03/25/2014 11:35 EDT | Updated 05/25/2014 05:59 EDT

Veteran Canadian rowing coxswain Brian Price announces retirement

TORONTO - Veteran rowing coxswain Brian Price, who paced the Canadian men's eight to a gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, announced his retirement Tuesday.

A three-time Olympian and world champion, the 38-year-old Price also helped Canada to a silver medal at the 2012 London Games.

"I've accomplished more in the sport than I ever dreamed possible as a young kid," Price said in a release. "It's been an amazing career, and I have so many people to thank. Specifically, all the hard-working, talented rowers I've had the pleasure of competing with, and the exemplary coaching and friendship I received from (former Canadian coach) Mike Spracklen."

Price was diagnosed with cancer when he was a child and the treatment he received affected his growth. His five-foot-four, 120-pound frame was ideal for a coxswain, the member of the team who sits at the back of the boat directs the crew.

"Brian was hands down the best coxswain in the world during the years that I had the privilege of rowing with him," said former teammate Kyle Hamilton, the captain of the 2008 crew. "He saw the effort that his athletes were putting in to be fitter, stronger and faster than any other crew in the world, and he put that same effort into his coxing. Brian worked tirelessly at his craft, and the men that he led respected him for it. In short, we didn't just win with Brian, we won because of Brian."

Price also led a young, inexperienced crew to the Olympic podium in London.

"Spotting my wife Robbi holding our two daughters in her arms while I stood on the Olympic podium in London will always be a very special family memory," he said.

The Belleville, Ont., native has relocated his family from Canada's training base in Victoria to Orangeville, Ont., and plans to continue his career as a motivational speaker. He is also co-authoring a book.