain and a break', because the sensations feel really wrong. It said, tingling, numbness, and I was like, 'damn it'. Both."

A trip to the hospital, once his mates got out of a McDonalds drive through, confirmed not just one break, but three.

More than a year since the accident, the Tokyo Olympian still has plates in his ankle, and won't have them taken out until later in the year, though he's been told he'll never be 100 percent again.

Jordan Parry.
Jordan Parry. Photo credit: Photosport

"They said I'll have the arthritis and all of that to look forward to. I hate hearing that. I'm like, 'can we not?' It makes me say 'no I won't, I'll rehab'."  

Then in the middle of his rehab, the news he'd be replaced by Tom Mackintosh in the single scull. Mackintosh had been part of the historic men's eight crew in Tokyo. 

"I was in a full cast, on my crutches, and we go into a meeting with one of our directors and selectors. In a room with Tom Mackintosh, Robbie Manson and Tom Murray. I remember T-Mac announcing he wanted to go for the single and I'm sitting in my elevated cast thinking, 'that's my seat that I wanted'," he reflected.

It's a decision he's still not at peace with, though was determined to get back, even if that meant changing boats.

"I really adopted an attitude of this is the card that we've drawn so I'll just take it chunk by chunk."

Ironically, he's now teamed up with another former single sculler who's battled his own single selection saga - Robbie Manson.

Manson was with Ben Mason, though Parry will now join him in the double scull for next month's World Cup two in Lucerne, Switzerland and, likely, the Olympics.

"Coming together has made us quite a bit stronger I think. Going through trials of our own and then we come together, it's pretty nice."

And yet despite all of those trials and tribulations: "I think I'm the happiest I've been. It's funny, eh? I wouldn't recommend it though," he laughs. 

You wouldn't think so.