New Year Honours: Eric Murray, MNZM, and Hamish Bond, MNZM

By Vaimoana Tapaleao

Members of the New Zealand Order of Merit, for services to rowing.

Eric Murray (left) and Hamish Bond plan to resume training early in the new year. Photo / Brett Phibbs
Eric Murray (left) and Hamish Bond plan to resume training early in the new year. Photo / Brett Phibbs

Olympic gold medallists Eric Murray and Hamish Bond will end a stellar year with another great achievement.

The pair have been named in the New Year Honours list and will become Members of the New Zealand Order of Merit for their services to rowing.

Murray told the Herald being named in the list was a privilege for both of them and topped off a year of highs.

"We just see it as a privilege to have even been asked. Hopefully this inspires other young Kiwis some way. We go out and talk to lots of different kids in schools and hopefully they see this as something that they can one day achieve also.

"I have a young son, Zachary, who is only 17 months old. Hopefully one day he'll see what I've done and if he can achieve big things too."

Bond said the recognition was a reflection of how their Olympic achievement had influenced the New Zealand public.

"It's almost selfish to say but we tend to think that we're rowing for ourselves. But when you come home and see how inspired people are by something you've done, then it's not an individual thing."

Murray said the honour was an achievement shared by their families, the public and particularly the rowing community.

Murray, on holiday with family in Cambridge, said he and Bond had enjoyed taking a break from rowing but were planning to get back into training early in the new year.

Bond said: "We're definitely going to get back into training, but right now I think I've had a little bit too much Christmas pudding."

Also celebrating being made members of the New Zealand Order of Merit were young scullers Nathan Cohen and Joseph Sullivan, who kick-started New Zealand's regatta with a thrilling come-from-behind gold medal.

"It's something I hadn't really even thought of or expected so it's quite a surprise," Sullivan said.

- NZ Herald

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