Canada announces 26-member Olympic rowing team
7 boats competing for Canada at Summer Games
By Lori Ewing, The Canadian Press
The eight boat in rowing represents the perfect marriage between power and harmony, says Cristy Nurse. It's the ultimate expression of teamwork.
For the past four years, Canada's women's eight has worked daily on finding that rhythm at their training base in London, Ont., in preparation for the Rio Olympics.
Canada won't have a men's boat in rowing's marquee event in Rio, but the women won silver four years ago in London, and headlined the 26-member Canadian Olympic rowing team announced Monday.
"As you know, the special thing about this boat is it's the ultimate expression of teamwork," said Nurse, a 29-year-old from Georgetown, Ont., and member of the women's eight. "It takes nine minds and nine bodies working together [the ninth member is the coxswain].
"There's a reason it's the eight on those posters in doctors offices and classrooms, that say 'teamwork,' it's really the embodiment of that. And I think that's what this crew is capable of when we get it right."
The Canadian team features 10 returning Olympians, including six who won medals in London.
Canada has a tradition of excellence in rowing, capturing 40 medals in Olympic history, ninth best in the world. The Canadian team took home two medals from London — silver in the men's and women's eights.
But post-London, Rowing Canada killed the men's eight program, hoping to spread the resources over a number of smaller boats.
Canada qualified six boats for Rio last September at the world championships, and the men's quadruple sculls — Julien Bahain, Will Dean, Rob Gibson, and Pascal Lussier — clinched a spot as the seventh and final boat at the final Olympic qualifying regatta in May.
Lussier, a 24-year-old from Saint Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que., says he's the "new kid on the block," among three Olympic veterans.
"Those three guys behind me have 40 years of experience, and I've only been rowing for four years, so to have those guys behind me to help me every day, to go to practice and just be professional, be a better athlete every day, they've done a good job of that," Lussier said. "Just going through the qualifier, my goal was to have a solid race, don't think about anything else. . . execute under pressure, I really learned from that, from putting everything on the line."
The rowing competition will take place at Lagoa Stadium, Aug. 6-14, with eight men's events and six women's events.
The following athletes will row for Canada at the upcoming Olympics:
Lightweight double sculls
- Lindsay Jennerich, Victoria
- Patricia Obee, Victoria
- Nicole Hare, Calgary
- Jennifer Martins, Toronto
- Carling Zeeman, Cambridge, Ont.
- Caileigh Filmer, Victoria
- Susanne Grainger, London, Ont.
- Natalie Mastracci, Thorold, Ont.
- Cristy Nurse, Georgetown, Ont.
- Lisa Roman, Langley, B.C.
- Christine Roper, Montego Bay, Jamaica
- Lesley Thompson-Willie, London, Ont. (coxswain)
- Antje von Seydlitz, Smithers, B.C.
- Lauren Wilkinson, North Vancouver, B.C.
- Will Crothers, Kingston, Ont.
- Kai Langerfeld, North Vancouver, B.C.
- Conlin McCabe, Brockville, Ont.
- Tim Schrijver, Thedford, Ont.
- Brendan Hodge, South Delta, B.C.
- Maxwell Lattimer, Delta, B.C.
- Nicolas Pratt, Kingston, Ont.
- Eric Woelfl, St. Catharines, Ont.
- Julien Bahain, Angers, France
- Will Dean, Kelowna, B.C.
- Rob Gibson, Kingston, Ont.
- Pascal Lussier, Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que.
- Ashley Brzozowicz, Omemee, Ont.
- Matthew Buie, Duntroon, Ont.
- Hillary Janssens, Cloverdale, B.C.
- Kate Sauks, Owen Sound, Ont.