|Rowing at the Summer Olympics|
|Governing body||World Rowing Federation|
|Events||14 (men: 7; women: 7)|
Rowing at the Summer Olympics has been part of the competition since its debut in the 1900 Summer Olympics. Rowing was on the program at the 1896 Summer Olympics but was cancelled due to bad weather.Only men were allowed to compete until the women's events were introduced at the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal which gave national federations the incentive to support women's events and catalysed growth in women's rowing. Lightweight rowing events (which have weight-limited crews) were introduced to the games in 1996. Qualifying for the rowing events is under the jurisdiction of the World Rowing Federation. World Rowing predates the modern Olympics and was the first international sport federation to join the modern Olympic movement.
At the 2016 and other recent Olympics the following 14 events were offered:
The lightweight events were threatened in 2002 when the Programme Commission of the IOC recommended that, outside combat sports (boxing & wrestling, but not fencing, shooting, and archery) and weightlifting, there should not be weight-category events. The Executive Board overturned this recommendation and the lightweight rowing has been continued.
To satisfy the IOC's aim for gender equality it has been proposed that from the 2020 Olympics onwards the men's lightweight fours will be removed and the women's coxless fours reintroduced. The IOC accepted that proposal in June 2017.
In the early games (1900 and 1904) there were several other categories of events (Junior, Novice, Association, and Intermediate). A number of other boat classes have made an appearance at several games (sometimes for a long time) but have been subsequently dropped – as recently as the 1990s. The primary loss has been in boats with coxswains, except for the eights, which have always been coxed. These were:
Other non-Olympic boatclasses, which still compete in World Championships, are currently: men's & women's lightweight single sculls, lightweight quadruple sculls and lightweight coxless pair.
Today all races are raced over a 2000m course, but this did not become standard before the Stockholm Olympics in 1912 (except for London 1948, where the course was 1850m). Before this, it was raced over various distances: the course in Paris in 1900 was 1750m, in St. Louis in 1904 it was 3218m, and in London in 1908 it was 2414m. The 1908 and 1948 events were held over the Henley Royal Regatta course.
Women's races were raced over 1,000m until 1988, when they were changed to 2,000 metres.
Early games featured match races between two or three boats, until the modern six boat side-by-side format was first adopted at the 1936 Olympic Games. With the exception of the 1952 Olympic Games (races between four or five boats), it has been the standard since.
There is a limited number of crews permitted to race, so the International Rowing Federation holds qualification events in order to determine who competes at the Olympic Games. At the Olympic Games, each National Olympic Committee can only have one boat per event.
The main qualification comes from the previous year's World Rowing Championships. Other qualifying events are called "Continental Qualification Regattas", of which four are held during the year preceding the games - Asia, Africa, Latin America, and Final (open to everyone else). Each year FISA issues details of how many crews qualify at each regatta.
At the World Championships, the top finishing boats guarantee a place for that country - the rowers in the crew can be changed before the games. At the qualification regattas, it is the crew that wins that qualifies for the Olympics, and if members of that crew race in the Olympics they must race in that event.
The numbers below are after the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.
