Rowing crew celebrates winLeah Hennel/COC
Leah Hennel/COC

Avalon Wasteneys

Médailles d’Équipe Canada

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In her Olympic debut at Tokyo 2020, Avalon Wasteneys was in the stroke seat of the women’s eight that won gold. It was Canada’s first Olympic gold in any women’s rowing event since Atlanta 1996 and the first gold in the women’s eight since Barcelona 1992.

Before discovering rowing, Wasteneys was a competitive cross-country skier and a medallist at the junior national championships in 2014. But her perspective on the sport changed as she was nearing the end of high school and her parents mentioned rowing as something for her to try because she could do it while pursuing post-secondary education. After accepting admission to the University of Victoria, she tried out for the Vikes’ novice rowing team and made the squad.

She decided to attend an RBC Training Ground combine in 2017 in the hopes of being identified as a future talent in rowing and gain access to funding. She was named the top performer at her qualifying event and went on to win the B.C. Regional Final. Set in her new sport, Wasteneys won three gold medals for Team BC at the 2017 Canada Games.

She represented Canada for the first time in 2018, joining the senior eight at a World Cup in Lucerne, Switzerland where the won the silver medal. From there, she joined the eight at the 2018 World Rowing U23 Championships, helping Canada win its second consecutive gold in the event. Unfortunately, she burned herself out from overtraining and did not make the team for the senior World Rowing Championships.

Having learned a lot about herself, she went into the 2019 season feeling stronger and raced with the eight at two World Cup events, winning a bronze in Rotterdam, Netherlands. She then made her debut at the World Rowing Championships, helping the eight to a fourth-place finish to qualify the boat for Tokyo 2020.

A Little More About Avalon

Getting into the Sport: Started rowing in 2015 when she tried out for the novice team at the University of Victoria… Won the 2017 RBC Training Ground B.C. Regional Final, earning her a trip to the 2018 Olympic Winter Games as a spectator which was great inspiration… Outside Interests: Enjoys painting, baking, reading, skiing… Odds and Ends: Mother Heather Clarke (Seoul 1988) and aunt Christine Clarke (Los Angeles 1984) both rowed for Canada at the Olympic Games… Uncle Stephen Wasteneys was on the national canoe/kayak team… Favourite quotes: “If you focus on results, you will never change. If you focus on change, you will get results.” – Jack Dixon / “There may be people that have more talent than you, but there’s no excuse for anyone to work harder than you do.” – Derek Jeter…

Faits saillants olympiques

Jeux Sport Épreuve Rang
Tokyo 2020 Rowing Coxed Eight - WomenbGold

Palmarès international

Olympic Games: 2020 - GOLD (W8+)

World Rowing Championships: 2019 - 4th (W8+)

World Rowing Championships (U23): 2018 - GOLD (W8+)