Jane Thornton

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Jane S. Thornton
Personal information
Nationality  Canada
Born Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada
Country Canada
Sport Rowing
University team University of Western Ontario
Club Fredericton Rowing Club, Don Rowing Club of Mississauga, Western Rowing Club
Achievements and titles
Olympic finals 4th Beijing 2008 Eights (W8+)

Jane Thornton, MD PhD is a Canadian rower and international advocate for physical activity. She was born in Fredericton, New Brunswick.[1]

She won a gold medal at the 2006 World Rowing Championships in the women's coxless pairs with Darcy Marquardt.[2] She finished in fourth place at the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing, China in the women's eights with Ashley Brzozowicz, Darcy Marquardt, Buffy Williams, Sarah Bonikowsky, Romina Stefancic, Andréanne Morin, Heather Mandoli and cox Lesley Thompson-Willie.[3]

Thornton earned a BDc, MSc and Ph.D. in Kinesiology and Sport Medicine from the University of Western Ontario before attending medical school at the University of Toronto, where she added an MD to her list of academic credentials. Following medical school, she undertook a year of medical residency abroad in Switzerland and gained valuable international experience to fuel her passion for the use of physical activity for prevention and treatment of chronic disease.

International Rowing[edit]

From 2001 to 2011, Thornton competed as a member of Canada’s National Rowing Team.

One of her chief accomplishments during this time was an undefeated international season in the Women’s Pair with partner Darcy Marquardt that culminated in victory at the 2006 World Rowing Championships at Eton-Dorney, UK. The duo qualified the Women’s Pair for the Beijing 2008 Olympics the following year at the 2007 World Rowing Championships.

In the spring of 2008, Thornton was assigned to stroke the Women’s Eight at the final Olympic qualification regatta where the crew secured a berth for the Games. That crew went on to come fourth in Beijing by the narrowest of margins (just 0.72 seconds separated 2nd place from 4th).

Other notable accomplishments representing Canada during this period include three Canadian National Championship titles in the Women’s Pair, three World Cup podium performances in the Women’s Pair and Eight, Commonwealth Rowing Championship wins in the Women’s Single and Quadruple Sculls and gold at the World University Rowing Championships in the Women’s Single and Double Sculls.[4][5]

In 2006 Thornton and Marquardt were Canadian Sports Awards finalist in the “Partners of the Year” category.[6] Thornton was named Honourary Team Captain for Team New Brunswick at the 2009 Canada Summer Games.[7] In 2010, she was further honoured as a torchbearer in the Olympic Torch Relay during the lead up to the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympic Games.[8]

Rowing Canada has recognised Thornton with three separate awards: the Rowing Canada Aviron Award of Merit (the highest award conferred by Rowing Canada) “in recognition of exceptional service to rowing as a competitive athlete”; the Rowing Canada Aviron Centennial Medal for outstanding contribution to Canadian rowing; and the Rowing Canada Aviron International Achievement Award.[9]

Social Responsibility[edit]

In 2015, Thornton was awarded the AthletesCAN Athlete Social Responsibility Award for her efforts to provide mentorship, inspiration and leadership to developing athletes within Canada’s rowing community as well as her contributions to push forward the promotion and recognition of athlete social responsibility internationally.[10]

Thornton has additionally been involved as an Athlete Ambassador at Right to Play Canada, in which capacity she travelled to Uganda in 2009.[11]

International Experience[edit]

During the course of her education and athletic pursuits, Thornton sought out many international experiences to compliment her research, including further medical training in six different countries. 

She has developed educational resources and medical curricula in Switzerland, Luxembourg, the United Kingdom, and Canada and lectures on the topic internationally.[12]

Selected Publications[edit]

Thornton has contributed to a number of publications in leading medical journals including the following:

1.    Thornton, J.S., P. Fremont, K. Khan, P. Poirier, G. Wells, J. Fowles, R. Frankovich. Physical activity prescription: a critical opportunity to address a modifiable risk factor for the prevention and management of chronic disease: a position statement by the Canadian Academy of Sport and Exercise Medicine. Br J Sports Med doi:10.1136/bjsports-2016-096291

2.    Thornton, J.S., A. Vinther, F. Wilson, M. Wilkinson, C. Lebrun, S. Di Ciacca, K. Orlando, T. Smoljanovic. Rowing Injuries – an updated review. Sports Medicine 47(4), 641-61. 2016 Aug doi: 10.1007/s40279-016-0613-y

3.     Gates A. B., Kerry R., Moffatt F., Ritchie I.K., Meakins A., Thornton J.S., Rosenbaum S., Taylor A. Movement for movement: exercise as everybody’s business? Br J Sports Med 2016 Oct doi:10.1136/bjsports-2016-096857


  1. ^ "Jane Thornton". Official Canadian Olympic Team Website | Team Canada | 2016 Olympic Games. 2011-09-19. Retrieved 2017-04-09. 
  2. ^ "Events - worldrowing.com". www.worldrowing.com. Retrieved 2017-04-09. 
  3. ^ "Events - worldrowing.com". www.worldrowing.com. Retrieved 2017-04-09. 
  4. ^ "Jane THORNTON - worldrowing.com". www.worldrowing.com. Retrieved 2017-04-09. 
  5. ^ "Canada Wins Big at the World University Rowing Championships". row2k.com. Retrieved 2017-04-09. 
  6. ^ Anonymous (2013-01-22). "The True Sport Foundation Announces Finalists For the 34th Annual Canadian Sport Awards". True Sport. Retrieved 2017-04-09. 
  7. ^ "Canada Games - Team NB Rally". www1.gnb.ca. Retrieved 2017-04-09. 
  8. ^ cdnolympicteam (2009-11-13). "Vancouver 2010 Olympic Torch Relay Features Canadian Olympians". Official Canadian Olympic Team Website | Team Canada | 2016 Olympic Games. Retrieved 2017-04-09. 
  9. ^ "Alumna and world champion rower to volunteer at Pan Am and Parapan Am Games". University of Toronto News. Retrieved 2017-04-09. 
  10. ^ "Former National Team Rower, Jane Thornton, Receives 2015 AthletesCAN Social Responsibility Award | Rowing Canada". rowingcanada.org. Retrieved 2017-04-09. 
  11. ^ "Jane Thornton | sportanddev.org". www.sportanddev.org. Retrieved 2017-04-09. 
  12. ^ "Prescribing physical activity can go a long way in preventing chronic disease". Canadian Medical Association. Retrieved 2017-04-09. 

External links[edit]