Chris Bartley announces his retirement from rowing

Chris Bartley, winner of a silver medal in the men’s lightweight four at London 2012, has announced his retirement from rowing


Chris Bartley [Peter Spurrier/Intersport Images]

Olympic silver medallist from London 2012, Chris Bartley, has announced his retirement from the sport having been ever-present in the lightweight men’s four since 2009.

In that time, Bartley won an Olympic Games or World Championships medal in each season between 2010 and 2014, including gold at the Worlds in New Zealand in 2010.

In 2016, Bartley competed in his second Olympic Games, finishing seventh in Rio de Janeiro, winning the B final alongside Mark Aldred, Jono Clegg and Peter Chambers.

“My international rowing career has given me a great deal; fantastic friends, travel, and the opportunity to be a part of the most successful rowing nation in the world,” he said.

“I’ll miss the singular shared goal of an Olympic Games, and working alongside some really amazing people, but I won’t miss the early ergo sessions or rowing in the driving rain.

“I’ll miss the friendships that only come with sharing a part of one of the hardest sports out there, but now I’ve got my weekends back, I hopefully won’t miss any more weddings. I’m most looking forward to spending more time with my family and friends, and getting out on my bike a bit more.”

Cycling has long been a passion for Bartley and is forming part of his post-rowing employment while he considers his next steps. He is working part time as a bike mechanic at Athlete Service in Henley-on-Thames as well as an assistant coach at Reading University Boat Club.

“I’m looking forward to giving something back to the sport that has given me so much by helping out with some coaching,” he added.

“I’d like to thank everyone who’s helped me along the way. I’ve had many brilliant coaches who have each helped me make the next step in my career.

“The support team at GB Rowing are second to none – I wouldn’t have made so many start lines without them. Finally, thank you to my parents – I wouldn’t have had a career in rowing without them.”

Previous to his World Championship title in 2010, Bartley became world U23 champion in 2006 in the lightweight pair, having won silver the year before in the lightweight quad sculls.

A senior Worlds bronze medal followed in 2007 in the quad sculls and the gold medal came along three years later in Karapiro. After that win, the crew won bronze in Lake Bled in 2011, silver at the London 2012 Games, bronze in Chungju in 2013 and another bronze in Amsterdam in 2014.

Two European silver medals also sit in Bartley’s impressive collection, won in 2014 and 2016.

Sir David Tanner, British Rowing’s Performance Director, said: “We wish Chris the best with his new career path. His presence within the GB Rowing Team will be greatly missed, as will the stability and success he has brought the lightweight four over the last two Olympic cycles. His medal collection is a testament to his dedication and consistency; traits that will surely serve him well in his future outside of the sport.”