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Olympics The Best Olympic Athletes in Rowing  

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List of the best rowing Olympic athletes of all time, with photos of the athletes when available. The famous rowing event Olympians on this list are all regarded as some of the toughest athletes to have ever competed at the Olympics. Almost every one of these historic rowing Olympians have taken home a medal, which is why they've earned a spot on this list. Only the greatest rowing Olympic athletes are featured on the front page of this list, so be sure to vote for who you believe are the best rowing athletes and vote down the ones you disagree with.

List athletes include Steve Redgrave, Dominic Seiterle and more.

This list answers the questions, "Who are the greatest Olympic rowing athletes?" and "Who is the best rowing competitor of all time?"
list ordered by

1
68 20
Steve Redgrave is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Rowing
age 56 Sir Steven Geoffrey Redgrave, CBE, DL is a retired British rower who won gold medals at five consecutive Olympic Games from 1984 to 2000. He has also won three Commonwealth Games gold medals and ...more

2
41 13
Mahé Drysdale is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Rowing
age 39 Alexander Mahé Owens Drysdale, MNZM is a New Zealand rower. Drysdale is the current Olympic champion and five-time World champion in the single sculls. The name Mahé comes from the ...more

3
34 14
Matthew Pinsent is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Rowing
Shirley Tessle added age 47 Sir Matthew Clive Pinsent, CBE is an English rower and broadcaster. During his rowing career, he won 10 world championship gold medals and four consecutive Olympic gold medals, of which three ...more

4
19 7
Olaf Tufte is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Rowing
age 41 Olaf Karl Tufte is a Norwegian competition rower. At the 2004 Summer Olympics and 2008 Summer Olympics he won the gold medal in the men's single sculls. He won silver in the men's double sculls ...more

5
14 8
Elisabeta Lipă is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Rowing
Daviv Sumatal added age 53 Elisabeta Lipă is a retired rower from Romania. She is the most decorated rower in the history of the Olympics, winning five gold, two silver and one bronze medals. She holds the record amongst ...more

6
12 8
James Cracknell is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Rowing
BenNicholson added age 45 James Edward Cracknell, OBE is a British athlete, rowing champion and double Olympic gold medalist and prospective Conservative Party politician. Married to TV and radio presenter Beverley ...more

7
11 8
Jüri Jaanson is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Rowing
age 52 Jüri Jaanson is the most successful Estonian rower of all time and the winner of five medals at Rowing World Championships. He became World Champion in Tasmania 1990 in the single sculls ...more

8
9 6
Doina Ignat is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Rowing
Daviv Sumatal added age 49 Doina Ignat is a Romanian rower, who has won six Olympic medals during her career.

9
6 5
Georgina Earl is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Rowing
age 39 Georgina Emma Buchanan Earl, ONZM, formerly known as Georgina Emma Buchanan Evers-Swindell is a former New Zealand rower. She competed in the double sculls with her identical twin sister ...more

10
5 4
Greg Searle is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Rowing
BenNicholson added age 46 Gregory Mark Pascoe Searle MBE is a British Olympic rower educated at Hampton School and London South Bank University.

11
3 2
Ekaterina Karsten is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Rowing
age 45 Ekaterina Karsten is a Belarusian rower, an Olympic champion and world champion in single sculls. She is a two-times Olympic champion and six times World Champion. She won Olympic gold in single ...more

12
3 2
Wyatt Allen is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Rowing
age 39 Wyatt Allen is an American rower. He won a gold medal at the 2004 Summer Olympics and a bronze medal at the 2008 Summer games. He is a graduate of Portland High School and the University of

13
9 9
Susan Francia is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Rowing
age 35 Susan Francia is an American rower. Growing up in Abington, Pennsylvania, she attended Abington Senior High School, followed by the University of Pennsylvania, graduating in 2004 with a ...more

14
4 4
Bryan Volpenhein is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Rowing
age 41 Bryan Volpenhein, is an American rower. He is a three-time Olympian, having participated in the 2000, 2004 and 2008 Summer Olympics. Originally from Cincinnati, Volpenhein graduated from Kings ...more

15
3 3
Scott Frandsen is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Rowing
age 37 Scott Frandsen is a Canadian rower of Swedish and Danish descent.

