The women's eight boat races in the repechage during Rio2016 on August 11, 2016. (David Jackson/COC)


Team Canada Medal Count

Gold medal icon 10
Silver medal icon 17
Bronze medal icon 16

Sport Overview

Rowing at Paris 2024

Venue: Vaires-sur-Marne Nautical Stadium

Competition Dates: July 27-August 3 (Days 1-8)

Events: 14 (7 men, 7 women)

Trivia: Test your knowledge!

Two female rowers compete in a double sculls event

Olympic rowing became fully gender equal at Tokyo 2020, finally featuring identical events for men and women.

The 14 rowing events on the Olympic program can be divided into two groups: scull events (single sculls, double sculls, quadruple sculls, lightweight double sculls) and sweep events (pair, four, eight). In sculling, each rower pulls two oars. In sweeping, each rower pulls one oar. Rowing events are contested by individuals and crews of two, four or eight. On the current Olympic program, only the eight includes a coxswain to pace and steer the boat.

Each race covers a distance of 2000m on a six-lane course. Depending on the number of entries, there will be preliminary heats, repechages, quarterfinals, semifinals and finals. The A final determines the first six places and the B final determines places seven through 12.

As the name suggests, there is a maximum weight for lightweight crews. A women’s lightweight crew can average no more than 57kg with no individual rower exceeding 59kg. The maximum average weight for a men’s lightweight crew is 70kg with no individual rower exceeding 72.5kg. There are no such restrictions in any other event, except for coxswains who must weigh at least 55kg but don’t need to be the same gender as the crew they are coxing.

Canada’s Olympic History (Pre-Paris 2024)

The 43 Olympic medals won by Canadian rowers are the third-most for the country in summer sports.

Team Canada women's eight crew bite their medals

It all began at St. Louis 1904 where the men’s eight won a silver medal, the first of 11 Olympic medals Canada has won in the men’s eight. That haul is highlighted by gold medals at Los Angeles 1984, Barcelona 1992 and Beijing 2008. The women’s eight has contributed five medals, highlighted by gold medals at Barcelona 1992 and Tokyo 2020.

The most rowing medals Canada has won at a single Olympic Games is six, achieved at Los Angeles 1984 and Atlanta 1996. It was in Los Angeles where Lesley Thompson-Willie won the first of her five Olympic medals, silver in the women’s coxed four, en route to becoming Canada’s most decorated rower. Her other four medals came in the women’s eight.

Marnie McBean and Kathleen Heddle compete at Barcelona 1992

It was also in Atlanta where Marnie McBean and Kathleen Heddle became the first Canadian athletes to ever win three career Olympic gold medals, winning the women’s double sculls to add to the double gold they had won at Barcelona 1992 in the women’s pair and women’s eight. Canada didn’t win another medal in the women’s pair until Caileigh Filmer and Hillary Janssens captured bronze at Tokyo 2020.  

Of Canada’s five rowing medals won in Barcelona, four were gold to go with the bronze medal won in the women’s single sculls by Silken Laumann just 78 days and five surgeries after a training accident that saw another shell ram into her, breaking her right leg.

Canada’s first Olympic gold medal in rowing was won in the men’s four at Melbourne 1956. It was followed eight years later by George Hungerford and Roger Jackson winning the men’s pair at Tokyo 1964 where they were dubbed the Golden Rejects after going from alternates to Olympic champions just weeks after beginning to train together. They were Canada’s first Olympic gold medallists after the maple leaf flag had become official less than four months earlier.

At Rio 2016, Canada earned just one medal on the water as Lindsay Jennerich and Patricia Obee claimed silver in the women’s lightweight double sculls.

Olympic Rowing History

Rowing was supposed to be included at the first Olympic Games in 1896, but rough seas forced the cancellation of the events. Rowing has been successfully contested at every Olympic Games dating back to Paris 1900. Only men competed in Olympic rowing until Montreal 1976 when six women’s events were added. At that time, women’s races were over 1000m. It wasn’t until Seoul 1988 that women’s rowing events were also held on 2000m courses, like the men.

