History of rowing at the Olympics


Rowing first emerged as a sport in England in the early 18th century, and grew with the advent of the Oxford-Cambridge university boat race.

It was scheduled to appear at the inaugural Athens Games in 1896 but stormy weather forced its cancellation, and a belated Olympic debut in 1900 in Paris.

Women's rowing wasn't introduced to the Olympics until 76 years later at the Montreal Games, while lightweight events appeared in Atlanta in 1996, which is also when the women's eight was first held.

Australia's history dates back to Stockholm 1912 but it wasn't until sculling great Henry "Bobby" Pearce dominated in 1928 for the nation to claim its first medal.

Since then Australia has grown into one of the world's strongest rowing countries, winning 32 medals in total, including 10 gold.

The Oarsome Foursome won back-to-back titles in 1992 and 1996 to remain the country's most famous boat, and former crew-member Drew Ginn is attempting to win his fourth gold in his fourth Games in London.

Ginn and Duncan Free won the men's pair in Beijing when David Crawshay and Scott Brennan also triumphed in the double sculls as Australia's two gold topped the list with Great Britain.

Brit Steve Redgrave is widely hailed as the greatest rower ever after winning five straight gold medals.