Nathan Cohen has revealed the inspiration behind he and Joseph Sullivan's sterling last to first row for gold at the Olympic Games.
It came from a school in Cambridge, near where the New Zealand rowers live and do all their work on the nearby Lake Karapiro.
Cohen could not recall the name of the school but said he was genuinely moved by the good luck message before yesterday's double sculls final
"One of biggest moments was a couple of days ago, Joe and I got a whole lot of messages from the local school in Cambridge and that really brought home what the Olympics are all about," Cohen said.
"It brought everything back down to earth and made you truly appreciate why you are here and just to make most of it.
"The kids out there just want New Zealand to do well and would've been yelling and screaming and, for me, that one was the most humbling experience of the week that really set me up for this."
Cohen, a 26 year-old from Southland, hopes yesterday's success would inspire youngsters to take up his sport.
He remembers being 14 when Rob Waddell won the single sculls at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney.
"That was the coolest thing I'd ever seen, " Cohen said of Waddell.
"Being a massive rugby supporter, it was almost better than that, seeing him on the podium and having the national anthem playing for him. I thought it couldn't get any better than that."
- © Fairfax NZ News