Campbell hopes to finish rowing career on a high

Alan Campbell begins his quest for another Olympic medal this Saturday. Mandatory Credit. Peter SPURRIER/Intersport Images.
Alan Campbell begins his quest for another Olympic medal this Saturday. Mandatory Credit. Peter SPURRIER/Intersport Images.

Alan Campbell hopes to leave his own personal legacy when he crosses the finish line for the final time during the Olympic Games in Rio.

The proud Coleraine man will create his own little piece of history by becoming the first athlete from Northern Ireland to compete at four Olympic Games.

But he wants to go out on a high before hanging up his oars for good.

“I’m excited about the last race,” said the single sculler who wants to spend more time with his wife and daughter.

“I want to leave myself with a personal legacy and the satisfaction that I gave it my best shot and that I produced my best race. I would be pleased about that and come away content.

“In London I sobbed like a little girl and of course I will be emotional in Rio when I have finished my event but I’m hoping the emotion will be one of happiness and feeling proud about what I’ve achieved.

“This is a celebration. I’m told I’ll be the first Northern Ireland athlete to compete in four Olympics. That makes me feel extremely proud.”

The 33-year-old loves competing, but he is quick to admit he is finding it tougher and tougher to leave his family.

“I adore fatherhood and spending time with my daughter,” said the proud dad.

“I have found the last part of the build-up to Rio really hard being away from my wife and daughter Tabitha. My little girl is getting to that stage now where she gets sad if I go away. I’ve just been back home for three days before we head off to Rio and she has stuck to me like glue. Being a dad is the best thing in the world and that is a big part of my decision not to continue after Rio. This will be my last Olympics.

“Being a father and husband means everything to me. I don’t want to miss out on anything again. I want to be there and be part of it. That is going to be my priority after the Olympics.”