2012 was a hugely important year for rower Richard Egington but 2013 will see another major milestone; the start of his first ‘proper’ job.

The former Lymm High School pupil retired from the sport after winning bronze in the mens eight at the London 2012 Olympics.

And now at 33-years-old he is preparing to start another career selling medical equipment.

The oarsman said: “My mum and dad have always been very proud but I think they thought it was about time I stopped messing about in boats!

“After the Beijing Olympics I knew I was the right sort of age to get better and left no stone unturned for four years.

“It wasn’t a hard decision to stop but it was a really big part of my life.”

After studying a degree in biology at the University of Reading, the Leander rowing club captain would train for six hours a day in the build up to the Olympics and spend three and a half months of the year at training camps.

His dedication led to a silver medal at the Olympics in 2008 and four medals at the World Championships.

Following this year’s games he jetted off to Thailand for three weeks to enjoy the first holiday he had ever had that was longer than seven days.

Richard, who moved away from Lymm in 1998 but returns to the north west to see his family, added: “Rowing definitely brought out the best in me and changed my attitude towards life.

“I wanted to have a couple of months of getting into bad habits but I still get up early and it feels like it’s easier to stick with the good habits.”

With his friends and family, who used to live across the road from his school Cherry Tree Primary, cheering him on in August, Richard admits it was difficult not to be distracted by the hype around the games.

He added: “You couldn’t flick on the TV without seeing something and normally on the tube people are miserable but during the Olympics everyone was so friendly.

“When you’re trying to concentrate on something so important, your peripheral senses don’t notice what’s going on around you so I can’t really remember anything from the final.

“I remember looking at the board because I didn’t know where we had finished and feeling relief we had won a medal.

“We raced to try and win but it didn’t quite come off.

“People were so supportive and I appreciate that a bit more as time has gone on.”

TOWN rowing star Richard Egington believes the Olympics will encourage youngsters in Warrington to get into the sport.

The oarsome athlete says he has Priestly College and Richard Sinnott from Warrington Rowing Club to thank for his success.

He added: “I got started at Priestly and then Richard was a mentor for a long time.

“He taught me some valuable lessons and we’re still very close.”

The bronze medal winner, who says his memories are more important than medals, added he has noticed a change in attitude to sport.

He said: “Since 2000 kids have been watching the X Factor and Pop Idol and wanted to be celebrities when they grow up but now they want to be sports people.

“More are realising it doesn’t matter what you do, if you want to do something well you have to got to work hard and sport can teach that.

“My advice to anyone is to get stuck in and see if you enjoy it and if you want to get better you have got to practise a bit more which is probably the most valuable lesson in my life.”