Marnie McBean

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Marnie McBean
Personal information
Full nameMarnie Elizabeth McBean
Born (1968-01-28) January 28, 1968 (age 55)
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Marnie Elizabeth McBean, OC MSM (born January 28, 1968) is a Canadian former rower. She is a three-time Olympics gold medallist.

Rowing career[edit]

A graduate of the University of Western Ontario, McBean competed at the 1992 Summer Olympics in the coxless pairs and eights events, winning gold medals in both. At the 1996 Summer Olympics she competed in the double and quadruple sculls, winning gold in the double and bronze in the quadruple.[1] With her long-time rowing partner Kathleen Heddle, she was the first Canadians to win three Olympic Gold medals.[citation needed] In addition to her other exploits, McBean won a Silver medal in the prestigious single scull event at the 1993 World Rowing Championships.[citation needed]

At the 2000 Sydney Olympics, McBean was set to represent Canada in the single scull and she had hoped to win a fourth gold medal. After travelling to Australia, a back injury which eventually required an operation forced McBean to withdraw from the Olympics and McBean decided to retire from international competition.[2]

Accolades and personal life[edit]

In 1997, McBean was inducted into the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame. In 2002, McBean was awarded the Thomas Keller Medal by FISA, the International Rowing Federation, for her outstanding career in international rowing.[3] In 1997, she was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal (civil division).[4] In 2013, she was made an Officer of the Order of Canada.[5] She has been appointed as chef de mission of Canada's team at the 2020 Olympic Games, to be held in Tokyo.[6]

After retiring from active competition, McBean began coming out as lesbian in her personal life.[7] She met her partner Deanah Shelly in 2010,[7] and the couple married in April 2014. They have a daughter named Isabel.[6][7]

In 2015, McBean was presented the Bonham Centre Award from The Mark S. Bonham Centre for Sexual Diversity Studies, University of Toronto, for her contributions to the advancement and education of issues around sexual identification.[8]


  1. ^ Evans, Hilary; Gjerde, Arild; Heijmans, Jeroen; Mallon, Bill; et al. "Marnie McBean". Olympics at Sports Reference LLC. Archived from the original on April 17, 2020. Retrieved April 27, 2017.
  2. ^ "McBean withdraws from Olympics". CBC Sports. August 30, 2000. Retrieved January 26, 2020.
  3. ^ "Canadian rower Marnie McBean honoured – CBC Sports – Sporting news, opinion, scores, standings, schedules". September 19, 2002. Retrieved April 27, 2017.
  4. ^ "The Governor General of Canada > Find a Recipient". Retrieved April 27, 2017.
  5. ^ "The Governor General of Canada > Find a Recipient". May 2, 2013. Retrieved April 27, 2017.
  6. ^ a b Heroux, Devin (July 1, 2019). "Marnie McBean, 3-time rowing gold medallist, named Canada's chef de mission for 2020 Tokyo Olympics". CBC News. Retrieved July 1, 2019.
  7. ^ a b c Pelley, Lauren (November 8, 2014). "Medals, marriage and mentorship". Toronto Star: A3.
  8. ^ "This April, RBC, the Bonham Centre for Sexual Diversity Studies and the Canadian Olympic Committee host the 2015 Bonham Centre Awards Gala and Summit". Retrieved April 27, 2017.

External links[edit]