Rowing at the Summer Olympics

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Rowing at the Summer Olympics
Rowing pictogram.svg
Governing body FISA
Events 14 (men: 8; women: 6)
Games
1896 1900 1904 1908 1912 1920
1924 1928 1932 1936 1948 1952
1956 1960 1964 1968 1972 1976
1980 1984 1988 1992 1996 2000
2004 2008 2012 2012
Medalists (men • women)

Rowing at the Summer Olympics has been part of the competition since its debut in the 1900 Summer Olympics. Rowing was on the program at the 1896 Summer Olympics but was cancelled due to bad weather. Only men were allowed to compete until the women's events were introduced at the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal. Lightweight rowing events (which have weight-limited crews) were introduced to the games in 1996. Qualifying for the rowing events is under the jurisdiction of the International Rowing Federation (or FISA, its French acronym). FISA predates the modern Olympics and was the first international sport federation to join the modern Olympic movement.

Events[edit]

At the current Olympics the following 14 events are offered:

The lightweight events were threatened in 2002 when the Programme Commission of the IOC recommended that, outside combat sports (boxing & wrestling, but not fencing, shooting, and archery) and weightlifting, there should not be weight-category events. The Executive Board overturned this recommendation and the lightweight rowing has been continued.

In the early games (1900 and 1904) there were several other categories of events (Junior, Novice, Association, and Intermediate). A number of other boat classes have made an appearance at several games (sometimes for a long time) but have been subsequently dropped – as recently as the 1990s. The primary loss has been in boats with coxwains, except for the eights, which have always been coxed. These were:

  • Men's Coxed Pair (1900–1992)
  • Men's Coxed Four (1900–1992)
  • Women's Coxed Four (1976–1988)
  • Women's Coxed Quad Sculls (1976–1984)
  • Women's Coxless Four (1992 only)
  • Men's Coxed Four with Inriggers[1] (1912 only)
  • Six-Man Naval Rowing Boats (1906 only)
  • 17-Man Naval Rowing Boats (1906 only)

The non-Olympic boatclasses (which still compete in World Championships) are today LM1X, LM4X, LM2-, LM8+, LW1X, LW4X, M2+ and W4-.

Race distances[edit]

Today all races are raced over a 2000 m course, but this did not become standard before the Stockholm Olympics in 1912. Before this it was raced over various distances. In Paris in 1900 (1750 m), in St. Louis in 1904 (3218 m), in London in 1908 (2412 m), and again in London in 1948 (1850 m). The 1908 and 1948 were held over the Henley Royal Regatta course.

Women's races were raced over 1,000 meters until 1988 when they were changed to 2,000 meters.

Early games featured match races between two or three boats (in 1952, between four or five boats).

The modern six boat side-by-side format was first adopted at the 1936 Olympic Games, and has been the standard since the 1956 Olympic Games.

Qualification[edit]

There is a limited number of crews permitted to race, so the International Rowing Federation holds qualification events in order to determine who competes at the Olympic Games. At the Olympic Games, each National Olympic Committee can only have one boat per event.

The main qualification comes from the previous year's World Rowing Championships. Other qualifying events are called "Continental Qualification Regattas", of which four are held during the year preceding the games - Asia, Africa, Latin America, and Final (open to everyone else). Each year FISA issues details of how many crews qualify at each regatta.

At the World Championships, the top finishing boats guarantee a place for that country - the rowers in the crew can be changed before the games. At the qualification regattas, it is the crew that wins that qualifies for the Olympics, and no changes can be made (except in the cases of illness or injuries).

Medal table[edit]

