Two-time Olympic rower Darren Barber was a member of the Canadian eights crew at the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona who won the gold medal by 0.14 seconds, the closest rowing final in Olympic history.
Rower Darren Barber made his first of his two Olympic eights appearances at Barcelona 1992. In the Olympic eights final, Barber and his Canadian crew edged ahead at the half-way mark and held on to win by less than a foot over Romania in the closest rowing final in Olympic history – 0.14 seconds. Four years later at Atlanta 1996, Barber and the Canadian eights crew finished just off the podium missing the bronze medal by 0.77 seconds.
Initially competing in coxed fours, Barber finished 10th at the 1989 World Championships, then switched eights and became a two-time World Championships medalist as a member of the crew that chased Germany to back-to-back silver medals in 1990 and 1991. He finished fourth in the coxless pairs with Phil Graham at the 1994 World Championships and 13th in 1995 in the coxless fours. Barber competed for Team British Columbia at the 1985 Canada Games and won his first major international medal in rowing, a coxless fours bronze, at the 1986 World Junior Championships.
Barber, a graduate of the prestigious Brentwood College School known for producing rowing champions in Victoria, British Columbia, retired post Barcelona 1992 to pursue his medical training to become a sports medicine physician. A comeback in 2003 for Athens 2004 was derailed and yet after two pre-Olympic World Cup eights victories in 2004, Barber returned to retirement. He worked as a physician in Alberta, Manitoba and Ontario settling in Peterborough with his wife Jessica, where he coached rowing at Trent University. The grandson of Olympian and hockey legend Syl Apps, Barber is also first cousins with three-time Olympic champion ice hockey player Gillian Apps.
Barber was inducted into the British Columbia Sports Hall of Fame and Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame in 1994 and Canadian Rowing Hall of Fame in 2017.
|1992 Barcelona||Rowing||Coxed Eight - Men||Gold|
|1996 Atlanta||Rowing||Coxed Eight - Men||4|