|1||United States (USA)||33||32||24||89|
|2||East Germany (GDR)||33||7||8||48|
|3||Great Britain (GBR)||31||25||14||70|
|6||New Zealand (NZL)||14||5||10||29|
|8||Soviet Union (URS)||12||20||10||42|
|16||West Germany (FRG)||4||4||6||14|
|17||United Team of Germany (EUA)||4||4||1||9|
|25||Czech Republic (CZE)||1||3||1||5|
|South Africa (RSA)||1||1||1||3|
|43||Russian Empire (RU1)||0||0||1||1|
|Unified Team (EUN)||0||0||1||1|
|Totals (44 nations)||269||268||273||810|
|France, 1900 Paris||France (FRA)||2||3||1||6|
|United States, 1904 St. Louis||United States (USA)||5||4||4||13|
|United Kingdom, 1908 London||Great Britain (GBR)||4||3||1||8|
|Sweden, 1912 Stockholm||Great Britain (GBR)||2||2||0||4|
|Belgium, 1920 Antwerp||United States (USA)||3||1||0||4|
|France, 1924 Paris||United States (USA)||2||1||2||5|
|Netherlands, 1928 Amsterdam||United States (USA)||2||2||1||5|
|United States, 1932 Los Angeles||United States (USA)||3||1||0||4|
|Germany, 1936 Berlin||Germany (GER)||5||1||1||7|
|United Kingdom, 1948 London||Great Britain (GBR)||2||1||0||3|
|Finland, 1952 Helsinki||United States (USA)||2||0||1||3|
|Australia, 1956 Melbourne||United States (USA)||3||2||1||6|
|Italy, 1960 Rome||United Team of Germany (EUA)||3||1||0||4|
|Japan, 1964 Tokyo||United States (USA)||2||1||1||4|
|Mexico, 1968 Mexico City||East Germany (GDR)||2||1||0||3|
|West Germany, 1972 Munich||East Germany (GDR)||3||1||3||7|
|Canada, 1976 Montreal||East Germany (GDR)||9||3||2||14|
|Soviet Union, 1980 Moscow||East Germany (GDR)||11||1||2||14|
|United States, 1984 Los Angeles||Romania (ROU)||6||2||0||8|
|South Korea, 1988 Seoul||East Germany (GDR)||8||1||1||10|
|Spain, 1992 Barcelona||Germany (GER)||4||3||3||10|
|United States, 1996 Atlanta||Australia (AUS)||2||1||3||6|
|Australia, 2000 Sydney||Romania (ROU)||3||0||0||3|
|Greece, 2004 Athens||Romania (ROU)||3||0||0||3|
|China, 2008 Beijing||Great Britain (GBR)||2||2||2||6|
|United Kingdom, 2012 London||Great Britain (GBR)||4||2||3||9|
|Brazil, 2016 Rio de Janeiro||Great Britain (GBR)||3||2||0||5|
|Japan, 2020 Tokyo||New Zealand (NZL)||3||2||0||5|
The table shows those who have won at least 3 gold medals.
| Elisabeta Lipă |
|1984, 1988, 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004||5||2||1||8||20 years between first and last gold medal|
| Steve Redgrave |
|1984, 1988, 1992, 1996, 2000||5||0||1||6||Gold medals in 1984 (M4+), 1988 (M2- with Andy Holmes), 1992 and 1996 (M2- with Matthew Pinsent) and 2000 (M4-). Only endurance athlete to win Olympic gold at five consecutive games.|
| Georgeta Damian |
|2000, 2004, 2008||5||0||1||6||Won the pair and the eights in both 2000 and 2004, and the pair again in 2008|
| Doina Ignat |
|1992, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008||4||1||1||6||Part of Romania's three-straight gold medalist eight|
| Kathrin Boron |
|1992, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008||4||0||1||5||Four straight Olympic golds. Bronze in her final Olympics in the Quadruple Sculls|
| Viorica Susanu |
|1996, 2000, 2004, 2008||4||0||1||5||Won three medals in the women's eight, and two in the pair|
| Matthew Pinsent |
|1992, 1996, 2000, 2004||4||0||0||4||Four straight Olympic golds. Won with Steve Redgrave in the pair in 1992 and 1996. In the coxless four in 2000 and in 2004|
| Jack Beresford |
|1920, 1924, 1928, 1932, 1936||3||2||0||5||First rower to win a medal at 5 straight Olympics. WWII prevented the opportunity for a sixth medal|
| Constanța Burcică |
|1992, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008||3||1||1||5||Won three gold medals in the women's lightweight double sculls|
| Elena Georgescu |
|1992, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008||3||1||1||5||Coxswain of Romania's women's eight|
| Drew Ginn |
|1996, 2004, 2008, 2012||3||1||0||4||Member of the Oarsome Foursome|
| Eskild Ebbesen |
|1996, 2000, 2004, 2008, 2012||3||0||2||5||Won all his medals in the lightweight coxless four|
| Marnie McBean |
|1992, 1996||3||0||1||4||Along with rowing partner Kathleen Heddle, Canadian with the most gold medals|
