Australia’s Kim Brennan claimed three honours at the 2016 Hancock Prospecting Rower of the Year Awards at the National Arboretum in Canberra.
Brennan triumphed at Rio 2016 in the women’s single sculls competition, which ended Australia’s eight-year wait for an Olympic rowing gold.
Her achievement saw her receive the inaugural Gina Rinehart Rowing Leadership Award at the ceremony.
The honour will be awarded on an annual basis to an athlete who is an outstanding representative of the sport, having consistently performed on the world stage and demonstrated outstanding leadership.
Brennan, who was included in the Australia Day honours list earlier this week, was also presented with the Female Rower of the Year and Rower’s Rower awards.
“Kim has displayed the conviction, character, dedication and more, necessary to be one of Australia’s best athletes, and she truly deserves all of the recognition she has worked so hard for,” said Rinehart, the billionaire mining magnet, who has been a firm supporter of Rowing Australia.
“Kim’s win in Rio was fantastic, and watching the race I know that every Australian there and watching on TV at home thought it was a stunning performance which saw her break Australia’s eight-year Olympic rowing gold medal drought.
“This is no doubt an extraordinary triumph and one that will go down in Australian Olympic history.”
Australia’s quadruple sculls, who won a silver medal at Rio 2016, were announced as the winners of the Male Crew of the Year.
Brennan’s coach Lyall McCarthy would receive the Coach of the Year honour, while Terry Mulligan was named Volunteer of the Year.
A special presentation honoured five recently retired Australian Rowing team members, in recognition of their contribution to the sport.
Olympic gold medallists, David Crawshay and Scott Brennan, along with world champions Sam Beltz, Elizabeth Kell and Gavin Bellis among those celebrated.
The event was supported by the Hancock Prospecting Group and the Georgina Hope Foundation, with both organisations chaired by Rinehart.
The organisations extended their status as the principal partner of Rowing Australia and the Australian rowing team through to 2020 after the Rio 2016 Olympics.
They also supported swimming and volleyball athletes in the build-up to the Games.