GUEST speaker at last week’s Ballarat Sportsmen’s Club dinner was Kim Brennan AM, Australian and Olympic Rowing Gold Medallist. Kim was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia, having served as flag bearer at the 2016 closing ceremony in Rio after winning the women’s single sculls; but it was the three-time Olympian’s mentorship that resulted in her being honoured for: “significant service to rowing, to the welfare of elite athletes, to sport as a gold medallist at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, and to the community”. “I was very proud coming back with the medals. I think sometimes it doesn’t really hit you until you get home, the impact of the Olympic Games, but I think doing things like going back to your club, your family, your school, your community and seeing the joy it brings – it’s pretty cool,” she said. “There are greater opportunities (after winning) but at the same time I think the things I value in life are still the same. I like spending time with my family, being home, walking the dog – the small things. “There is a real sense of satisfaction but at the same time life moves on.” Kim has stepped away from rowing and has a new career.
“I work full time at IT & People Advisory Services, which is really different but really fun, it’s a very different life to rowing a boat for 8 hours a day but it’s actually nice to have a career change,” she said. “I haven’t made a firm decision as to whether I will return to rowing or not but I’m taking a break from sport. “I started rowing in 2005 and made my first team in 2006 and then it was 11 years on the national team to get there.” Kim added she has been lucky because her family always emphasized the importance of life outside of school (her father is footballer Max Crow. “I was fortunate to be able to pursue a career while I was training and I think that meant I had a broader perspective as to what was important,” she said. “I could see sport as something that was exceptionally fulfilling but if I didn’t win that gold medal it would still be okay and I think having that knowledge really helps to be able to go out and perform when it happens.”