A keen sportsman, Zac Purchase started rowing in 1997 while at King’s College, Worcester, and came to prominence when he was World Under-23 lightweight single sculls champion in 2005. By the end of the year he had added a silver medal in the senior World Championships and established himself as an up-and-coming talent. This talent was revealed conclusively in front of a home crowd at the 2006 World Championships when he rowed away from his rivals to record an easy victory. Since the lightweight single sculls is not an Olympic event British coaches had to search for someone to partner Purchase when to he moved to the doubles and found him in the form of Mark Hunter. The pair were never off the podium in their first season together and won a bronze at their first World Championships in 2007 but this was nothing compared to 2008. Purchase and Hunter won all three races of the World Cup series to arrive at the Olympics as overwhelming favourites and backed this up in Beijing to win Olympic gold. After a year away from the sport the pair returned in 2010 and has won both the 2010 and 2011 World Championships. They were under pressure to win their second Olympic gold medal in 2012 and just when they looked to have victory in sight, saw it snatched away from them on the line by the winning Danish pair. The month after the Olympics, Purchase married his long-time girlfriend, and fellow rower, Felicity “Fliss” Hill in St. Paul’s Cathedral. He then took 18 months away from the sport before returning in 2014 with the intention of joining the heavyweight squad but that proved fruitless and he announced his retirement soon afterwards. An excellent saxophonist, Purchase performed live on television at the 2008 BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards ceremony.