Drew made his international debut in 1995 at age 20 as a member of the Eight that placed fourth at the European Championships and eleventh at the World Championships, and later becoming a member of the world famous Oarsome Foursome after the retirement of Andrew Cooper. At the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, the Oarsome Foursome rowed their way into Australian sporting history and Drew realized his childhood dream of becoming an Olympian and gold medallist.
The Sydney Olympics in 2000 proved to be one of Drew’s greatest challenges. Drew and his rowing partner, James Tomkins, had planned to row the straight pair when Drew developed a career threatening back injury and was forced to withdraw from the boat.
Heading to Athens in 2004 keen to atone for his Sydney 2000 disappointment, Drew combined brilliantly with Tomkins in the pairs to win his second Olympic Gold in a race described by former Oarsome Foursome teammate, Nick Green, as “perfect.” Drew carved a place among Australia’s great Olympians by winning his third gold at the Beijing games in 2008. It was an amazing feat to win his third gold but more amazing that he was in the boat at the starting line in the beginning. Due to a debilitating back injury Drew could barley walk in the lead up to the games, let alone row. Back in Melbourne following another surgery on his back, Drew took up cycling to keep fit. In the process he claimed gold in the Oceania Cycling Championships – incredible.
Unable to give up his sporting lifestyle Drew was back in boat training eight times a week in preparation for the 2012 London Olympics. A gold medal at the World Cup in June 2012 proved that Drew was in form. A silver medal at his last Olympic Games has cemented Drew as one of Australia’s greatest ever athletes.
Drew is now a proud family man who divides his time between his current commitments as the National Head Coach of Rowing Australia, and keynote speaking engagements and seminars.