Brennan is the first Australian to claim Olympic rowing gold since her husband Scott, who won gold in the double sculls at the Beijing Games.
To the cheers of an army of Australian supporters, an emotional Brennan lowered her head in exhaustion and sheer relief as she crossed the finish line on the Lagoa rowing course in Rio.
A lifetime of dreaming of this very moment — becoming the Olympic champion — has been fulfilled.
Brennan spoke of her joy after clinching the race, ‘I can’t believe it,’ said Australia’s newest golden girl.
“I’m just so happy I could pull it off. My sole focus was to be tall and to breathe and to race my race. It want so much about the margin, over that last bit, I just had to make sure I stayed clean.”
Brennan was on track to compete for Australia in the hurdles with Jana Pittman and Tamsyn Lewis at the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne in 2006.
Stress fractures in her foot crushed her ambition, leading her into the gym to rehabilitate and onto a rowing machine, where her love affair with sculling began.
The final was marketed as a match-race between Brennan and arch rival from New Zealand Emma Twigg, however the battle failed to eventuate, simply because the Australian was in a race of her own.
A week after slamming the Lagoa rowing course in Rio as ‘unrowable’, Brennan exploded out of the start to lead from start to finish under perfect blue skies and an advantageous tailwind.