Mahe Drysdale, whose full name is Alexander Mahe Owens Drysdale, is a rower who is representing New Zealand at the 2016 Rio Olympics. At 6′ 7″ and 218 lbs., Drysdale competes even though he has suffered illnesses in the past during the Olympics. Read on for the facts on Drysdale’s health, his marriage and his skills below.
1. He Is a Five-Time World Champion in the Single Sculls
Drysdale is 38 years old and has been rowing since 1997, according to World Rowing. According to RowPerfect, Drysdale’s stats are: 201 cm, 100kg, world’s fastest time for 2K on the water, second best ERG score for 2K, 5 times 1X world champion and 1 x Olympic champion. The first best ERG score for 2K went to Rob Waddell. Waddell won the gold at the 2000 Olympic Games and originally inspired Drysdale to start rowing again when he stopped to focus on his studies.
Drysdale finished first in the Single Sculls at Rio’s 2016 Olympics.
2. During the 2008 Olympics, Drysdale Suffered a Severe Gastrointestinal Infection
While competing in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, Drysdale was a flagbearer as well as a competitor. The week before the competition, Drysdale suffered from a severe gastrointestinal infection, which appeared to affect his performance. After the competition, Drysdale was carried by life raft and met by an ambulance, though he managed to stand in order to receive his bronze medal at the event.
3. Canoeing and Running Are Other Sports In Which Drysdale Is Skilled
In addition to rowing, Drysdale has talents in canoeing, running, and other sports. He also has voiced wanting to participate in the Ironman Triathalon. Drysdale previously represented New Zealand in canoe polo as a junior. According to Olympic.org.nz, Drysdale is also a skilled cyclist. As a whole, Drysdale is a well-rounded athlete in many areas.
4. Retired Rower Juliette Haigh Is His Wife
Juliette Haigh is a retired rower who has won awards including a bronze medal at the London Olympics, several gold medals at the World Cup and several gold medals at the World Championships. Haigh is the wife of Drysdale and mother to their daughter Bronte, who was born in 2014. They were together for six years before getting engaged in 2013 and they met through Auckland’s West End Rowing Club. Currently, the couple lives with their daughter on a farm in Cambridge. According to Women’s Weekly NZ, the couple actually married on their farm. Haigh described getting married to Women’s Weekly NZ, gushing that:
It felt amazing and so special to head towards the man who, after all these years, was to become my husband. Everything in that moment was perfect.
Drysdale said that it was important to them to get married at their home.
5. His Name Comes From Mahe, the Island of Seychelles
Drysdale’s name Mahe comes from Mahe, the island of Seychelles, a place he hadn’t been until his honeymoon. The island itself was actually named after a French governor of Mauritius, Bertrand-François Mahe de La Bourdonnais. Mahe’s economy depends greatly on tourism, according to Seychelles.org.