Matt Ryan teamed with Francis Hegerty, James Marburg and Cameron McKenzie-McHarg to win a silver medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. All four had missed selection for the Australian Olympic eight, but they created a men’s coxless four crew that almost upset the well-favoured British.
On the same day in Beijing, Australia won gold medals in the men’s coxless pair (Ginn, Free) and the double sculls (Crawshay, Brennan). This matched the previous best day in Olympic rowing, from Atlanta 1996, when the women’s coxless pair (Still, Slatter) and the Oarsome Foursome (Ginn, Tomkins, McKay, Green) won gold medals, along with a silver medal from the men’s coxless pair (Weightman, Scott).
Ryan went on to compete as a part of the men’s eight at the London 2012 Games. The Australian’s claimed second in their heat before going on to earn themselves a spot in the 2012 Olympic final with a fourth place finish in the repechage. The crew went on to finish sixth in a strong field, 3.12 seconds behind gold medallists Germany.