Cohen a true legend in Southland sport

Even as the decades pass and the dust builds up on Nathan Cohen's rowing career, his name will forever remain a prominent feature in Southland's history books.

In 2012 Cohen become the first ever Southlander to win an Olympic gold medal and that honour will never be taken away from him - not now, not in 100 years, never.

Over the years whenever people reflect on Southland at various celebrations Cohen's gold medal win in the men's double scull in London will rate a mention.

It's a feat many had tried to achieve before him but all had come up short.

Cohen has etched himself into Southland's history books and I know it is something he is proud of.

He learnt his rowing craft in Southland, on the Oreti River with the Invercargill Rowing Club.

After he left James Hargest College he moved on to the Canterbury University before heading to Cambridge, where he has based himself as part of the Rowing New Zealand high performance squad.

Since then his time in Southland has been restricted to the odd visit in between rowing commitments but he has always been keen to acknowledge his roots and the part Southland people had played in getting him to the dizzy heights he has reached.

The fact he chose to announce his retirement via The Southland Times today shows the respect he has for his home province.

He wanted the people of Southland to hear the news first.

Southlanders can be very proud to call Cohen one of our own.

On August 2, 2012 when he was part of the New Zealand men's double which came from well behind to win gold, it had people right across Southland puffing their chest out with pride.

It's a memory which will stick with many for a long time to come.


Fairfax Media