CROOKWELL’S Brooke Pratley has won silver with double skulls partner Kim Crowe at the London Olympics.
In only their second international regatta and just their sixth row together Pratley and Crow secured silver on Friday behind the heavily favoured British duo Katherine Grainer and Anna Watkins, who’ve been a tight-knit team for three years and were unbeaten over their past 24 races.
After the race Pratley announced she will be going back to an ordinary life after her extraordinary feat at the London Games but admits she’ll be living vicariously through her star double sculls crewmate Kim Crow.
Making the accomplishment more impressive is that a rib injury to Pratley in April kept her out of the boat until just eight weeks ago, forcing Crow to enter the singles for race practice in May.
Medal hung around her neck, 32-year-old Pratley quietly announced her retirement, ending an 11-year rowing career.
She had the satisfaction of closing the door on her disappointing Beijing experience four years ago where she was part of the vaunted women’s eight crew that failed to deliver, finishing last in the final.
“We had a disappointing result with the women’s eight in Beijing,” Pratley said.
“This time round ... we’ve really stepped up in terms of how we’ve managed ourselves and I couldn’t have asked for a better season with my coach (Lyall McCarthy) and my partner Kim - it’s been an absolute dream run.
“I’ve been very privileged to work with both of them.
“I’m just so proud, not just of what we’ve achieved but how we’ve conducted ourselves throughout the season and how we pushed on through me having significant injuries and Kim managing two boats.
“It really has just been a dream run.”
Brooke said the support from Crookwell has been unbelievable.
“The support from Crookwell has been phenomenal, I’m actually a bit embarrassed by it.”
The 32-year-old was so nervous she didn’t talk to her parents, Kerri-Ann and Hudson, or boyfriend - who travelled to London - in the week leading into the race.
After two Olympic campaigns Pratley, a qualified physiotherapist, says she’ll now head home and try on a normal nine to five existence.
“The last eight years I’ve pretty much had a nanna nap every day so now I’ll be looking to go back in to the work force and trying to deal with being awake all day and having a full time job. I don’t know what that’s all about,” she said.
“But I’ll be living vicariously through Kim and the rest of the rowing team and I’m looking forward to supporting them.”
Source AAP (Angela Habashy), the Canberra Times