Kathleen Heddle

golden leaf icon for Hall of Fame

Team Canada Medal Count

Gold medal icon 3
Silver medal icon 0
Bronze medal icon 1


Kathleen Heddle is one of Canada’s most decorated Olympians. In her two Olympic appearances, she captured four medals, including three gold, making her one of just two Canadians to be a triple gold medallist at the Summer Games. The other is Marnie McBean, Heddle’s partner in the coxless pair at Barcelona 1992 and in the double sculls at Atlanta 1996. They were also members of the champion eights crew in Barcelona and won bronze in the quadruple sculls in Atlanta.

Heddle made her debut at the World Rowing Championships in 1989 as a member of the four that finished fourth. After a repeat of that result in 1990, she was paired with McBean by coach Al Morrow. In their first major international race at the 1991 World Cup in Lucerne, they defeated the reigning world champions. The Canadian duo went on to win gold in both the pair and the eight at the 1991 World Championships, a sign of what was to come at the Olympic Games a year later.

In 1993, Heddle decided to take a season away from rowing. She re-teamed with McBean for the 1994 World Championships, this time in the double sculls.  A silver medal there was followed by gold in 1995 when they also won world championship silver in the quad sculls, once again a preview of the Olympic success just ahead.

In 1999, Heddle was awarded the Thomas Keller Medal by the International Rowing Federation, recognizing her for her accomplishments and sportsmanship throughout her illustrious career. She was inducted to Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame in 1997, three years after being inducted to the Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame.

Olympic Highlights

Games Sport Event Finish
1992 Barcelona RowingCoxed Eight - WomenGold
1992 Barcelona RowingCoxless Pair - WomenGold
1996 Atlanta RowingQuadruple Sculls - WomenBronze
1996 Atlanta RowingDouble Sculls - WomenGold