Canadian Olympic gold medallist Kathleen Heddle dies at age 55

Kathleen Heddle (front with Marnie McBean)

According to Dan Barnes of Postmedia, three-time Canadian Olympic rowing gold medalist Kathleen Heddle of Trail, British Columbia passed away at the age of 55 on Monday. Heddle had cancer in her brain, lymph nodes, and breast over the last six years.

Heddle won all three of her Olympic gold medals in rowing with Marnie McBean of Vancouver, British Columbia. Heddle and McBean won the gold medals for Canada in the women’s coxless pairs at the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona, the women’s eights at the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona, and the women’s double sculls at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta. The other Canadians who won a gold medal in the women’s eights at the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona were Kirsten Barnes and Jessica Monroe of Victoria, British Columbia, Shannon Crawford of Guelph, Ontario, Megan Delehanty of Edmonton, Alberta, Brenda Taylor of Nanaimo, British Columbia, and Kay Worthington, and Lesley Thompson-Willie of Toronto, Ontario.

Heddle and McBean have won the most gold medals for Canada all-time at a Summer Olympic Games for a career. In addition to winning three Olympic gold medals, Heddle and McBean also won the bronze medal in women’s quadruple sculls at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta with Laryssa Biesenthal of Walkerton, Ontario, and Diane O’Grady of North Bay, Ontario.¬†After her remarkable rowing career, Heddle received the Order of British Columbia, and was inducted into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame in 1997.


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