Rank Nation Gold Silver Bronze Total
1  East Germany (GDR) 33 7 8 48
2  United States (USA) 32 31 24 87
3  Great Britain (GBR) 28 22 13 63
4  Germany (GER) 21 13 14 48
5  Romania (ROU) 19 10 8 37
6  Soviet Union (URS) 12 20 10 42
7  Italy (ITA) 10 14 12 36
8  Australia (AUS) 10 13 14 37
9  Canada (CAN) 9 16 15 40
10  New Zealand (NZL) 9 2 10 21
11  Denmark (DEN) 7 4 11 22
12  France (FRA) 6 14 12 32
13  Switzerland (SUI) 6 8 9 23
14  Netherlands (NED) 5 11 11 27
15  West Germany (FRG) 4 4 6 14
16  Unified Team of Germany (EUA) 4 4 1 9
17  Norway (NOR) 3 6 5 14
18  Bulgaria (BUL) 3 4 7 14
19  Poland (POL) 3 3 10 16
20  Finland (FIN) 3 1 3 7
21  Czechoslovakia (TCH) 2 2 7 11
22  Belarus (BLR) 2 1 4 7
23  China (CHN) 1 4 2 7
24  Czech Republic (CZE) 1 3 0 4
25  Slovenia (SLO) 1 1 3 5
 Yugoslavia (YUG) 1 1 3 5
27  Argentina (ARG) 1 1 2 4
28  Ukraine (UKR) 1 1 1 3
29  Russia (RUS) 1 0 3 4
30  South Africa (RSA) 1 0 1 2
31  Mixed team (ZZX) 1 0 0 1
32  Belgium (BEL) 0 6 2 8
33  Austria (AUT) 0 3 2 5
34  Croatia (CRO) 0 2 1 3
35  Estonia (EST) 0 2 0 2
 Sweden (SWE) 0 2 0 2
37  Uruguay (URU) 0 1 3 4
38  Hungary (HUN) 0 1 2 3
 Greece (GRE) 0 1 2 3
40  Spain (ESP) 0 1 0 1
41  Unified Team (EUN) 0 0 1 1
 Lithuania (LTU) 0 0 1 1
Total 240 240 243 723

Multiple medalists[edit]

The table shows those who have won at least 3 gold medals.

Athlete (nation) Olympics  Gold  Silver Bronze Total Notes
 Elisabeta Lipă
Romania (ROU)
1984, 1988, 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004 5 2 1 8 20 years between first and last gold medal
 Steve Redgrave
Great Britain (GBR)
1984, 1988, 1992, 1996, 2000 5 0 1 6 Gold medals in 5 straight Games, 1984 Gold in the coxed four, 1988 Gold in the pair with Andy Holmes, 1992 and 1996 Gold in the pair with Matthew Pinsent and in 2000 Gold in the coxless four
 Georgeta Damian
Romania (ROU)
2000, 2004, 2008 5 0 1 6 Won the pair and the eights in both 2000 and 2004, and the pair again in 2008
 Doina Ignat
Romania (ROU)
1992, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008 4 1 1 6 Part of Romania's three-straight gold medalist eight
 Kathrin Boron
Germany (GER)
1992, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008 4 0 1 5 Four straight Olympic golds. Bronze in her final Olympics in the Quadruple Sculls
 Viorica Susanu
Romania (ROU)
1996, 2000, 2004, 2008 4 0 1 5 Won three medals in the women's eight, and two in the pair
 Matthew Pinsent
Great Britain (GBR)
1992, 1996, 2000, 2004 4 0 0 4 Four straight Olympic golds. Won with Steven Redgrave in the pair in 1992 and 1996. In the coxless four in 2000 and in 2004
 Jack Beresford
Great Britain (GBR)
1920, 1924, 1928, 1932, 1936 3 2 0 5 First rower to win a medal at 5 straight Olympics. WWII prevented the opportunity for a sixth medal
 Constanţa Burcică
Romania (ROU)
1992, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008 3 1 1 5 Won three gold medals in the women's lightweight double sculls
 Elena Georgescu
Romania (ROU)
1992, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008 3 1 1 5 Coxswain of Romania's women's eight
 Drew Ginn
Australia (AUS)
1996, 2004, 2008, 2012 3 1 0 4 Member of the Oarsome Foursome
 Eskild Ebbesen
Denmark (DEN)
1996, 2000, 2004, 2008, 2012 3 0 2 5 Won all his medals in the lightweight coxless four
 Marnie McBean
Canada (CAN)
1992, 1996 3 0 1 4 Along with rowing partner Kathleen Heddle, Canadian with the most gold medals
 Kathleen Heddle
Canada (CAN)
1992, 1996 3 0 1 4 Won all her medals with rowing partner Marnie McBean
 James Tomkins
Australia (AUS)
1992, 1996, 2000, 2004 3 0 1 4 Most medaled Australian rower
 John B. Kelly, Sr.
United States (USA)
1920, 1924 3 0 0 3 First rower to win 3 gold medals. Father of movie star turned princess Grace Kelly
 Paul Costello
United States (USA)
1920, 1924, 1928 3 0 0 3 First man to win 3 gold medals in the same event, the double sculls. Cousin of John B. Kelly, Sr.
 Vyacheslav Ivanov
Soviet Union (URS)
1956, 1960, 1964 3 0 0 3 Won all his medals in the single sculls
 Siegfried Brietzke
East Germany (GDR)
1972, 1976, 1980 3 0 0 3 First German triple gold medalist. Won in the pair and the coxless four
 Pertti Karppinen
Finland (FIN)
1976, 1980, 1984 3 0 0 3 Won all his medals in the single sculls
 Agostino Abbagnale
Italy (ITA)
1988, 1996, 2000 3 0 0 3 His brothers Carmine and Giuseppe each won 2 gold medals.
 Liliana Gafencu
Romania (ROU)
1996, 2000, 2004 3 0 0 3 Won all three medals in Romania's women's eight

