Rio 2016: Women's 8, Rowing

Susanne Grainger


Susanne Grainger made her international debut at the 2011 U23 World Championships where she helped Canada win gold in the women’s eight. But it was about this time, when she was 21, that Grainger was diagnosed with hypothyroid disorder, which presented a serious challenge to her ability to train and recover. Working with doctors, she was able to push through as they found the right dose of medication to bring her thyroid levels back to normal. Grainger returned to the U23 world championships in 2012 and won a second straight gold medal, this time in the four. She made her debut with the senior national team in 2013, winning world championship bronze with the eight. She continued to compete in the big boat in 2014 and 2015, winning silver and bronze at the world championships. She made her Olympic debut with the eight at Rio 2016, finishing fifth. Grainger had been a member of the varsity eight while representing the University of Virginia.

Getting to know…

Family: Parents Tim and Cate Grainger… Brother Tom… Sister Charlotte… Getting into the Sport: Started rowing just after her family moved back to Canada in 2005 when she was going into grade 8… A friend’s father coached the high school rowing team and told her she should try it based on her height… He took her to Lake Fanshawe and showed her how to erg; once she got the hang of that, he let her row in a tub single and she never looked back… Outside Interests: Graduated from the University of Virginia in 2013 with a double major in studio art (concentration in photography) and politics (concentration in government and political theory)… Earned Master’s degree at Western University in 2014, studying Canadian-American relations with a focus on negative campaign television advertising… Enjoys baking, photography, playing piano and reading… Loves to sing and has written music in the past… Played clarinet in her high school band… Odds and Ends: Favourite motto: Champions are made when no one is watching…

Olympic Highlights

Games Sport Event Finish
2016 RioRowingCoxed Eight - Women5

Notable International Results

Olympic Games: 2016 - 5th (W8+)

FISA World Championships: 2015 – BRONZE (W8+); 2014 – SILVER (W8+); 2013 – BRONZE (W8+)

FISA U23 World Championships: 2012 – GOLD (W4-); 2011 – GOLD (W8+)