16
2 2
Scott Brennan is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Rowing
age 35 Scott Brennan is an Australian Olympic gold-medal winning and national champion rower from Hobart, Tasmania. He has represented for Australia in rowing at three consecutive Olympic games.

17
2 2
Rasmus Quist Hansen is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Rowing
tay2twimming added Rasmus Quist Hansen

18
2 2
Sarah Bonikowsky is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Rowing
Sarah Bonikowsky age 35 Sarah Bonikowsky is a Canadian rower. She was born in Orangeville, Ontario and graduated from the University of Victoria with a Bachelors of Art and majored in philosophy with a minor in Greek ...more

19
2 2
Peter Cipollone is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Rowing
age 47 Peter "Pete" Cipollone was the coxswain of the 2004 Olympic gold medal-winning U.S. men's eight rowing team. He is a native of Ardmore, Pennsylvania. Pete won World Championships in ...more

20
2 2
Caroline Meyer is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Rowing
age 39 Caroline Frances Meyer, ONZM, formerly known as Caroline Frances Evers-Swindell is a former New Zealand rower. She is 179 cm tall and 80kg. She competed in the double sculls with her identical ...more

21
2 2
Sanna Stén is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Rowing
Sanna Stén age 40 Sanna Stén is a Finnish rower. She won a silver medal in the women's lightweight double sculls at the 2008 Summer Olympics.

22
1 1
Tom Paradiso is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Rowing
Tom Paradiso

23
1 1
Minna Nieminen is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Rowing
Minna Nieminen age 41 Minna Nieminen is a Finnish rower. She won a silver medal in the women's lightweight double sculls at the 2008 Summer Olympics.

24
1 1
Stephen Rowbotham is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Rowing
age 36 Stephen Christopher Rowbotham is a British rower. He competed at the 2008 Summer Olympics, where he won a bronze medal in double sculls. In 2012, the quadruple sculls boat he was in finished in ...more

25
0 0
Mathew Hughes is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Rowing
Mathew Hughes Died at 60 (1822-1882) Matthew Hughes VC was an English recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth ...more

26
0 0
Sebastian Bea is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Rowing
age 38 Sebastian Bea is an American rower. He is the son of federal judge Carlos Bea.

27
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Dominic Seiterle is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Rowing
age 42 Dominic Seiterle is a Canadian rower born in Montreal, Quebec. He is a 2008 Summer Olympics and World Rowing Championships gold medalist as a member of the 8+. He also won three gold medals at ...more

28
0 0
Vasileios Polymeros is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Rowing
age 42 Vasileios Polymeros is a Greek rower. He won the bronze medal in men's lightweight double sculls with Nikolaos Skiathitis at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece and the silver in men's ...more

29
0 0
Darcy Marquardt is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Rowing
Darcy Marquardt age 39 Darcy Marquardt is a Canadian rower. She graduated from the University of Victoria in 2005 with a major in French, and a minor in Psychology. She has been on the National Women's Rowing Team for ...more

30
0 0
Laurel Korholz is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Rowing
age 48 Laurel Korholz is the Assistant Women's Coach for the United States Rowing Team. As a coach, Korholz coached the US Women's Double at the 2008 Summer Olympics. The Beijing Olympics was the ...more

31
0 0
Rasmus Quist is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Rowing
age 37 Rasmus Quist Hansen is a Danish rower and double World Champion in the Lightweight Double Sculls, with his partner Mads Rasmussen. Quist and Rasmussen placed first in the 2012 Summer Olympics in ...more

32
0 0
Marcus McElhenney is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Rowing
Marcus McElhenney age 36 Marcus McElhenney is an American coxswain. He won a bronze medal in the men's eight at the 2008 Summer Olympics. McElhenney first competed internationally in 2002, representing the United States ...more

