2012 Golden Girl announces retirement

Just under 12 months ago, Sophie Hosking became Olympic Champion on the waters of Dorney Lake with Kat Copeland in the lightweight women’s double scull. Today she returned to the scene of that triumph not as a rower in training but as an ambassador for the World Rowing Cup that is taking place there this weekend (June 21-23).

Because Hosking after a year of reflection has decided to call time on the rowing career during which she made her senior World Championships debut in 2006, also at Dorney. She will be turning to books rather than boats in the next 18 months as she studies law before taking up a training contract with Freshfields – a company that likes to support elite athletes into their second career.

“After the Olympics I knew it had to take some time out from rowing to gain some perspective on what we had achieved and to explore whether or not I had the same drive to continue training and competing at the highest level. After much thought I have decided to retire”, said Hosking, now aged 27 but who took up rowing aged 14 on a sports scholarship at Kingston Grammar.

“For me this is in no way a negative decision but recognition of a feeling of completion as an athlete. I feel that I put all of myself into the sport over the past twelve years and I am very proud of the athlete I became and the results that I achieved” she added.

“I would like to thank everyone who has helped me in my career, to whom I owe so much of my success: my coach Paul Reedy for his inspiration, selfless dedication to our cause and unwavering belief and confidence in me; everyone that I have raced with over the years, especially my doubles partners Hester Goodsell and Kat Copeland, the memories you have given me over the years beneath all the TV footage, I will always cherish; also my family who have been my absolute rock through all of the highs and lows”.

Hosking, who was made an MBE in 2013 for services to sport, already has an undergraduate degree in science and for some of the 2008-2012 Olympiad still worked part-time in scientific research.

Now she will do a law conversion, starting this September. “I am really excited by this new challenge. Law has always appealed to me and I really enjoyed the buzz of the environment and being surrounded by incredibly motivated people”, she said.

Will Lawes, Senior Partner of Freshfields said: “Sophie has achieved success at the very highest level in her sports career. In doing so Sophie has faced very demanding situations and learnt to cope with them exceptionally well. At Freshfields we believe that those skills are transferable, and we look forward to welcoming Sophie when she begins her training contract with us.”

Hosking remains an enthusiastic supporter of the GB Rowing Team and will be there at the weekend to cheer them on. “I would like to wish the GB Rowing team the best of luck in the upcoming World Cup and for the rest of the season”, said Hosking.

The whole event this weekend is likely to evoke golden memories of the Olympics for Hoskings but also for Olympic champions Andy Triggs Hodge, Peter Reed and Helen Glover who will be racing there.

The famous “Dorney Roar” looks set to surface again with pre-sales tickets already sold out for Sunday 23rd and Friday 21st but there is still a chance to witness the action up close on Saturday 22nd.

Further ticket information is available at www.wrcupetondorney2013.com.