Matt Macdonald started rowing at Auckland Grammar School in 2012 at the age of 12.
He joined Auckland RPC after leaving school in 2016 and made his first New Zealand team in 2017 as part of the junior men’s coxless four, which won silver at the World Rowing Junior Championships in Trakai, Lithuania. After another year with Auckland RPC, Matt won the U22 and U20 pair as well as the U22 coxless four at the national championships. This earned him a trial for the U23 team where he once again impressed the selectors and was selected in the U23 men’s coxless four for 2018. The crew won bronze at the World Rowing U23 Championships in Poznan, Poland, and were then asked to join the New Zealand elite team to attend the World Rowing Championships in Plovdiv, Bulgaria. After another impressive domestic season, Matt was selected for the elite men’s sweep squad for 2019.
Then after only securing a boat for Tokyo via the last-chance qualification regatta in Lucerne in May, the men's eight (with Matthew at stroke seat) went on to reclaim the title after a near 50-year wait in an exhilarating final by winning gold.
Off the water Matt is working towards a Bachelor of Sport and Recreation through Massey University, and enjoys fishing, surfing and relaxing in his spare time.