Biography:

In her one and only appearance at the Olympic Games and in the last international regatta of her rowing career, Brenda Taylor won two gold medals. Her first gold came in the coxless fours alongside with Kirsten Barnes, Jessica Monroe and Kay Worthington (who had replaced the injured Jennifer Walinga). The following day Taylor won a gold medal with the eights crew comprised of her coxless fours team plus Shannon Crawford, Megan Delehanty, Kathleen Heddle, Marnie McBean and coxswain Lesley Thompson. Recognizing Walinga’s contribution to the coxless fours team in the preparation and training in the years prior, a short while after Barcelona 1992, while standing in a parking lot, Taylor sacrificed one of her two Olympic gold medals and donated it to Walinga – recognizing the fact that the crew could not have won the gold medal without her. A two-time World champion, Taylor won gold medals in the coxless fours and coxed eights at the 1991 World Championships. 

A graduate of Nanaimo District Secondary School, Taylor grew up riding horses but had to sell them when she went to the University of British Columbia, where she started rowing in 1981. On the national team by 1984, Taylor finished fifth in the eights in her first major international race at the 1985 World Championships, was fifth in 1986 and fourth in 1991 (coxless fours). She was a member of the eights crew that won a bronze medal at the 1986 Commonwealth Games. At the 1989 US Nationals, Taylor placed first in both the fours and eights.  Following Barcelona 1992, Taylor retired from active competition. She became club manager of the Victoria City Rowing Club (VCRC) and boat house manager for the Victoria Rowing Society. 

Taylor was inducted into the Greater Victoria Sports Hall of Fame, British Columbia Sports Hall of Fame and Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame in 1994, Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame in 2013 and Canadian Rowing Hall of Fame in 2017.