Team Canada rowers chase history on the water at Paris 2024

Team Canada’s rowers will take to the water at Paris 2024 with big goals and an appreciation of the historicity of the moment. 

For each of the two crews representing Canada, these Games have a special significance. The women’s eight enter the Olympic regatta as the reigning Olympic champions, with an eye on a defense of that title. For the women’s lightweight double sculls, Paris 2024 will be the final time that the event is contested at the Olympic Games, and a final opportunity to solidify the Canadian legacy in the event. Emotions will be high at the Vaires-sur-Marne Nautical Stadium. 

The Canadian women’s eight is absolutely stacked with Olympic talent. Avalon Wasteneys, Kasia Gruchalla-Wesierski, Sydney Payne, and coxswain Kristen Kit are the returning athletes from the Tokyo gold medal crew.

“Returning for my second Olympic Games makes me feel incredibly grateful for all the amazing support and hard work that has brought us to this point,” said Wasteneys. “Heading into Paris, I’m really looking forward to witnessing a full Olympic experience especially after the more limited Tokyo Olympic Games experience during the global pandemic. What I am genuinely most excited about is getting out there and competing with my teammates. This crew continually excels under pressure, and I can’t wait to see how we rise to the challenge of performing at the highest possible level in Paris!”

Caileigh Filmer, who won a bronze medal at Tokyo 2020 in the women’s pair, returns to the women’s eight, having previously competed in the event at Rio 2016. Additional Olympians in the crew include Jessica Sevick, who finished sixth in Tokyo in the women’s double sculls, and Kristina Walker, who was 10th in Tokyo as part of the women’s four. Abby Dent and Maya Meschkuleit will be making their Olympic debuts. 

“Being selected to go to my third Olympic Games is a dream come true that I would not have thought possible a year ago. I picked up an oar again last July when I came back to the sport, inspired to help Canada become back-to-back Olympic Champions in the Women’s Eight. I am so proud of the entire team for our growth, integrity, and courage everyday. I’m absolutely thrilled to race with these women and to have fun doing what we love together representing Canada at the Olympics.”

Team Canada's women's eight competes at the Lucerne Regatta on Sunday.
Team Canada’s women’s eight competes at the World Rowing Cup in Lucerne, Switzerland. Photo: World Rowing.

The boat is looking formidable heading into the Games, having taken gold at the World Rowing Cup in Lucerne, Switzerland with a dominant win over the United States and Great Britain. 

In the women’s lightweight double sculls, Jenny Casson and Jill Moffatt will be the last Canadian duo in the event that has seen such success by Team Canada athletes over the years. Tracy Cameron and Melanie Kok won a bronze medal at Beijing 2008, and Lindsay Jennerich and Patricia Obee took home a silver medal at Rio 2016. Casson and Moffatt know that all that’s missing from the Canadian collection is that gold medal.

READ: The last of the lightweights: Jill Moffatt and Jenny Casson set to close a chapter in Canadian Olympic rowing history this summer

This will be Moffatt and Casson’s second Olympic Games as a duo, having finished 12th at Tokyo 2020.

“It feels really special to be officially nominated for my second Olympic Games with Jenny.” Moffatt said. “Jenny and I are such different athletes than we were in Tokyo, so I’m looking forward to experiencing this regatta as the best versions of ourselves.”

Moffatt and Casson recently wrapped up their World Rowing Cup season in Lucerne with a fourth place finish, leaving them hungry for the podium in Paris. The pair secured their qualification for Paris 2024 with their fourth place finish at the 2023 World Rowing Championships in Belgrade, Serbia.

One rower leans forward to hug her teammate in front of her in the boat
Jill Moffatt and Jenny Casson react to finishing fourth in the lightweight double sculls at the 2023 World Rowing Championships qualifying the boat for Canada for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. Photo: Benedict Tufnell

READ: Jill Moffatt: Grappling with anxiety and panic attacks are part of my Olympic journey… and I’m okay with that  

Rowing at Paris 2024 will take place July 27 to August 3 at the Vaires-sur-Marne Nautical Stadium. The final of the lightweight double sculls is on August 2, with the final for the eight on the last day of the regatta. 

With 43 medals all-time, rowing is Canada’s third-most successful summer sport all time at the Olympic Games, behind only athletics and swimming. 

Team Canada Rowers at Paris 2024: 

Abby Dent (Kenora, Ontario)

Jenny Casson (Kingston, Ontario)

Caileigh Filmer (Victoria, British Columbia)

Kasia Gruchalla-Wesierski (Calgary, Alberta)

Kristen Kit (St. Catherines, Ontario)

Maya Meschkuleit (Mississauga, Ontario)

Jill Moffatt (Bethany, Ontario)

Sydney Payne (Victoria, British Columbia)

Jessica Sevick (Strathmore, Alberta)

Kristina Walker (Wolfe Island, Ontario)

Avalon Wasteneys (Campbell River, British Columbia)