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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
70 16
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
30 3
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
55 11
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
24 2
Joachim Dreifke is listed (or ranked) 4 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

5
33 4
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
32 4
Vyacheslav Nikolayevich Ivanov is listed (or ranked) 6 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

7
45 8
Elisabeta Lipă is listed (or ranked) 7 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

8
27 3
Eskild Ebbesen is listed (or ranked) 8 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

9
22 2
Kerstin Köppen is listed (or ranked) 9 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.

10
73 34
Steve Redgrave is listed (or ranked) 10 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

11
32 8
Jüri Jaanson is listed (or ranked) 11 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

12
30 7
Georgeta Damian is listed (or ranked) 12 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

13
18 2
Klaus Kröppelien is listed (or ranked) 13 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

14
21 3
Kathrin Boron is listed (or ranked) 14 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

15
17 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
24 7
Doina Ignat is listed (or ranked) 16 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.

17
12 1
Minna Nieminen is listed (or ranked) 17 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.

18
12 1
Martin Sinković is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Rowing
spurter890 added Martin Sinković age 28
Martin Sinković is a Croatian rower.

19
40 26
Matthew Pinsent is listed (or ranked) 19 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

20
12 2
Miroslava Knapková is listed (or ranked) 20 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

21
10 1
Thomas Lange is listed (or ranked) 21 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

22
10 1
Amber Halliday is listed (or ranked) 22 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.

23
11 2
Elena Georgescu is listed (or ranked) 23 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.

24
9 1
Kim Brennan is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Olympic Athletes in Rowing
spurter890 added Kim Brennan

25
8 1
Wolfgang Gunkel is listed (or ranked) 25 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