Canadian Olympic Preview: Rowing

Caillegh Filmer (Canadian Olympic Committee, with permission) (Rowing Canada Aviron)

Canada has a remarkable history in Olympic rowing. The golden era for Canada in Olympic rowing was definitely the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona, where Team Canada came away with four gold medals (the men’s eights, women’s pairs, women’s fours, and women’s eights). The Canadian stars at the time were Marnie McBean of Vancouver, British Columbia, and the late Kathleen Heddle of Trail, British Columbia, who each won gold in the women’s pairs and women’s eights.

Twenty-nine years later, McBean is a major part of the Canadian Olympic team as the Chef de Mission. Heddle, meanwhile, passed away of cancer in January. It should also be noted that current Canadian Olympic Committee President Tricia Smith of Vancouver, British Columbia also won a silver medal in women’s rowing with Betty Craig of Brockville, Ontario at the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles. 

At the 2020 Olympic Games, Team Canada has qualified boats in the men’s single sculls, men’s lightweight double sculls, men’s pairs, men’s fours, women’s single sculls, women’s double sculls, women’s lightweight double sculls, women’s pairs, women’s fours, and women’s eights.

The best chance for a Canadian medal in rowing will be in the women’s pairs (July 28, 6:30 p.m. MT). Caileigh Filmer of Victoria, British Columbia, and Hillary Janssens of Surrey, British Columbia, won the gold medal at the 2018 World Rowing Championship in Plovdiv, Bulgaria, and then bronze at the 2019 World Rowing Championship in Ottensheim, Austria. Canada will also be a medal contender in women’s fours (July 27, 6:50 p.m. MT), and women’s eights (July 29, 7:05 p,m. MT).

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