Mervyn Wood LVO MBE QPM
Mervyn ‘Merv’ Wood (rowing) carried the Australian flag at the opening ceremony of the 1950 British Empire Games in Auckland. Beginning his rowing career at Sydney Boys High school before continuing at the NSW Police Rowing Club whilst a police cadet, Wood would finish his career as a three-time Commonwealth Games and four-time Olympic representative for Australia. The police eight team was selected to represent Australia at the 1936 Berlin Olympics where Wood made his debut at 19-years-old. At the 1948 London Olympic Games, Wood won gold in the single sculls, before going on to collect a career full set of Olympic medals with silver in 1952 and bronze in Melbourne in 1956, in the same event. At the return of the Empire Games, after World War II in 1950 in Auckland, Wood won the single and double sculls gold medals, partnered with Murray Riley. Wood carried the Australian flag at both the 1952 and 1956 Olympic Games, but it was at the 1954 Commonwealth Games in Vancouver where he showed his immense talent. Winning two British Empire Games gold medals, this time in the coxless fours and double sculls, the finals were held a mere 45 minutes apart, showcasing Wood’s tremendous athleticism. After the 1956 Olympics, Wood had his final international competition at the 1958 Commonwealth Games in Cardiff where he teamed with Stuart Mackenzie to win silver in the double scull at age 41. Following retirement from rowing, Wood continued his career in the police force where he became chief commissioner in 1977. An inaugural inductee into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame, Merv Wood is one of Australia’s greatest rowers.
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