Olympic rower Sonia Waddell has revealed plans to pursue a lifelong dream away from the water by training to become a vet.

Sonia and her Olympic gold medal-winning husband, Rob Waddell, told the Australian Women's Weekly they would move from their home in Cambridge to Wanganui next year if she was accepted to study veterinary science at Massey University.

The Waddells said they could not discuss their plans with the Herald because of a contractual arrangement with the magazine.

But in the article, they said they were determined to continue their training.


Sonia comes from a sporting family - her father, Alistair Scown, played five tests for the All Blacks in the 1972-73 season and brother Hayden represented Waikato in rugby last season - and she hopes to eventually resolve "unfinished business" at the Olympics.

While Rob has said he is unlikely to compete in the sculls again, he confessed that he started thinking of a second gold medal moments after winning his first in Sydney.

He also revealed how the heart condition he was diagnosed with in 1993 had worsened in the months leading up to his Olympic performance.

Heart specialists had to double the dose of medication he took to control contraction of muscles in the upper part of his heart so he could continue his training.

Rob told how he, like Sonia, was thinking about life after rowing, and hoped to build a career in computer programming.

The couple spoke to the magazine about their relationship and described their first meeting, in 1993.

Sonia was with Hayden, who had just returned from overseas.

Rob said he thought to himself, "You're home only two days and you have this gorgeous girl on your arm. How did you do that?"

Then Hayden said, "Have you met my sister?"

The couple said they were best friends and were looking forward to the rest of their lives together. They wanted to start a family, although that belonged in the long-term future.