James Fox, GB’s most successful Paralympic rower, to hang up his oar

Following an outstanding 10-year career that saw him unbeaten in the boat, James Fox MBE, Great Britain’s most successful Para rower, is retiring from the GB Rowing Team

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James Fox (centre) with the Para mixed coxed four at Tokyo (c) ParalympicsGB/imagecomms

James started rowing aged 11 and made his GB Para squad debut in 2013. He has won gold at five World Championships, one European Championship and at two Paralympic Games in both Rio 2016 and the delayed games of Tokyo 2020. He is also the current World, European and Paralympic Champion and holds the world record for the fastest Para-row in the mixed coxed four alongside his team mates Ellen Buttrick, Giedre Rakauskaite, Oli Stanhope and Erin Kennedy (cox) – pictured above.

“I’m really proud of what we have achieved over the last 10 years, both on and off the water”

Speaking about the decision to retire, James said: “I have loved my time in the squad and it really has changed my life, but it’s time to step away and apply what I have learnt from the Team into a new venture, whatever that may be.

“For the past 18 years I’ve spent most of my time talking about what’s next – 2k PBs, hopes for the world champs, how long it is until the Paralympics – but I’m now in the enviable position where I can only look back at my career.

“I’m really proud of what we have achieved over the last 10 years, both on and off the water, but what means most to me is that I am able to bow out on my own terms. I’m not injured or ill and I’m stepping away at my peak. As rowers, we constantly tread a fine line between training hard and overdoing it, and I’ve been caught on the wrong side of that line a few times, so this isn’t always the case. I feel incredibly fortunate to have the choice.

“It really does take a village and, if anybody has some pliers, they all deserve a chunk of the medals”

“They say you become the product of your surroundings and I’ve had some fantastic people giving me a nudge the whole way from taking my first strokes at Peterborough City Rowing Club, moving on to University of London Boat Club and then earning my stripes at Caversham. It really does take a village and, if anybody has some pliers, they all deserve a chunk of the medals.”

Nick Baker, Paralympic Head Coach for GBRT said: “James Fox has been a relentlessly driven and successful member of our team, often the joker in the pack and the loveable rogue, but also the most successful Paralympic rower GB has produced. We wish him all the best for whatever comes next and I hope he stays in touch!”

GBRT Director of Performance, Louise Kingsley added: “James has been an important  member of the Paralympic programme over a 10-year period where the standard of the event has risen steeply and the race distance has doubled.

“To start at the top and keep progressing to stay at the top is a very impressive achievement and a testament to James’ dedication. I am sure James will be successful in whatever he turns his hand to in the future.”

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