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Mark Hunter

Full name: Mark John Hunter
Gender: Male
Height: 5-11 (181 cm)
Weight: 163 lbs (74 kg)
Born: July 1, 1978 in London, Greater London, Great Britain
Affiliations: Leander Club, Henley-on-Thames (GBR)
Country: GBR Great Britain
Sport: Rowing

Medals: 1 Gold, 1 Silver (2 Total)

Biography

From a less privileged background than the majority of British rowers, Mark Hunter’s early life was centered around the river Thames. He learnt to row on the river as a member of the Poplar Blackwall & District Rowing Club and at 16 was apprenticed to be a Thames waterman with the intent on pursuing a career ferrying passengers along the river. After being a regular member of the national junior and under-23 programmes he progressed to the senior team in 2001, dropping into the lightweight category in the process. He was a member of the lightweight eight that reached the final of the 2001 World Championships but thereafter switched to the four, an Olympic class, in preparation for the Athens Olympics. The crew had a modicum of success on the road to Athens but had to be content with a victory in the C final and a lowly 13th place overall at the 2004 Games. In 2007 he was chosen to partner reigning world lightweight single sculls champion [Zac Purchase] in a double with the intent of contesting the 2008 Olympics. The pairing met with immediate success and were bronze medallists at their first World Championship together. Hunter and Purchase then maintained a perfect record throughout the 2008 season and won every race they contested up to and including the Olympic final. He then spent a year as an assistant coach at UCLA in California before returning to action in 2010. The duo won two further world titles in 2010 and 2011, when Mark was the British Olympic Association’s Olympic athlete of the year for rowing. Hunter and Purchase looked like retaining their Olympic title in 2012 and had victory in their sights until it was snatched form them in the final stages of a dramatic race by 6/10ths of a second. It was Hunter’s last major competition because he announced his retirement at Henley on the opening day of the 2013 Regatta, when he was also elected as a Henley steward. In February 2014 he was made the programme director at London Youth Rowing

After qualifying as a Waterman & Lighterman on the River Thames in 2002, Hunter became a Freeman of the Thames and as an apprentice in 2000, teamed up with John Dwan to win the commemorative Millennium Coat and Badge special double sculls race. Hunter is a keen all-round sportsman and likes football, cycling, badminton and swimming, and is a life-long supporter of West Ham United Football Club.

Results

Games Age City Sport Event Team NOC Rank Medal
2004 Summer 26 Athina Rowing Men's Lightweight Coxless Fours Great Britain GBR 13
2008 Summer 30 Beijing Rowing Men's Lightweight Double Sculls Great Britain GBR 1 Gold
2012 Summer 34 London Rowing Men's Lightweight Double Sculls Great Britain GBR 2 Silver

Men's Lightweight Double Sculls

Games Age City Sport Team NOC Partner Phase Unit T L
2008 Summer 30 Beijing Rowing Great Britain GBR Zac Purchase Final Round A Final 6:10.99 3
2008 Summer 30 Beijing Rowing Great Britain GBR Zac Purchase Semi-finals A/B Heat One 6:29.56 3
2008 Summer 30 Beijing Rowing Great Britain GBR Zac Purchase Round One Heat One 6:13.69 3
2012 Summer 34 London Rowing Great Britain GBR Zac Purchase Final Round A Final
2012 Summer 34 London Rowing Great Britain GBR Zac Purchase Semi-Finals Heat One
2012 Summer 34 London Rowing Great Britain GBR Zac Purchase Round One Heat Two

Men's Lightweight Coxless Fours

Games Age City Sport Team NOC Phase Unit T
2004 Summer 26 Athina Rowing Great Britain GBR Round One Heat Two 6:05.57
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