Uru storms the capital

Last updated 13:30 18/01/2013
Storm Uru
Capital experience: Storm Uru outside BNZ Harbour Quays, where he is working before heading to Cambridge University.

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Olympic medallist Storm Uru has parted ways with early-morning rowing sessions and is taking up the challenge of an MBA at Cambridge University, in England.

But first he's making the most of a job opportunity in Wellington.

Uru, who won a bronze medal in the lightweight double sculls with Peter Taylor in London, will head to Cambridge in April.

To prepare he has been working in Wellington for the Bank of New Zealand's financial markets team on the cash funding desk.

"The ability to measure day-to- day performance and scrutiny under pressure is very comparable to rowing in a way," Uru said.

Through fellow rower Tamsin Gilbert, Uru was given a three- day tour of the dealing room. Soon after, he accepted an eight-month job that will take him through until he leaves for Cambridge.

Though the job was what drew Uru to Wellington, he said he has appreciated the culture and Mojo coffee the city offers.

"Hopefully I'll also to get out to the south coast and do some scuba diving."

Uru said that while it was a tough decision to take a break from international rowing, he could not ignore his future.

The decision was even harder because at 27 he's in his rowing prime. "An MBA at Cambridge was too hard to turn down."

Rowing won't be completely off the agenda, however.

Cambridge University has a fine rowing college programme and Uru is likely to be tempted by the chance to row in the Cambridge eight in the famous race against Oxford University on the Thames.

Uru said two people in particular had guided him over the past few years, his partner, Samantha Lassche, and his mentor, Sir John Graham.

Lassche is a nurse in Waikato and is moving to Wellington to join Uru before they head overseas together.

Uru said she had become very understanding of the mood swings of a lightweight rower on a strict diet. However, he did say the "flowers and gifts only get you so far".

Shortly after Uru and Taylor won the world title in 2009, Uru was introduced to Sir John Graham, former All Black captain and long-time headmaster at Auckland Grammar School.

"It was a turning point in my career," he said.

"I still saw myself as a young bloke from Invercargill. With Sir John's help and mentoring I've been able to map out a career path."

Uru's life after rowing is still undecided, but he said a return to Wellington and the financial markets was not unlikely.

"Don't completely rule out seeing me in Brazil [the Rio de Janeiro Olympics] come 2016."

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- The Wellingtonian


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