|Full name||Alexander Mahé Owens Drysdale|
19 November 1978 |
|Height||1.99 m (6 ft 6 in)|
|Weight||100 kg (220 lb)|
Alexander Mahé Owens Drysdale, MNZM (born 19 November 1978) is a New Zealand rower. Drysdale is the current Olympic champion and five-time World champion in the single sculls. The name Mahé comes from the largest island in the Seychelles.
Drysdale attended Tauranga Boys' College in Tauranga, New Zealand, then the University of Auckland. He began rowing at university at the age of 18. He gave up rowing to concentrate on his studies, but began rowing again after watching fellow New Zealander Rob Waddell win gold at the 2000 Olympic Games.
Drysdale began competing at World Cup level in 2002, in the New Zealand coxless four. After the 2004 Olympic Games, in which his New Zealand crew finished fifth in the final, Drysdale switched to the single scull, winning the 2005 World Championships at Gifu, Japan, despite having broken two vertebrae in a crash with a water skier earlier in the year.
He successfully defended his title in 2006 at Dorney Lake, Eton, England, in 2007 at Munich, Germany, and again in 2009 in Poznan, Poland, holding off Britain's Alan Campbell and Czech Republic's Ondřej Synek. At the 2009 World Rowing Championships he also beat his own World Record in the single and reduced it to 6:33.35.
At his first Olympic Games, in 2004, Drysdale was part of the New Zealand coxless four team that finished fifth.
Drysdale was officially selected as New Zealand's Olympic heavyweight sculler for the Beijing Olympics on 7 March 2008. He was also chosen to carry the flag for New Zealand during the parade of nations in the opening ceremony. Unfortunately for Drysdale, a severe gastrointestinal infection in the week before his final saw him off form and he was only able to win the bronze medal in the men's single scull. The gold and silver medals went to Olaf Tufte from Norway and Ondřej Synek from the Czech Republic, respectively. Clearly suffering from his illness, after his race Drysdale was carried by life raft and then moved to a waiting ambulance. He was also seen vomiting. He was, however, able to stand to be awarded his medal.
At the 2012 Summer Olympics Drysdale won the gold medal in the men's single sculls, despite throwing up the morning of race day due to nervousness. He has since said he may not compete at the next rowing world championships but will attempt to participate in the 2016 Summer Olympics, and in the meantime may take on new challenges such as ironman and New Zealand's annual Coast To Coast multisport event. 
New Zealand national championships
Drysdale won the gold medal six times in single sculls at the New Zealand National championships through 2010. In 2011, he won the silver medal in single sculls at the 2011 New Zealand National Rowing Championships at Lake Ruataniwha in Twizel, losing to Nathan Cohen by two lengths. He reclaimed the national title in 2012, as Cohen took second. He did not compete in 2013.
Drysdale won the 2006 supreme Halberg award, the University of Auckland Young Alumnus of the Year Award in 2007, and was awarded Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to rowing in the New Years Honours 2009.
Drysdale won the Sportsground.co.nz Sportsman of the Year award in 2008.
Drysdale has also represented New Zealand in Canoe Polo as a Junior. He represented NZ in an Under 18 team that toured to Fiji. Later he was a NZ Under 21 representative that toured to Tonga. In 1999 – 2000 he was Executive of NZ Canoe Polo.
- New Zealand Olympic Committee profile[dead link]
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- Drysdale starts golden day throwing up
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- NZPA (15 February 2007). "Drysdale captures supreme Halberg Award". New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 22 February 2009.
- "Distinguished Alumni Award winners – Mahé Drysdale". University of Auckland. Retrieved 7 January 2009.
- "New Years Honours 2009". Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. Retrieved 7 January 2009.
- Auckland Sporting Excellence Awards, InfoNews. 12 December 2008.
|New Zealand's Sportsman of the Year