Venue: Eton Dorney
Dates: Saturday 28 July – Saturday 4 August
Medal events: 14
Athletes: 550 (353 men, 197 women)
Although its history dates back centuries, Rowing only came of age as a competitive sport in the last 200 years. Interest began to increase after Oxford and Cambridge Universities began their rivalry on the Thames in 1829, a rivalry that continues today in the shape of the annual Boat Race.
Today’s sport is renowned for its competitors’ legendary displays of strength and stamina, as athletes push themselves through the pain barrier in an attempt to win Olympic gold.
The 14 Olympic Rowing events range from the Single Sculls, featuring solo rowers, to the Eights, contested by teams of eight rowers plus a cox. All events are held over a 2,000m course, with the competition taking a total of eight days.
All Rowing events at London 2012 will begin with the heats, from which the best boats will qualify for the next round. Boats that do not qualify automatically from the heats get a second chance to qualify through the repechage round. The best boats eventually progress through the various stages and into the finals of each event, which decide the medallists.
Rowing has been staged at every Games since making its debut on the Olympic programme at Paris in 1900. The youngest Olympic champion is thought to be an anonymous French boy who coxed for a Dutch pair at the inaugural competition. The boy, aged no more than 12, took part in the victory ceremony but then disappeared.
For London 2012, the Rowing competition will be held on the spectacular lake at Eton Dorney.
To find your nearest boat club, get in touch with British Rowing.
British Rowing is also running 'Project Oarsome' – a scheme to help young people at state schools in the United Kingdom get started in Rowing. More information can be found at the International Rowing Federation’s website
Eton Dorney will be the venue for Rowing, Paralympic Rowing and Canoe Sprint events during the London 2012 Games.
Name: Sir Steven Redgrave
Date of birth: 23 March 1962
Country: Marlow, Buckinghamshire, Great Britain
Medals 5 Gold
Sir Steven Redgrave won gold medals at five successive Olympic Games. He was the first athlete ever to achieve this feat in an endurance sport. Steve is widely considered to be Britain’s greatest ever Olympian.
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Name: Stephen Rowbotham
Date of birth: 11 November 1981
Country: Swindon, Great Britain
Stephen started rowing in 2000 whilst at Durham University. He made his Olympic debut at the 2008 Beijing Games, winning a bronze medal with Matt Wells in the men's double scull. Stephen started his sporting career as a top-level tennis player, playing at county and regional level. Stephen is part of 'Team 2012' - being supported on his quest for success at the 2012 Games.
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