Olympic rowing medallist Marburg announces retirement

OLYMPIC silver medallist James Marburg has ended his international rowing career.

The 29-year-old is retiring to spend more time at home and concentrate on becoming a lawyer. 

“I’m 95 per cent sure that I won’t be returning back to rowing,” said the Melbourne-based Marburg, who grew up and crafted his rowing skills in Ballarat.

“I’ve told my coach to ask me again in 2014.”

Marburg was a silver medallist in the men’s four at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.

He competed in his second Olympics in London this year, reaching the final in a pair.

He also rowed in five world championships, claiming a silver medal in the men’s four in 2009 and bronze 2010 in the eight. 

Marburg announced his retirement during a Victorian Institute of Sport schools visit in Ballarat yesterday.

He and Olympic beach volleyballer Tamsin Hinchley spoke to pupils about their Olympic experiences at Buninyong, Napoleons, Mt Pleasant and Wendouree primary schools. 

Injury is another factor in his retirement. He suffers from two bulging discs in his back. 

“I carried the injury through my Olympic campaign, and it was painful and really tough,” he said.

“I don’t want my condition to get worse.”

Marburg has not turned his back completely on competitive rowing though, getting involved in surf boats for Jan Juc. He competes in a sweep of four, with different people he has rowed with over the years. 

“For the past seven years I’ve spent eight months of the year away from home,” he said.

“While it was amazing to be constantly travelling, and I’m sure I’ll miss it, it’s time to settle down. 

“I have one year left studying law at Melbourne University. I want to finish my degree and start my career as a lawyer.”

While living in Melbourne, Marburg plans to ultimately move back to Ballarat to live, grateful for the opportunities the city gave him growing up.