Ian Wright (rower)

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Ian Wright
Personal information
Birth name Ian Andrew Wright
Born (1961-12-09) 9 December 1961 (age 55)
Wanganui, New Zealand[1]
Residence Switzerland
Occupation Rowing coach
Height 189 cm (6 ft 2 in)[1]
Weight 90 kg (200 lb)[1]
Sport Rowing
Club Hamilton Rowing Club

Ian Andrew Wright (born 9 December 1961) is a former New Zealand rower who won an Olympic bronze medal at the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul. Wright has won 31 national titles during his career. After his rowing career ended, he became a coach and his Swiss lightweight men's four team won gold at the 2016 Summer Olympics.

Rowing career[edit]

Wright was born in 1961 in Wanganui, New Zealand. He moved to Hamilton and became a member of the Hamilton Rowing Club.[2] He had Harry Mahon as his rowing coach.[3]

Wright won two medals at the 1986 Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh. He won silver with Barrie Mabbott in the coxless pair and bronze in the eight.[4][5] At the 1988 Summer Olympics, Wright won bronze in the coxed four along with George Keys, Greg Johnston, Chris White and Andrew Bird (cox).[6]

At the 1989 World Rowing Championships at Bled, Yugoslavia, he won a bronze in the men's four with Bill Coventry, Alastair Mackintosh, and Campbell Clayton-Greene.[7]

At the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, Wright finished 11th in the coxed four.[4] At the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, he came 13th in the coxless four.[4]

During his career, he has won a total of 31 New Zealand titles with the coxed eight (12 titles), coxed four (7 titles), coxless four (7 titles), coxless pair (2 titles), and coxed pair (3 titles).[4]

Coaching career[edit]

A teacher, Wright was involved in rowing coaching school and age-group at national level. He coached several Maadi Cup winning squads at both St Paul's Collegiate School and Hamilton Boys' High School.[4] He is described as "intense" and speaks his mind, which does not sit well with some people. He is held in high regard by those who have been coached by him.[8]

In late 2014, Wright was appointed head national coach of Switzerland.[3] He has led the lightweight men's four to become the 2015 world champions.[9] A year later, the same boat won Olympic gold at the Rio Olympics.[3][10] Wright resigned from his Swiss coaching role in September 2016 and is expected to return to New Zealand.[11]


  1. ^ a b c "Ian Wright". Olympics at Sports-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved 30 September 2016. 
  2. ^ "Ian Wright". International Rowing Federation. Retrieved 30 September 2016. 
  3. ^ a b c "New Zealand's Ian Wright guides Switzerland to rowing gold at Rio Olympics". Stuff.co.nz. 12 August 2016. Retrieved 30 September 2016. 
  4. ^ a b c d e "Ian Wright". New Zealand Olympic Committee. Retrieved 30 September 2016. 
  5. ^ "Edinburgh 1986 Commonwealth Games". New Zealand Olympic Committee. Retrieved 29 October 2016. 
  6. ^ "Men's Coxed Four – Final". International Rowing Federation. Retrieved 4 October 2015. 
  7. ^ "Men's Four – Final". International Rowing Federation. Retrieved 4 October 2015. 
  8. ^ "Rowing: Wright overlooked for coaching job". The New Zealand Herald. 13 April 2005. Retrieved 22 October 2016. 
  9. ^ "(LM4-) Lightweight Men's Four - Final". International Rowing Federation. Retrieved 30 September 2016. 
  10. ^ "(LM4-) Lightweight Men's Four - Final". International Rowing Federation. Retrieved 30 September 2016. 
  11. ^ Anderson, Ian (14 September 2016). "Kiwi Olympic gold medal-winning coach Ian Wright leaves Swiss rowing job". Stuff.co.nz. Retrieved 30 September 2016.