Rowing Canada to send largest Olympic team in 25 years to Tokyo

Rowing Canada will send its largest Olympic team in a quarter-century when the athletes arrive in Tokyo, the organization announced Tuesday.

29 athletes will be competing in 10 boats with 5 alternates on hand

Canada's Caileigh Filmer, left, and Hillary Janssens captured gold in the women’s pair event at the 2018 world championship. (Darko Vojinovic/Associated Press)

Rowing Canada will sent its largest Olympic team in a quarter-century when the athletes arrive in Tokyo, the organization announced Tuesday.

In total, 29 athletes will be competing, including 10 boats.

There will also be five alternates going to Tokyo. 

It's the biggest team since the 1996 Atlanta Games, when Canada also sent 10 crews.

That team was led by Tokyo's chef de mission Marnie McBean and her partner, the late Kathleen Heddle. The pair became the first Canadians to win three career Olympic gold medals. Canada also won six rowing medals in Atlanta.

"With so much uncertainty as to whether these Olympic Games would actually happen, this announcement is so surreal," said Caileigh Filmer, 2018 world champion in the women's pair. "I am thrilled to get to represent Team Canada and race my heart out in Tokyo.

"These Games are so special because it will be the first time since the start of the global pandemic that the world will come together, unified. I hope to inspire Canadians through our courage and bravery, as we celebrate coming together for something bigger than ourselves."

Filmer and partner Hillary Janssens captured gold medal at the 2018 world championship in the women's pair event. They followed that up with a bronze medal at the 2019 world championships in Linz, Austria. Filmer represented Canada at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, finishing fifth in the women's eight. 

"It's truly an amazing feeling to be named to my third Olympic team," said Olympic silver medallist, Will Crothers. "We are so fortunate to be able to do what we do while representing a country that is so well respected on the international stage. It's also special to be representing all of the athletes that have come before us and our organization as there are so many amazing people that get the athletes to the start line. There's a lot of medal potential on this team, and I can't wait to watch everybody pour everything they have onto the course in Tokyo!"

Crothers in new crew combination

Crothers was a member of the men's eight who won silver at the London 2012 Olympic Games. He will sit in the stroke seat of the men's four, a new crew combination which recently qualified for Tokyo at the last Olympic qualifier in Lucerne, Switzerland.

The veteran crew on the men's side will include the pair team of Conlin McCabe and Kai Langerfeld.

Will Crothers was part of the men’s eight rowing team that earned a silver medal at the 2012 London Olympics. (Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press)
McCabe won silver in the eight in his Olympic debut at London 2012. He and Langerfeld were both in the four that made the final four years ago in Rio.

Rowing will take place from July 23 to July 30 at the Sea Forest Waterway venue.

"It would come as no surprise to anyone that this is a special nomination announcement to me," said McBean. "This rowing team is strong and I'm so excited to see them race in Tokyo. I'm sure the success at the recent Olympic qualifier, where Canadian rowers secured three of the three quota spots they raced for, is a great harbinger for the rest of the team and shows the quality of the training they have been able to do."

WATCH | Marnie McBean reflects on the parntership with Kathleen Heddle:

Marnie McBean remembers Olympic rowing partner Kathleen Heddle

9 months ago
Three-time Olympic rowing champion Kathleen Heddle died of cancer at age 55. Her rowing partner Marnie McBean had some heartfelt words to say about her friend and teammate. 1:11

Canada's rowing team

  • Susanne GraingerLondon, Ont. (women's coxed eight) 
  • Kasia Gruchalla-Wesierski — Calgary (women's coxed eight) 
  • Kristen Kit — St. Catharines, Ont. (women's coxed eight) 
  • Madison Mailey — Lions Bay, B.C. (women's coxed eight) 
  • Sydney Payne — Toronto (women's coxed eight) 
  • Andrea Proske — Langley, B.C. (women's coxed eight) 
  • Lisa Roman — Langley, B.C. (women's coxed eight)
  • Christine Roper London, Ont. (women's coxed eight)
  • Avalon Wasteneys — Campbell River, B.C. (women's coxed eight)
  • Stephanie Grauer — Vancouver (women's four) 
  • Nicole HareCalgary (women's four) 
  • Jennifer Martins — Toronto (women's four) 
  • Kristina Walker — Wolfe Island, Ont. (women's four)
  • Jakub Buczek — Kitchener, Ont. (men's four) 
  • Will Crothers — Kingston, Ont. (men's four)  
  • Luke Gadsdon — Hamilton (men's four) 
  • Gavin Stone — Brampton, Ont. (men's four) 
  • Caileigh Filmer — Victoria, B.C. (women's pair)  
  • Hillary Janssens— Cloverdale, B.C. (women's pair)
  • Kai Langerfeld — North Vancouver, B.C. (men's pair) 
  • Conlin McCabeBrockville, Ont. (men's pair)
  • Jessica Sevick — Strathmore, Alta. (women's double sculls) 
  • Gabrielle SmithUnionville, Ont. (women's double sculls)
  • Patrick Keane — Victoria, B.C. (men's lightweight double sculls)
  • Maxwell Lattimer Delta, B.C. (men's lightweight double sculls)
  • Jennifer Casson — Kingston, Ont. (women's lightweight double sculls) 
  • Jill Moffatt — Bethany, Ont. (women's lightweight double sculls)
  • Carling Zeeman — Cambridge, Ont. (women's single sculls)
  • Trevor Jones — Lakefield, Ont. (men's single sculls)
  • Joshua KingOttawa (alternate) 
  • Ivy Elling Quaintance — Sidney, B.C. (alternate) 
  • Trish Mara Victoria, B.C. (alternate) 
  • Morgan Rosts — Jordan, Ont. (alternate) 
  • Rebecca Zimmerman — Toronto (alternate)

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