33
0 0
Tracy Cameron is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Rowing
Tracy Cameron age 43 Tracy Cameron Began Rowing in 2000 at the age of 25 by enrolling in the learn to row program, while attending the University of Calgary. Since then, Tracy has been to the starting line 12 times ...more

34
0 0
Ashley Brzozowicz is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Rowing
age 35 Ashley Brzozowicz is a Canadian rower. She was born in Toronto, Ontario and raised in London, Ontario. Her rowing career began as a sophomore at Saint Ignatius College Prep in Chicago. She ...more

35
0 0
Brett Newlin is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Rowing
Brett Newlin age 36 Brett Newlin is an American rower, who competed at the 2008 and 2012 Summer Olympics. He began college at Michigan State University, but transferred to the University of Washington in January ...more

36
0 0
Mary Whipple is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Rowing
age 37 Mary Rebecca Whipple is an American coxswain. She competed at the 2012 Summer Olympics and at the 2008 Summer Olympics. She won a gold medal in women's eight at both competitions. She also ...more

37
0 0
Megan Dirkmaat is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Rowing
age 39 Megan Dirkmaat is an American rower.

38
5 6
Georgeta Damian is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Rowing
Daviv Sumatal added age 41 Georgeta Damian is a female rower from Romania and winner of five Olympic gold medals. She is married to Valeriu Andrunache. Damian rowed in the Romanian Women's Eights, that won the rowing ...more

39
2 3
Megan Kalmoe is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Rowing
age 34 Megan Kalmoe, is an American female crew rower who reached the final of the double sculls competition of the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, with teammate Ellen Tomek. The duo finished fifth ...more

40
2 3
Caroline Lind is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Rowing
age 35 Caroline Lind is an American rower, and is a two-time Olympic gold medalist. In her Olympic debut at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, Lind won a gold medal as a member of the women's eight ...more

41
2 3
Zac Purchase is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Rowing
age 31 Zachary Jake Nicholas 'Zac' Purchase MBE is an English rower.

42
1 2
Kirsten van der Kolk is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Rowing
age 42 Kirsten Irene Merian van der Kolk is a rower from the Netherlands. Together with Marit van Eupen she participated at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney where they finished in sixth position in ...more

43
1 2
Paul Teti is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Rowing
Paul Teti

44
1 2
Erin Cafaro is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Rowing
age 34 Erin Jane Cafaro is an American rower. She competed at the 2008 Summer Olympics, where she won a gold medal in women's eight. At the 2012 London Olympics she won her second consecutive gold ...more

45
1 2
Andrew Byrnes is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Rowing
age 34 James Andrew Byrnes is a Canadian rower and Olympic gold medalist. He was born in Toronto, Ontario and raised in Ithaca, New York. Byrnes is a 2005 graduate of Bates College in Maine, where he ...more

46
1 2
Lesley Thompson is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Rowing
age 58 Lesley Allison Thompson-Willie is a Canadian rowing coxswain and Olympic champion. She has competed at seven different Olympics, from 1984 to 2012, winning medals in five of them including gold ...more

47
1 2
Anita DeFrantz is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Rowing
age 65 Anita DeFrantz is an American Olympic Athlete, member of the International Olympic Committee, and former Vice-President of FISA. She was captain of the American rowing team at the 1976 Summer ...more

48
1 2
Mark Hunter is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Rowing
age 39 Mark John Hunter MBE is a British rower. Hunter was born in Forest Gate, London. While representing Havering in the London Youth Games, he took part in some of his early rowing competitions. In ...more

49
1 2
Kyle Hamilton is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Rowing
age 42 Kyle Hamilton is a Canadian rower from Richmond, British Columbia. He won the gold medal at the 2002, 2003 and 2007 world championships for Canada's men's eight team in Milan, Italy and Seville, ...more

50
1 2
Caryn Davies is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Rowing
age 35 Caryn Davies is an American rower. She won gold medals as the stroke seat in women's eight at the 2012 Summer Olympics and the 2008 Summer Olympics. In 2012 Davies was ranked number 4 in the ...more