CHANGE OF FOCUS FOR KIWI SPORTING GREAT

Joseph Sullivan is disappointed but not entirely surprised he missed selection for the Emirates Team New Zealand sailing squad for next year’s Americas cup regatta at Barcelona, Spain

The Winning Feeling .

A grinder in the Kiwi’s two previous successful Americas Cup campaigns at Bermuda and Auckland, this time he missed the cut during gruelling selection trials in November.

One of New Zealand’s true sporting super stars, Sullivan showed his versatility and extreme competitiveness to firstly convert from a World and Olympic champion rower to a yachting grinder using the revolutionary cycling method at Bermuda. As part of his preparation he had to change his body type to adjust to the new discipline.

Then for the next campaign where Emirates Team New Zealand defended one of the world’s most famous trophies in Auckland he had to adjust his body again as they reverted to the traditional arm grinding technique.

For next year’s regatta in Barcelona, it’s back to the cycle grinding but unfortunately the professional fireman by trade missed out.

Joe said it had been more difficult keeping up the intense training regime since he and his family moved from Auckland to their current home in Tauranga without the company of team-mates and having to train on his own.

He is of course disappointed but certainly not dwelling on it. As well as his job as a fireman, Joe has two pre-school daughters, Amelia and Izzy and wife Jordyn to think of now and if he had made it to Barcelona it would have meant a long time away from home.

The Family Man

Having been involved in elite sports programmes for most of his adult life, Joe should now have time to reflect on what has been an amazing sports career, highlighted by his gold medal win in the double sculls rowing event at the London Olympics with Nathan Cohen. Five successive world rowing titles came around that and then when he gave the sport away in 2014 he went on to accomplish more greatness being a key part of what made the Emirates Team New Zealand sail boat go faster than all the rest.

He’s not sure what his next sporting challenge will be but it wouldn’t surprise at all if he tackles something completely different again and at 35 years of age he’s still easily young enough to be successful at another sport.

He is Picton’s most famous sportsman (known as The Pride of Picton) and has a street named after him in his beautiful former home town at the gateway to the beautiful Marlborough Sounds.

Listen too my recent interview with Joe as he talks about his career to date and what may follow.

Interview & Story by John Alexander | Supporting Images sourced by Absolutely Famous.

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