PHOTO AND STORY COURTESY ROWING CANADA AVIRON
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Rowing Canada Aviron (RCA) and the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) have announced Canada’s rowing team of 16 athletes nominated to compete at the Santiago 2023 Pan American Games.
Canadian rowers qualified ten boat classes for Santiago 2023 during the Pan Am Qualification Regatta this past April in Concepción, Chile. The 16 athletes were selected for Team Canada based on their performances during a selection camp held at the Rowing Canada Aviron National Training Centre in Duncan, British Columbia earlier this month.
With the addition of the women’s coxed eights to the Pan American Games program, Kristen Kit, Tokyo 2020 Olympic champion, will cox both the women’s and mixed eight boats at her first-ever Pan American Games.
“These Games have been on my radar for years now,” shared Kit. “With the addition of the eights to the Pan Am competition schedule, I am thrilled to step to the line with a talented group of Canadian rowers! I have raced a mixed eight a few times at the Canadian Royal Henley Regatta and I think it will be wild to race the 2kms with both men and women next month.”
Amongst the talented young crews are emerging women’s sweep rowers Parker Illingsworth, winning bronze in the women’s coxed eight at the Under-23 World Rowing Championships, and Abby Dent, finishing fifth in the women’s four with teammate Leia Till. Dent is thrilled to make her Pan Am Games debut, an important milestone in her career.
“This is a really exciting opportunity to represent Canada and wear the maple leaf,” said Dent. “This is an exciting step in my rowing career and another chance to step up to the challenge and show people what we have to bring to the table!”
Under-23 World Rowing Championship bronze medalist, Emerson Crick is another emerging Canadian rower who will be making his Pan Am Games debut at Laguna Grande de San Pedro de la Paz in Concepción next month, competing in the lightweight men’s double sculls and the mixed coxed eight.
“Representing Canada is a special moment in my career. It is not just a personal achievement but a testament to the unwavering support of my coaches, teammates, friends, and family,” said Crick. “We have had a great camp over the last few weeks, and I know the competition will be tough in Santiago, but I am excited to get down there and give it my all. I know the whole country will be behind us, cheering us all on.”
The Pan American Games have been an important event for Canadian rowers over the years. At Lima 2019, Team Canada won three medals, including two gold. The Santiago 2023 team heads into the Games next month with high expectations.
“We have had a really rewarding camp over the last month and the 16 rowers that we have selected will represent the nation proudly in Santiago,” said Team Leader, Chuck McDiarmid. “We know that it is going to be a challenging regatta with nations like Chile, Argentina, and Mexico sending crews who recently raced at the World Rowing Championships, but our team is going to be giving it their all at the regatta and competing proudly for Canada.”
Rowing will take place October 21-25 (Days 1 to 5) at the Laguna Grande de San Pedro de la Paz in Concepción.
“Welcome, rowing team, to Team Canada on the way to the Pan American Games,” said Christine Girard, Team Canada’s Santiago 2023 Chef de Mission. “May the waters of this competition carry you forward, and may your efforts inspire others to strive for excellence. We are proud to have you here, and we stand with you in this important endeavour.”
Prior to being named to Team Canada, all nominations are subject to approval by the Canadian Olympic Committee’s Team Selection Committee following its receipt of nominations by all National Sport Organisations.
The latest Team Canada Santiago 2023 roster can be found here.