Three months after the London Olympics, gold medallists Hamish Bond and Eric Murray are still shedding blood for their country.
The Olympic champions in the men's coxless pair have had four anti-doping tests, the latest on Wednesday morning.
"With elite sport, nothing stops in the drug testing scene," said Murray. "They are still coming around home, early mornings and late nights . . . Hopefully they are doing it to everyone else and making sure the sport stays clean."
The Kiwi pair's service to the betterment of sport continues off the water. Bond and Murray, along with Wallaby great Phil Kearns and John McBeth, were in Nelson for the Haven Sports Trust fundraising dinner, held at the Rutherford Hotel last night.
"By all accounts, the Haven Trust does a great job in the Nelson region," Bond said.
"We were there once, and it wasn't easy. Parents were paying for stuff, we were paying and doing part-time work to fund what we wanted to achieve. You have to start somewhere, and to have that assistance is invaluable."
Bond, a keen cyclist, has spent some time in Nelson. His partner, Elizabeth Travis, is in her last year of training for a medical degree, and is stationed at Nelson Hospital.
Bond said he was pleased to hear of the proposed aquatic course on the Mapua end of Rabbit Island.
"It sounds as though Nelson rowing is really going places with the Rabbit Island proposal. Nelson rowing has always been very strong. For their size . . . they do bloody well."
The undefeated, four-time world champions have relished their journey since the golden hour at Dorney Lake, on August 3.
"It has been good getting out into the community, sharing the story, connecting with people," said Murray.
"One of the really enjoyable things, for me, has been seeing what the Olympics mean to everyone else.
"We are selfish sportspeople pursuing our own dreams, but the Olympics bring people together, and it has been great to see the response. People holding the medals and getting their photo taken with them, it really brings people a lot of joy."
See Rio p13.
- © Fairfax NZ News