There’s something to be said for going out on top. In April, Eric Murray, one half of the most successful partnership in rowing—arguably all of sport—announced he was making his post-Rio sabbatical permanent. At 34, the two-time Olympic gold medalist and bow seat of the Kiwi Pair could easily have continued on to Tokyo 2020 with partner Hamish Bond. Their 69-race win streak would have likely continued too. But for Murray, life outside the boat beckoned. “I’ve done everything I wanted to in sport,” Murray told the New Zealand website, Stuff.
A sea change is coming. It’s something you’ve likely seen before, just in a different form. You’ve seen it in the evolution of every new idea, every innovation, and it shifts the paradigm just enough to let a breakthrough happen. For Paralympic rowing, this change is happening now, and when it is over our sport could wind up looking dramatically different than it does today.