Canadian Medallists

Event Athlete Finish Games
Coxless Four - MenArchie MacKinnon, Donald Arnold, Lorne Loomer, Walter D’HondtGold1956 Melbourne
Coxless Pair - MenGeorge Hungerford, Roger JacksonGold1964 Tokyo
Coxed Eight - MenBlair Horn, Brian McMahon, Dean Crawford, Grant Main, Michael Evans, Kevin Neufeld, Mark Evans, Pat Turner, Paul SteeleGold1984 Los Angeles
Coxless Four - WomenBrenda Taylor, Jessica Monroe, Kay Worthington, Kirsten BarnesGold1992 Barcelona
Coxless Pair - WomenKathleen Heddle, Marnie McBeanGold1992 Barcelona
Coxed Eight - MenAndy Crosby, Bruce Robertson, Darren Barber, Derek Porter, John Wallace, Michael Forgeron, Michael Rascher, Robert Marland, Terry PaulGold1992 Barcelona
Coxed Eight - WomenBrenda Taylor, Jessica Monroe, Kathleen Heddle, Kay Worthington, Kirsten Barnes, Lesley Thompson-Willie, Marnie McBean, Megan Delehanty, Shannon CrawfordGold1992 Barcelona
Double Sculls - WomenKathleen Heddle, Marnie McBeanGold1996 Atlanta
Coxed Eight - MenAdam Kreek, Ben Rutledge, Brian Price, Dominic Seiterle, Jake Wetzel, Andrew Byrnes, Kevin Light, Kyle Hamilton, Malcolm HowardGold2008 Beijing
Coxed Eight - Women Lisa Roman, Kasia Grucalla-Wesierski, Christine Roper, Andrea Proske, Susanne Grainger, Madison Mailey, Sydney Payne, Avalon Wasteneys, Kristen Kit Gold2020 Tokyo
Coxed Eight - MenArthur Bailey, Donald McKenzie, George Reiffenstein, George Strange, Joseph Wright, Phil Boyd, Thomas Loudon, William Rice, William WadsworthSilver1904 St. Louis
Coxless Four - MenArchie Black, Colin Finlayson, George MacKay, William WoodSilver1924 Paris
Coxed Eight - MenArthur Bell, Harold Little, Ivor Campbell, John Smith, Norman Taylor, Robert Hunter, Warren Snyder, William Langford, William WallaceSilver1924 Paris
Double Sculls - MenJack Guest, Joseph Wright JrSilver1928 Amsterdam
Coxed Eight - MenCarlton Ogawa, David Helliwell, Douglas McDonald, Lawrence West, Philip Kueber, Richard McClure, Robert Wilson, Wayne Pretty, William McKerlichSilver1956 Melbourne
Coxed Eight - MenArchie MacKinnon, David Anderson, Donald Arnold, Glen Mervyn, John Lecky, Nelson Kuhn, Sohen Biln, Walter D’Hondt, William McKerlichSilver1960 Rome
Coxless Pair - WomenElizabeth Craig, Tricia SmithSilver1984 Los Angeles
Coxed Four - WomenAngela Schneider, Barbara Armbrust, Jane Tregunno, Lesley Thompson-Willie, Marilyn BrainSilver1984 Los Angeles
Coxed Eight - WomenAlison Korn, Anna Van der Kamp, Emma Robinson, Heather McDermid, Jessica Monroe, Lesley Thompson-Willie, Maria Maunder, Theresa Luke, Tosha TsangSilver1996 Atlanta
Lightweight Four - MenBrian Peaker, David Boyes, Gavin Hassett, Jeffrey LaySilver1996 Atlanta
Single Sculls - MenDerek PorterSilver1996 Atlanta
Single Sculls - WomenSilken LaumannSilver1996 Atlanta
Coxless Four - MenBarney Williams, Cameron Baerg, Jake Wetzel, Thomas HerschmillerSilver2004 Athens
Coxless Pair - MenDavid Calder, Scott FrandsenSilver2008 Beijing
Coxed Eight - MenGabe Bergen, Jeremiah Brown, Andrew Byrnes, Will Crothers, Douglas Csima, Rob Gibson, Malcolm Howard, Conlin McCabe, Brian PriceSilver2012 London
Coxed Eight - WomenAshley Brzozowicz, Janine Hanson, Krista Guloien, Darcy Marquardt, Natalie Mastracci, Andréanne Morin, Lesley Thompson-Willie, Rachelle Viinberg, Lauren WilkinsonSilver2012 London
Lightweight Double Sculls - WomenLindsay Jennerich, Patricia ObeeSilver2016 Rio
Lightweight Double Sculls - WomenLindsay Jennerich Patricia ObeeSilver2016 Rio
Single Sculls - MenEverard ButlerBronze1912 Stockholm
Coxed Eight - MenAthol Meech, Edgar Norris, Frank Fiddes, Frederick Hedges, Herbert Richardson, Jack Murdoch, John Donnelly, John Hand, William RossBronze1928 Amsterdam
Double Sculls - MenCharles Pratt, Noel de MilleBronze1932 Los Angeles
Coxed Eight - MenAlbert Taylor, Cedric Liddell, Donald Boal, Earl Eastwood, George MacDonald, Harry Fry, Joseph Harris, Stanley Stanyar, William ThoburnBronze1932 Los Angeles
Double Sculls - WomenDaniele Laumann, Silken LaumannBronze1984 Los Angeles
Quadruple Sculls - MenBruce Ford, Doug Hamilton, Michael Hughes, Phil MoncktonBronze1984 Los Angeles
Single Sculls - MenRobert MillsBronze1984 Los Angeles
Single Sculls - WomenSilken LaumannBronze1992 Barcelona
Quadruple Sculls - WomenDiane O’Grady, Kathleen Heddle, Laryssa Biesenthal, Marnie McBeanBronze1996 Atlanta
Coxed Eight - WomenAlison Korn, Buffy Williams, Dorota Urbaniak, Emma Robinson, Heather Davis, Heather McDermid, Laryssa Biesenthal, Lesley Thompson-Willie, Theresa LukeBronze2000 Sydney
Lightweight Four - MenLiam Parsons, Iain Brambell, Jonathan Beare, Mike LewisBronze2008 Beijing
Lightweight Double Sculls - WomenTracy Cameron, Melanie KokBronze2008 Beijing
Coxless Pair - Women Caileigh Filmer, Hillary JanssensBronze2020 Tokyo