THREE-TIME Olympic gold medallist Andy Triggs Hodge is ready to begin a new chapter after calling time on an illustrious rowing career.

The 37-year-old returned from Rio having helped Great Britain’s men’s eight to their first victory at the Games since Sydney 2000.

It marked the end of 14 years of international competition for the former Oxford Blue, with his most recent triumph adding to his golds in the men’s four at Beijing (2008) and London (2012).

For Triggs Hodge, his family must now come first and having secured a job, he is looking forward to supporting his wife Eeke, who is seven months pregnant, and two-and-half-year-old son, Sebastian, at their Checkendon home.

“I am in a privileged position to move on from the sport and have no skeletons in the closet,” he said.

“My focus is my next stage, which is supporting my family and be the father I hope I can be.

“It is time rowing came second, third or fourth. If it is right, it will find its way back in to my life.”

Triggs Hodge added: “There were lots of thoughts and emotions in my head (at the finish line in Rio).

“The first thing was relief and that is based around all the sacrifices I have made.

“I had to give up the reins of being a father, I could not play that role of being a dad, the role I wanted to do.

“You cannot live a normal life and go out and race for a gold medal.

“My first thought was I can go home and show them why it was all worthwhile.”

Having spent most of 2015 sidelined with glandular fever, Triggs Hodge admitted it had been a “long shot” to make Rio.

But he will never forget the moment he stood on top of the podium at the Lagoa Stadium.

“Winning was a stupendous moment – I could not have imagined it going any better,” he said.

“I was very satisfied with what we had done and from a selfish point of view I felt I could pat myself on the back and say ‘well done Hodge’.

“I am happy with that because throughout my rowing career I have always questioned myself.

“You have to ask yourself those questions because if you don’t, you are not searching for the next piece to make yourself better.

“Only when you have achieved your dream, can you tick the box and it is job done.”