My OBE feels like public telling me well done, says Olympic rowing champion

Olympic rowing champion Andrew Triggs Hodge has said he is a "very lucky human being", as he revealed that receiving an OBE feels like a well done nod from the public.

Triple gold medal winner Mr Triggs Hodge was part of the crews that won gold in the coxless fours in Beijing and London, and helped power the men's eight to victory in Rio last year.

The 38-year-old, who is also a four-time world champion and won a European title in 2014, received the honour during an investiture ceremony at Windsor Castle on Friday.

Andrew Triggs Hodge at the National Rowing Centre in Caversham (Nick Potts/PA)
Andrew Triggs Hodge at the National Rowing Centre in Caversham (Nick Potts/PA)

Bestowed the accolade for his services to the sport, he described picking up his OBE from the Queen as a "fantastic day".

Asked how the honour stacks up amongst his collection of Olympic golds, he said: "The Olympic medal you win for yourself - it is all about what you do, all the training and the sacrifices you make.

"I hold a medal and that is my point of pride - this is something that, along with all the other people who receive this award, feels more like a nod from the public - a well done.

"And it is a special thing to have, but for me it takes the medals outside of just my own accomplishments."

Describing what it feels like to cross a finish line knowing you have won the Olympics, he said the first emotion is one of relief, quickly followed by one of elation.

"In Rio, especially, the race was an impeccable race - it was an outstanding performance. And just to have done that, we knew what we were capable of and we delivered it. The relief was palpable," he said.

"Then very quickly it becomes elation - that you've won the Olympic Games... that you've done something really cool with a bunch of great guys and that is permanent - all that feeling of joy. I am a very lucky human being."

Great Britain's Men's Four of (left to right) Pete Reed, Andrew Triggs Hodge, Alex Gregory and Tom James celebrate winning gold at London 2012 (Stephen Pond/PA)
Great Britain's Men's Four of (left to right) Pete Reed, Andrew Triggs Hodge, Alex Gregory and Tom James celebrate winning gold at London 2012 (Stephen Pond/PA)

Triggs Hodge announced his retirement from rowing after the games in Rio, when asked how he is finding this new period in his life, he said he "had a great run in the sport".

"I'm very lucky to have found a job which I'm really passionate about," he said, revealing he is now working at Thames Tideway Tunnel to build a super sewer in London.

"I am an environmentalist, I have got a water management background, so this job is a perfect segway between where I have been and where I want to get to," he added.

"I do count myself as very, very lucky because I know that very few other athletes will leave sport in such a way."

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