Events[edit]

Men's[edit]

Event 96 00 04 08 12 20 24 28 32 36 48 52 56 60 64 68 72 76 80 84 88 92 96 00 04 08 12 Years
Single sculls 26
Double sculls 23
Quadruple sculls 10
Coxless pairs 23
Coxed pairs 18
Coxless fours 23
Coxed fours •• 20
Coxed fours, with inriggers 1
Eights 26
Lightweight Double sculls 5
Lightweight Coxless fours 5
Events 0 5 5 4 4 5 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8

Women's[edit]

Event 96 00 04 08 12 20 24 28 32 36 48 52 56 60 64 68 72 76 80 84 88 92 96 00 04 08 12 Years
Single sculls 10
Double sculls 10
Quadruple sculls 10
Coxless pairs 10
Coxed fours 4
Coxless fours 1
Eights 10
Lightweight Double sculls 5
Events 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6

Nations[edit]

Nation 96 00 04 08 12 20 24 28 32 36 48 52 56 60 64 68 72 76 80 84 88 92 96 00 04 08 12 Years
 Algeria (ALG)   1 2 1 3 1 5
 Argentina (ARG)   9 9 3 26 9 9 12 9 18 10 7 6 6 22 8 6 2 10 18
 Australasia (ANZ)   10 1
 Australia (AUS)   10 1 1 12 8 14 26 25 26 11 16 13 16 25 16 28 45 45 45 48 47 21
 Austria (AUT)   6 2 9 7 4 4 10 7 3 16 3 7 6 5 12 13 8 5 18
 Azerbaijan (AZE)   2 1
 Belarus (BLR)   17 10 11 13 5 5
 Belgium (BEL)   11 10 6 20 15 21 7 4 12 7 5 2 1 5 7 6 8 9 5 4 3 3 1 23
 Bermuda (BER)   1 1
 Bohemia (BOH)   2 1
 Brazil (BRA)   5 2 18 21 2 3 5 5 2 2 7 10 10 10 8 6 1 4 6 4 20
 Bulgaria (BUL)   5 8 33 52 34 15 5 4 6 3 10
 Cameroon (CMR)   1 1 2
 Canada (CAN)   9 13 10 5 14 11 16 10 11 15 13 15 16 14 16 46 54 40 27 32 30 32 35 30 24
 Chile (CHI)   1 3 1 9 2 6 2 2 1 9
 China (CHN)   9 11 22 13 10 17 31 18 8
 Chinese Taipei (TPE)   2 1 1 3
 Colombia (COL)   1 1
 Croatia (CRO)   7 8 13 6 4 5 6
 Cuba (CUB)   5 9 9 11 7 14 17 3 2 9 7 9 6 13
 Czech Republic (CZE)   5 1 16 14 12 5
 Czechoslovakia (TCH)   15 1 17 4 8 11 22 20 15 21 34 26 17 31 14
 Denmark (DEN)   15 1 10 16 25 25 7 16 14 10 12 7 7 10 3 13 13 10 12 10 10 21
 East Germany (GDR)   26 26 54 55 44 5
 Egypt (EGY)   1 8 16 1 7 2 6 5 8
 El Salvador (ESA)   1 2 2
 Estonia (EST)   1 7 1 3 7 7 6 7
 Finland (FIN)   6 5 26 5 12 7 2 3 7 1 3 5 3 2 2 15
 France (FRA)   47 17 14 23 26 5 19 22 17 13 16 22 17 18 17 16 23 12 25 21 23 21 21 14 24
 Germany (GER)   21 3 26 23 16 26 21 53 48 31 48 48 48 13
 Great Britain (GBR)   1 30 24 10 21 23 15 18 26 23 12 26 8 11 17 31 43 42 30 46 37 36 37 44 47 25
 Greece (GRE)   8 3 1 6 3 1 7 2 5 4 4 5 10 13
 Guatemala (GUA)   2 1 2
 Hong Kong (HKG)   3 1 3 3 4 3 6
 Honduras (HON)   1 1
 Hungary (HUN)   11 11 7 6 23 9 15 4 9 6 15 8 20 8 8 3 4 6 2 4 20
 India (IND)   2 1 3 3 4
 Individual Olympic Athletes (IOA)   2 1
