Four time Olympic Medal Winner
From a young age Drew was a stand-out athlete in several sports including BMX racing and had dreams of being an Olympian. After taking up rowing he rapidly rose to international level in 1994 in the under 23 Eight and was selected the following year for the open Eight at age 20. In 1996 he became the new member of the famous Oarsome Foursome and won his first gold at the Atlanta Olympics.
In 1996 Drew was also asked to give his first corporate presentation (based around his experience of the Oarsome Foursome) as part of an internal staff program called, ‘Sharing the Winning Feeling’. This was the start of his journey as a presenter and keynote speaker.
Since that time he has learnt how to engage an audience and draw people into those Olympic moments through his passion, the insights about performance, leadership, following, learning, teamwork, adversity, pressure, achieving goals and bouncing back after setbacks.
Drew shares in his keynotes and workshops what 20 years of elite training & competition teaches someone. What are the highlights? Insights? Learnings? Realisations? Mistakes? How can they apply to business and life?
The Rowing Story continues ...
A repeat gold performance followed by the Oarsomes at the 1998 World Championships as a coxed four and Drew won silver in the coxless pair with Mike McKay.
A win in the coxless pair in 1999 with James Tomkins meant they were clear favourites for the Sydney Olympics. However Drew was forced out of the Olympic team by a back injury that took two years of rehabilitation and enormous mental strength to overcome.
By 2002 Drew was clearly back in form coming fourth in the pair with Tomkins at the World Championships and then winning gold in 2003. The pair continued their victorious run at the 2004 Athens Olympics – a second Olympic gold for Drew.
During a year off rowing Drew competed in the gruelling Foster Ironman and returned to win gold at the World Cup and World Championships in 2006 in the coxless pair.
Afterwards, with the 2008 Beijing Games ahead, Drew linked up with Duncan Free, who had won bronze in quad sculls in 1996. They won two world titles together, then - despite further back pain for Drew during the Games - went on to win Beijing gold in commanding fashion.
Drew competed at his fourth Games in London where he was looking to win his fourth gold from as many attempts. Having won gold at the Athens and Beijing games in the pair he returned to the men’s four alongside William Lockwood, James Chapman and Joshua Dunkley-Smith in London.
The crew had finished with bronze at the 2011 World Championships before claiming a 2nd and then a 1st at World Cup events in the lead up the Games. Their strong form continued as they won their heat by almost three seconds and recorded a new Olympic record, before finishing second behind the British in the semi-final.
In what was an extremely close Olympic final, the Australians passed the halfway mark 0.61 seconds behind the British crew and were 0.69 seconds down with 500m to go. The British crew, buoyed by the home crowd support, managed to pull away slightly as the finish line approached eventually beating Drew and his crewmates by 1.22 seconds. , The team walked away with a Silver Medal from the Games.
Outside of rowing, Drew has been involved with a number of organisations including the KIDS Foundation, Bluearth Institute, Relay for Life and now Sports Mind Skills. He is a husband, a father, runs his own consulting business and has been appointed as Head Coach with Rowing Australia.