Born in Cheltenham, Zac Purchase MBE is an Olympic medalist who won Gold & Silver at the London 2012 Olympics in rowing. He is also a three times Gold, two times Silver and bronze medalist in the World Championships in the Men’s Lightweight Double Sculls.
Whilst a pupil at King’s School Worcester he started rowing in 1999 and went on to compete in the sport at the Junior World Rowing Championships in 2003 and 2004.
Having developed a natural stroke as an oarsman in 2005, he went on to compete on the World Cup circuit in the lightweight men’s single sculls before becoming the Under23 World Champion in 2005 in Amsterdam. He later went onto take a Silver in the 2005 World Rowing Championships in Japan. In 2006 Zac won his first World Cup at Lucerne before becoming World Champion in 2006 at the Dorney Lake World Rowing Championships.
In 2007, Zac partnered with Mark Hunter in the Great Britain Lightweight Men’s Double Sculls. The partnership went on to win Bronze at the World Rowing Championships in Munich. In 2008 they dominated the lightweight event with a tally of further medals and race wins culminating in the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, setting a new Olympic world record.
In 2009 he was honoured with an MBE for services to sport.
The successful partnership continued in 2010 at the World Championships picking up Gold in New Zealand.
At the London 2012 Olympics, Zac and Mark both picked up a Gold and Silver medals in the Lightweight Double Sculls cementing one of the most successful rowing partnerships.
Zac Purchase announced his retirement from the sport on the 3rd February 2014