 Indonesia (INA)   1 1
 Iran (IRI)   2 2 2
 Iraq (IRQ)   2 1
 Ireland (IRL)   9 1 10 11 3 1 6 4 6 9 1 11
 Italy (ITA)   1 1 6 17 26 20 22 26 26 21 26 18 14 21 15 5 22 27 21 32 28 31 20 20 24
 Japan (JPN)   6 14 16 5 9 14 26 10 3 9 6 12 13 11 8 4 4 5 18
 Kazakhstan (KAZ)   1 3 2 3
 Kenya (KEN)   1 1 2
 Kuwait (KUW)   1 1
 Latvia (LAT)   3 4 1 3
 Lebanon (LIB)   1 1
 Lithuania (LTU)   8 3 2 2 1 4 6
 Mexico (MEX)   1 2 3 25 9 1 1 3 2 5 2 5 3 3 2 15
 Monaco (MON)   5 1 1 3
 Myanmar (MYA)   1 1 2
 Netherlands (NED)   13 4 12 17 21 2 11 6 12 13 17 22 21 24 10 17 16 20 34 33 26 30 32 23
 Niger (NIG)   1 1
 New Zealand (NZL)   1 11 5 8 1 15 14 19 18 22 12 12 11 6 11 16 26 17
 North Korea (PRK)   6 1
 Norway (NOR)   9 24 13 1 14 9 2 5 16 14 12 9 6 11 6 3 1 5 18
 Pakistan (PAK)   3 1
 Paraguay (PAR)   2 1 2
 Peru (PER)   2 3 3 1 1 5
 Philippines (PHI)   1 1 2
 Poland (POL)   6 14 8 11 10 8 5 11 3 16 22 38 13 15 12 17 23 20 26 20
 Portugal (POR)   14 9 5 3 2 4 2 2 8
 Puerto Rico (PUR)   1 1 2
 Romania (ROU)   9 8 7 14 9 21 33 28 26 32 30 28 17 11 15 15
 Russia (RUS)   24 23 19 10 5 5
 Saar (SAA)   7 1
 Serbia (SRB)   3 6 2
 Serbia and Montenegro (SCG)   6 6 2
 Slovakia (SVK)   2 1 2 3
 Slovenia (SLO)   6 7 8 9 10 2 6
 South Africa (RSA)   1 1 5 5 5 9 8 8 2 5 6 11
 South Korea (KOR)   9 5 28 2 4 3 2 5 4 9
 Soviet Union (URS)   26 25 25 26 27 26 55 54 53 9
 Spain (ESP)   5 10 1 6 18 3 13 10 13 22 11 4 9 1 14
 Sweden (SWE)   28 6 5 3 16 9 12 1 3 7 8 8 7 9 3 1 2 2 18
 Switzerland (SUI)   13 11 13 16 19 13 18 8 17 17 4 10 9 7 9 11 11 6 1 8 20
 Thailand (THA)   1 1 1 3
 Tunisia (TUN)   2 1 2 3
 Turkey (TUR)   1 1
 Ukraine (UKR)   20 12 10 10 21 5
 Unified Team of Germany (EUA)   12 26 26 3
 Unified Team (EUN)   47 1
 United Arab Republic (UAR)   9 1
 United States (USA)   9 35 15 20 26 26 26 26 26 26 26 27 27 26 54 54 53 52 46 48 45 45 44 23
 Uruguay (URU)   1 8 3 3 2 5 2 5 3 1 1 1 3 3 2 15
 Uzbekistan (UZB)   4 1 2
 Venezuela (VEN)   1 1
 Vietnam (VIE)   2 2 2
 West Germany (FRG)   26 26 44 36 38 5
 Zimbabwe (ZIM)   2 1 2 3
 Yugoslavia (YUG)   14 21 13 1 12 11 15 7 14 5 10 11
Nations 0 8 2 8 14 14 14 19 13 24 27 33 25 33 27 29 35 31 25 30 38 45 45 51 55 60 58 92
Rowers 0 108 44 81 186 136 182 245 153 313 310 404 242 410 330 353 440 593 470 447 592 627 608 547 557 555 550 7356
Year 96 00 04 08 12 20 24 28 32 36 48 52 56 60 64 68 72 76 80 84 88 92 96 00 04 08 12 24

Venues[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ An "inrigger" is a boat with oarlocks attached directly on the gunwale.

External links[edit]