Nicholas Green | Australian Olympic Committee

Nicholas's Story

Australia's most successful rowing combination, the Oarsome Foursome, owed some of its origin to a get-together at Byron Bay at the end of 1989. Nick Green, visiting on vacation from Melbourne, met up with two friends who were renting a holiday house, Mike McKay and James Tomkins. McKay and Tomkins had both rowed in the unsuccessful Australian eight at the Seoul Olympics, and were keen to be involved in something smaller. McKay pushed the notion of assembling a Melbourne four to challenge for Australian selection. Green, younger than the others, was interested and flattered to be involved. Standing 196cm, he had been a good footballer and rower at Xavier College, and was a member of the Victorian youth eight that won the 1987 national championship. He had missed selection for the Seoul eight member team, but was named in the Australian under-23 crew. Two months after their Byron Bay meeting, the three met at the 1990 national selection trials. After some experimentation with coxless fours, and some lobbying, the selectors decided to try Green with McKay, Tomkins and Sam Patten… and the combination clicked.

Green, at first as bow and later as No 3, was - with McKay and Tomkins - a constant member of the Oarsome Foursome as it went on to win two world titles and the 1992 and 1996 Olympic gold medals. The fourth spot was shared variously by Patten, Andrew Cooper and Drew Ginn. Green was credited with bringing touch, feel and rhythm to the boat. He once summed himself up: "I'm the team player, the pacifier, the person who brings people together."

In 2010 Green was the Chef de Mission of the inaugural Australian Youth Olympic Games Team in Singapore. In 2012 he succeeded John Coates as the Chef de Mission of the Australian Olympic Team.

Harry Gordon, AOC historian


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