| Kathleen Heddle |
|1992, 1996||3||0||1||4||Won all her medals with rowing partner Marnie McBean|
| James Tomkins |
|1992, 1996, 2000, 2004||3||0||1||4||Most medalled Australian rower|
| John B. Kelly Sr. |
|1920, 1924||3||0||0||3||First rower to win 3 gold medals. Father of movie star turned princess Grace Kelly|
| Paul Costello |
|1920, 1924, 1928||3||0||0||3||First man to win 3 gold medals in the same event, the double sculls. Cousin of John B. Kelly Sr.|
| Vyacheslav Ivanov |
|1956, 1960, 1964||3||0||0||3||Won all his medals in the single sculls|
| Siegfried Brietzke |
|1972, 1976, 1980||3||0||0||3||First German triple gold medalist. Won in the pair and the coxless four|
| Pertti Karppinen |
|1976, 1980, 1984||3||0||0||3||Won all his medals in the single sculls|
| Agostino Abbagnale |
|1988, 1996, 2000||3||0||0||3||His brothers Carmine and Giuseppe each won 2 gold medals.|
| Liliana Gafencu |
|1996, 2000, 2004||3||0||0||3||Won all three medals in Romania's women's eight|
| Elle Logan |
|2008, 2012, 2016||3||0||0||3||Won all three medals in USA women's eight|
| Pete Reed |
|2008, 2012, 2016||3||0||0||3||Two wins in coxless four, then in eight|
| Andrew Triggs Hodge |
|2008, 2012, 2016||3||0||0||3||Two wins in coxless four, then in eight|
| Hamish Bond |
|2012, 2016, 2020||3||0||0||3||Two wins in coxless pair, then in eight|
|Single sculls ( )||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||28|
|Double sculls ( )||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||25|
|Quadruple sculls ( )||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||11|
|Coxless pair ( )||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||24|
|Coxless four ( )||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||25|
|Eight ( )||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||28|
|Lightweight double sculls ()||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||7|
|Coxed pair ( )||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||18|
|Coxed four ( )||••||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||19|
|Coxed four, with inriggers||•||1|
|Lightweight coxless four ()||•||•||•||•||•||•||6|
|Single sculls ( )||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||12|
|Double sculls ( )||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||12|
|Quadruple sculls ( )||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||12|
|Coxless pair ( )||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||12|
|Coxless four ( )||•||•||2|
|Eight ( )||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||12|
|Lightweight Double sculls ()||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||7|
|Coxed four ( )||•||•||•||•||4|
Number of rowers from each nation by year of Olympics, starting with 1896 (when none competed due to bad weather) then 1900 through 2020.
|Ivory Coast (CIV)||1||1|
|Czech Republic (CZE)||5||1||16||14||12||10||7||7|
|Dominican Republic (DOM)||1||1|
|East Germany (GDR)||26||26||54||55||44||5|
|El Salvador (ESA)||1||2||2|
|Great Britain (GBR)||1||30||24||10||21||23||15||18||26||23||12||26||8||11||17||31||43||42||30||46||37||36||37||44||47||43||41||27|
|Hong Kong (HKG)||3||1||3||3||4||3||4||1||8|
|Independent Olympic Athletes (IOA)||2||1|
|New Zealand (NZL)||1||11||5||8||1||15||14||19||18||22||12||12||11||6||11||16||26||36||32||19|
|North Korea (PRK)||6||1|
|Puerto Rico (PUR)||1||1||1||3|
|Saudi Arabia (KSA)||1||1|
|Serbia and Montenegro (SCG)||6||6||2|
|South Africa (RSA)||1||1||5||5||5||9||8||8||2||5||6||12||6||13|
|South Korea (KOR)||9||5||28||2||4||3||2||5||4||2||1||11|
|Soviet Union (URS)||26||25||25||26||27||26||55||54||53||9|
|Chinese Taipei (TPE)||2||1||1||1||1||5|
|Trinidad and Tobago (TTO)||1||1||2|
|United Team of Germany (EUA)||12||26||26||3|
|Unified Team (EUN)||47||1|
|United Arab Republic (UAR)||9||1|
|United States (USA)||9||35||15||20||26||26||26||26||26||26||26||27||27||26||54||54||53||52||46||48||45||45||44||41||37||25|
|West Germany (FRG)||26||26||44||36||38||5|
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