7:00am Thursday 19th July 2012
Andy Hodge may be one of the biggest names in world rowing, but he is happy to have a low profile.
Although Hodge won Olympic gold in the men’s four at Beijing, he is never besieged by autograph hunters outside his Oxford home – and he likes it that way.
The 33-year-old has been named in the men’s four for London and is happy to keep under the radar as they put the finishing touches to their preparations.
“We definitely don’t have the profile of the big sports like football and rugby,” he said. “You could argue we don’t even have the profile of the faces of the Olympics like Jessica Ennis, Chris Hoy and Phillips Idowu.
“There is a two-sided coin to that. “We do train incredibly hard, which doesn’t afford us the time to put ourselves in a prominent position.
“But equally it gives us a lot more freedom not to be pressured into doing things around training. “We are expected to get gold medals, but no-one expects to see us in the papers.”
The Hebden hero added: “It is easy to fall into the trap of doing too much outside training. But my ethos is that if I come home from training feeling alright, then I haven’t trained hard enough.
“I almost feel guilty by feeling good.” Hodge, however, loves the job he does – effectively a professional rower.
“At the end of the day, the standard of rowing Great Britain offers now is more of a career option,” he said. “It is a full-time job. We train seven days a week and get one day off a month.” He added: “Our holiday is restricted to just three weeks after the World Championships.
“We are all fully committed. “The financial rewards actually mean more than just a number on a contract, it is being able to pay off your mortgage. “It is the wage which normal people who work receive to live.”
© Copyright 2001-2013 Newsquest Media Group