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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
59 13
Mahé Drysdale is listed (or ranked) 1 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

2
17 1
Pertti Karppinen is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Rowing
spurter890 added age 65 Pertti Johannes Karppinen is a retired Finnish rower noted for his three consecutive Olympic gold medals in single sculls in 1976, 1980 and 1984.

3
41 8
Olaf Tufte is listed (or ranked) 3 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

4
15 1
Kerstin Köppen is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Rowing
spurter890 added Kerstin Köppen age 50 Kerstin Köppen is a German rower and Olympic champion. She is a two-time Olympic gold medalist, winning in 1992 and 1996.

5
20 2
Siegfried Brietzke is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Rowing
spurter890 added age 65 Siegfried Brietzke is a German rower who competed for East Germany in the 1972 Summer Olympics, in the 1976 Summer Olympics, and in the 1980 Summer Olympics. He was born in Rostock. In 1972 he ...more

6
36 8
Elisabeta Lipă is listed (or ranked) 6 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

7
70 33
Steve Redgrave is listed (or ranked) 7 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

8
19 2
Vyacheslav Nikolayevich Ivanov is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Rowing
spurter890 added age 79 Vyacheslav Nikolayevich Ivanov is known to most of the non-Russian speaking world as Vyacheslav Ivanov, was one of the most accomplished rowers of his generation. He rowed for the Soviet Union, ...more

9
29 8
Jüri Jaanson is listed (or ranked) 9 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

10
13 1
Joachim Dreifke is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Rowing
spurter890 added Joachim Dreifke age 65 Joachim Dreifke is a German rower who competed for East Germany in the 1976 Summer Olympics and in the 1980 Summer Olympics. He was born in Greifswald. In 1976 he won the bronze medal in the ...more

11
26 6
Georgeta Damian is listed (or ranked) 11 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

12
17 2
Eskild Ebbesen is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Rowing
spurter890 added age 45 Eskild Balschmidt Ebbesen is a Danish lightweight rower, who has won a total number of five Olympic medals and six World Championship gold medals. Ebbesen was the flag bearer of the Danish team ...more

13
17 2
Kathrin Boron is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Rowing
spurter890 added age 48 Kathrin Boron is a German sculler, and four-time Olympic gold medalist. She's an athlete of the SV Dynamo/ SG Dynamo Potsdam. Boron won the women's double sculls at the 1992 Summer Olympics with ...more

14
21 6
Doina Ignat is listed (or ranked) 14 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.

15
14 2
Constanţa Burcică is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Rowing
spurter890 added age 47 Constanţa Burcică is a Romanian Olympic rower. She has been in the winning boat all three times the women's lightweight double scull event has been held at the Olympics. At the 1996 Olympics ...more

16
13 2
Klaus Kröppelien is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Rowing
spurter890 added Klaus Kröppelien age 59 Klaus Kröppelien is a German rower who competed for East Germany in the 1980 Summer Olympics. He was born in Rostock. In 1980 he and his partner Joachim Dreifke won the gold medal in the ...more

17
37 26
Matthew Pinsent is listed (or ranked) 17 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

18
9 1
Elena Georgescu is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Rowing
spurter890 added age 53 Elena Georgescu-Nedelcu is a Romanian coxswain who has won five Olympic medals in the eights competition.

19
9 2
Miroslava Knapková is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Rowing
spurter890 added Miroslava Knapková age 37 Miroslava Knapková is a Czech rower, World Champion from Single Sculls at Lake Bled on the 2011 World Rowing Championships, and the winner in the same discipline at the 2012 Summer

20
7 1
Minna Nieminen is listed (or ranked) 20 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.

21
5 0
Martin Sinković is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Rowing
spurter890 added Martin Sinković age 28 Martin Sinković is a Croatian rower.

22
6 1
Thomas Lange is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Rowing
spurter890 added age 54 Thomas Lange is a German rower who won two gold and one bronze Olympic medals in the single sculls. Lange, along with Pertti Karppinen, Peter-Michael Kolbe and Vyacheslav Ivanov, is the only ...more

23
6 2
Sanna Stén is listed (or ranked) 23 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.

24
5 1
Amber Halliday is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Rowing
Amber Halliday age 38 Amber Halliday is a former rower and cyclist from Adelaide, South Australia. She is a three-time world-champion in lightweight rowing.

