A 26-person rowing team was named to Team Canada on Tuesday with a ceremony in Toronto’s famed Casa Loma.
The nomination announcement from Rowing Canada – hosted by three-time Olympic champion and Canadian sport legend Marnie McBean – delivers seven boats to the Canadian cause at Rio 2016, with rowers competing in three men’s events (four, quadruple sculls, lightweight four) and four women’s events (single sculls, pair, lightweight double sculls, eight).
History will be made in the women’s eight, where coxswain Lesley Thompson-Willie is expected to take part in her eighth Games (named to her ninth Olympic team, including the boycotted Moscow 1980), tying her with Josefa Idem of West Germany and Italy for most Olympic appearances by a female competitor.
Should the women’s eight make the Olympic podium, further history will be made with Thompson-Willie winning her sixth medal, tying the all-time Canadian record currently held by Cindy Klassen and Clara Hughes.
There are 10 rowers who are returning to the Olympics, though nine that competed for Canada. Julien Bahain in men’s quadruple sculls previously went to the Olympic Games with France and won a bronze medal at Beijing 2008.
Aside from Thompson-Willie and Bahain, Olympic returnees are Will Crothers and Conlin McCabe in the men’s four; Will Dean and Rob Gibson in men’s quadruple sculls; Lindsay Jennerich and Patricia Obee in women’s lightweight double sculls; and Natalie Mastracci and Lauren Wilkinson in women’s eight.
Crothers, McCabe, Gibson, Mastracci and Wilkinson all have Olympic medals from London 2012.
Making their Olympic debuts are Carling Zeeman (women’s single sculls); Nicole Hare and Jennifer Martins (women’s pair); Caileigh Filmer, Susanne Grainger, Cristy Nurse, Lisa Roman, Christine Roper and Antje von Seydlitz (women’s eight); Brendan Hodge, Maxwell Lattimer, Eric Woelfl and Nicolas Pratt (lightweight men’s four); Kai Langerfeld and Tim Schrijver (men’s four); and Pascal Lussier (men’s quadruple sculls).
Rodrido de Freitas Lagoon in Rio de Janeiro’s Copacabana zone will be home to the rowing events from August 6 to 13.