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Lisa Roman and Andrea Proske named to women’s eight Olympic rowing team

Part of Canada’s largest team since Atlanta
Langley’s Lisa Roman (L) and Andrea Proske will be rowing for Canada. (file)

Langley rowers Lisa Roman and Andrea Proske have made Canada’s Olympic rowing team.

The announcement was made Tuesday, June 15.

Both are on the women’s eight team, among 29 athletes listed by Rowing Canada Aviron and the Canadian Olympic Committee as the team nominated to compete at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

READ ALSO: Sacrifice, hard work paying off for Langley’s Lisa Roman with spot in Olympics

Roman is a returning Olympian, part of the team who finished fifth in the eight at the Rio games in 2016.

She got into the sport after attending a learn-to-row session at the University of the Fraser Valley.

Prior to that, Roman had been a competitive figure skater.

She quickly took to rowing, earning MVP honours in her second year with UFV and a scholarship to Washington State University.

Roman made the national U23 team and won gold with the eight at the 2011 U23 World Championships.

She has stood on five world championship podiums with the eight, beginning with a bronze medal in 2013, followed by silver in 2014, and then another bronze in 2015.

In 2017 and 2018, she won world championship silver with the eight.

At the 2019 World Rowing Championships, Roman and the eight finished fourth, qualifying the boat for Tokyo 2020.

In her Rowing Canada profile, Roman said what she loves about rowing is “working hard to see gains.”

Online, Proske said she was “so excited to be announced as part of the powerhouse of women in the Coxed Women’s Eight! It takes a village to realize Olympic dreams, but the biggest thank you goes to my family.”

A Langley Advance Times profile in 2016 described how Proske discovered the Row to Podium program at 27, a Canadian identification and development program for rowing designed for athletes with no experience in the sport.

She went on to become a national champion, and a top-ranked international competitor.

She first represented Canada on the senior international circuit in the double sculls with Gabrielle Smith in 2018.

In their World Cup debut as a duo, they won silver in Lucerne.

They won another World Cup medal in 2019, this time a bronze in Rotterdam. They capped the season with a fourth-place finish in the double sculls at the world championships, qualifying the boat for Canada for Tokyo 2020.

READ ALSO: Gamble paying off for Proske

On her Rowing Canada online profile, Proske said what she loves about rowing is that it “builds and reveals character. There’s nowhere to hide in a 2k.”

Two other B.C. rowers were named to the women’s eight as well: Madison Mailey (Lions Bay), and Avalon Wasteneys (Campbell River).

With 10 boats at the start line in Tokyo, it will be Canada’s largest Olympic rowing team since the Atlanta 1996 Olympic Games, when Canada also sent 10 crews and came home with six medals.

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Dan Ferguson

About the Author: Dan Ferguson

Best recognized for my resemblance to St. Nick, I’m the guy you’ll often see out at community events and happenings around town.
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