25
5 1
Katrin Rutschow-Stomporowski is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Rowing
spurter890 added age 42 Katrin Rutschow-Stomporowski is a German rower and two-time Olympic gold medalist.

26
5 1
Frida Svensson is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Rowing
age 34 Frida Svensson is a Swedish rower.

27
5 1
Sanda Toma is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Rowing
spurter890 added age 62 Sanda Toma is a Romanian competition rower and Olympic champion. She received a gold medal in single sculls at the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow.

28
5 1
Viorica Susanu is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Rowing
spurter890 added age 42 Viorica Susanu is a Romanian rower and winner of four Olympic Gold medals. Susanu rowed in the Romanian women's eight that won the rowing World Championships in 1997, 1998 and 1999, and the 2000 ...more

29
8 5
Georgina Earl is listed (or ranked) 29 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

30
4 1
Wolfgang Gunkel is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Rowing
spurter890 added Wolfgang Gunkel age 70 Wolfgang Gunkel is a German rower who competed for East Germany in the 1968 Summer Olympics and in the 1972 Summer Olympics. He was born in Berlin. In 1968 he was a crew member of the East ...more

31
4 1
Kim Brennan is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Rowing
spurter890 added Kim Brennan

32
4 2
Rasmus Quist Hansen is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Rowing
tay2twimming added Rasmus Quist Hansen

33
4 2
Wyatt Allen is listed (or ranked) 33 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

34
3 1
Jutta Behrendt is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Rowing
spurter890 added Jutta Behrendt age 57 Jutta Behrendt is a German competition rower, world champion and Olympic champion. She who competed for the SC Dynamo Berlin/ Sportvereinigung Dynamo and received a gold medal in single sculls ...more

35
3 1
Elle Logan is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Rowing
age 30 Elle Logan is an American rower. She was born Eleanor Logan in Portland, Maine, currently resides in Boothbay Harbor and attended the Brooks School in 2003 in North Andover, Massachusetts for ...more

36
12 11
James Cracknell is listed (or ranked) 36 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

37
5 4
Bryan Volpenhein is listed (or ranked) 37 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

38
4 3
Scott Brennan is listed (or ranked) 38 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.

39
4 3
Scott Frandsen is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Rowing
age 37 Scott Frandsen is a Canadian rower of Swedish and Danish descent.

40
3 2
Ekaterina Karsten is listed (or ranked) 40 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

41
2 1
Frank Hansen is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Rowing
spurter890 added Frank Hansen age 72 Frank Hansen is a retired rower from Norway who specialized in the double sculls. In this event, he won silver medals at the 1972 Summer Olympics and 1972 European Championships, together with ...more

42
2 1
Ute Steindorf is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Rowing
spurter890 added Ute Steindorf age 60 Ute Steindorf is a German rower.

43
2 1
Drew Ginn is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Rowing
spurter890 added age 43 Drew Cameron Ginn OAM, is an Australian five-time world champion rower and triple Olympic gold medallist.

44
2 1
James Tomkins is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Rowing
spurter890 added age 52 James Bruce Tomkins, OAM is an Australian rower, seven-time World Champion and a three-time Olympic gold medalist. He is Australia's most awarded oarsman having made appearances at six Olympic ...more

45
2 1
Melanie Kok is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Rowing
age 34 Melanie Kok [pronounced "Cook"] is a Canadian rower. Kok won a bronze medal in the Women's Lightweight Double Sculls at the 2008 Olympic Games with partner Tracy Cameron.

46
2 1
Christine Scheiblich is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Rowing
spurter890 added Christine Scheiblich age 63 Christine Scheiblich-Hahn is a German rower and Olympic champion. She received a gold medal in single sculls at the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal. Scheiblich's husband, Ulrich Hahn, was a ...more

47
2 2
Marit van Eupen is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Rowing
age 48 Marit van Eupen is a rower from the Netherlands. Together with Kirsten van der Kolk she participated at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney where they finished in sixth position in the ...more

48
2 2
Caroline Meyer is listed (or ranked) 48 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

49
2 2
Sarah Bonikowsky is listed (or ranked) 49 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

50
1 1
Dimitrios Mougios is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Rowing
age 34 Dimitrios Mougios is a Greek rower.