alexander purnell, a rowing athlete graduated from the nsw sports institute (nsw), is a world championship medalist and olympic gold medalist.
alex represented australia at the 2013 world junior rowing championships in trakai, lithuania before advancing to the australian under-23 team. In 2015, Alex and the men’s quadruple sculls team finished on the podium with a bronze medal at the U-23 World Rowing Championships.
In 2017, alex was promoted to the senior team and competed throughout the international season in the eighth men’s pot. this culminated in a silver medal at the 2017 rowing world cup in lucerne, switzerland and a b finishing position at the 2017 rowing world championships.
the sydney sider moved on to the men’s quad rowing boat in 2018 and secured a silver medal with his crew, including nswis athlete campbell watts, at the 2018 world rowing championships in plovdiv, bulgaria.
alex’s international success continued in 2019, winning a silver medal at the rowing world cup in poland in the men’s quadruple sculls. The nswis graduate athlete was then selected in the eight-man crew for the 2019 world rowing championships, where the crew secured a fourth-place finish in the final to qualify their boat for the tokyo olympics.
A member of the Australian Olympic team for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, Alex made his Olympic debut and rowed the bow seat of the Australian Coxless Four to win a gold medal. Along with fellow nswis athletes jack hargreaves, spencer turrin and australian teammate alexander hill, the team of coxless four successfully snapped britain’s 20-year streak of olympic gold medals and led the australian team to three silver consecutive to his first victory since atlanta 1996.
for their achievements at the tokyo games 2020 alex, jack and spencer were awarded the powerade male athlete(s) of the year at the 2021 nswis awards.