Heading into the London Games, Byrnes had competed at five senior World Championships winning four medals: gold in 2007, silver in 2009 and bronze in 2011 in the eight as well as a 2006 bronze in coxed pairs with Derek O’Farrell and Brian Price. Byrnes also captured a bronze medal at the 2005 Under-23 World Championships in the eight which was his first major international competition.
A dual-citizen, Byrnes was born in Toronto, Ontario, and raised in Ithaca, New York where he attended Ithaca High School. He graduated in 2005 with a Bachelor of Science in Physics from Bates College in Maine, and in 2006 with a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania.
- 2008 Olympic gold medallist – men’s eight
- 2012 Olympic silver medallist – men’s eight
- 2007 World Championship gold medallist – men’s eight
- 2009 World Championship silver medallist – men’s eight
- 2011 World Championship bronze medallist – men’s eight