Campbell River couldn’t be prouder — homegrown rower Avalon Wasteneys has captured gold at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
On Friday, the 23-year-old Carihi Secondary grad, now living in Victoria, took home top honours after competing alongside her team in the women’s eight rowing final.
It’s been nearly 30 years since Canada has won the event, marking a big milestone for the crew, consisting of Lisa Roman, Kasia Gruchalla-Wesierski, Christine Roper, Andrea Proske, Susanne Grainger, Madison Mailey, Sydney Payne, Kristen Kit, and Wasteneys.
Canada’s final time at the Sea Forest Waterway was 5:59.13, a mere 0.91 ahead of second-place New Zealand. China won bronze, ending the race in 6:01.21.
According to Olympic.ca, Wasteney first started rowing in 2015 after trying out for the novice team at the University of Victoria. Prior to that, she was a competitive cross-country skier. Her mother Heather Clarke (Seoul 1988) and aunt Christine Clarke (Los Angeles 1984) both rowed for Canada at the Olympic Games, and uncle Stephen Wasteneys was on the national canoe/kayak team.
The Tokyo 2020 Olympics kicked off on July 23rd and wraps up on August 8th. Canada’s medal count so far includes three gold, four silver, and five bronze. More details here: Olympic.ca