A Paralympic Preview: Rowing

With the Paralympic Games rapidly approaching, Report On Rio will preview every event that has a Canadian team competing in Brazil — featuring past results, schedules, rosters, and expectations.

The Canadian LTAMix4+ team won gold at the 2016 World Rowing Cup II in Poznan, Poland in June.

Canada enters the third ever Paralympic rowing competition on a quest to earn its first medal.

This country’s legs, trunk and arms mixed coxed four (LTAMix4+) team has an excellent chance of accomplishing this objective considering they won gold at the 2016 World Rowing Cup III in Poznan, Poland back in June.

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Paralympic rowing will be hosted at Rio de Janeiro’s Lagoa Stadium from Sept. 8 to 11.

                                                                Road to Rio

The Canadian LTAMix4+ crew stroked their way to a berth at the Rio Games by earning a bronze medal at the 2015 World Championships in Aigubelette, France last September.

They finished the 1,000-metre straight line course in 3:27.380, nearly eight seconds behind the pace of the winning Great Britain outfit (3:19.560) and the runner-up rowing squad from the United States (3:19.820).

A strong start powered the Canadians to the podium. They managed to carve through the first 300-metres of the race with a scorching average pace of five metres per second.

Team Canada were at their best in the semifinals as they finished second in their heat with a time of 3:24.580. They topped what the accomplished in the final because they sustained their pace of five metres per second through the first 450 metres of this competition.

                                                              Meet the team:

Each of the three ladies on this team possess prior Paralympic experience. Victoria Nolan

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Three members of the team have prior Paralympic experience, and two are making their debut in Rio.

(Toronto, Ont.) and Meghan Montgomery (Winnipeg, Man.) are appearing at their third Games, while coxswain (steersman) Kristen Kit (St. Catharines, Ont.) is a second-time competitor.

In addition to being a member of Canada’s two Paralympic teams, Nolan, who was born in Liverpool, England, has appeared at five world championships. Her best result was a gold medal in 2010 at Karopiro, New Zealand. The 41-year-old enjoys writing when she is not working on her boating craft as she published an autobiography called, “Beyond Vision.”

Nolan is predicting a strong outcome for her team in Rio.

“We’re a great mix of experience and youth that over the past few months has been able to come together as a team,” said Nolan. “Our strong finish at World Cup III is just a start for us and I look forward to competing in Rio.”

Montgomery was Nolan’s teammate at these five world championship regattas. The 34-year-old is a very active ambassador of her country’s parasports movement as she has been a member of the Canadian Paralympic Committee’s Athletes Council since 2009. She also works as a teacher at Shawingan Lake School in B.C.

Kit, turning 28 on Aug. 18, made her world championship coxed four debut at last year in France. Her navigating abilities were instrumental in lifting Canada to the podium. She did represent Canada in the women’s eight category at the 2013 worlds in Chungju, South Korea.

Rounding out this crew are first-time Paralympians Curtis Halladay (Sudbury, Ont.) and Andrew Todd (Thunder Bay, Ont.)

Halladay, 21, is the youngest member of this Canadian team nominated by Rowing Canada Aviron. The sport and education student at Laurentian University has only been involved in para-rowing for three years, but has already managed to make a significant impact. In addition to earning bronze at the 2015 Worlds, he captured gold and set a world record at the 2015 Canadian Indoor Rowing Championships.

Todd, 27, had aspirations of being on Canada’s Olympic rowing team prior to being hit by a bus while bicycling in 2013. His determination to not allow his injuries dissuade his dream to represent Canada on the international stage. He has achieved instant para-rowing success as he was named as Rowing Canada’s para-rower of the year in 2015.


Canada is a strong contender to make the podium, and challenge for the win, at the Rio Games in September.

Their form was very impressive in Poland as they averaged a strong stroke rate of five metres per second throughout the duration of the race as they completed the course in 3:22.810. The second place team from South Africa completed the regatta in 3:26.580.

Expect Great Britain and the United States to be formidable foes for Canada considering these nations have finished first and second at the last two championships.

Photo credit: Canadian Paralympic Committee

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