Marnie McBean, who was vying for a Canadian record fourth Olympic gold medal at
the Sydney Games, withdrew from competition Aug. 29 because of a back problem that has
not abated. Her three gold medals were captured in double sculls in 1996,
and pairs and eights in 1992. In fact she has won Olympic and world
championship medals in six different boats. At the world championships last year,
McBean was a distant sixth in single sculls.
"The sixth at the world championships was an embarrassment for me," said
McBean, who is unsure whether she'll continue rowing after the Games. "It
was the first time that I wasn't among the leaders at a world
championships. I made a lot of changes last season and it showed. I don't
think singles is a more difficult event than the others. It's just a
different challenge with a different support system."
Off the waterways, McBean is usually busy with numerous functions. She is
a sought after public speaker for schools and corporations and does work
for Kids Help Phone. She also launched a unique program call The FORS
(Fundraiser for Olympic Rowers Survival). She has generated near $80,000
for her non-sponsored teammates. The money is raised through events such
as golf tournaments and special bonus clauses in her sponsorships
A national team member since 1989, McBean has witnessed the incredible
success of the Canadian rowing team program. "There's been a great
commitment from the athletes," she said. "Rowing Canada's decisions have
been athlete focused and the coaches are the ones that run the show. And
we've been blessed with some great athletes."
Marnie McBean and Toronto's mayor
The Canadian flag goes up
McBean and the Mountie
Marnie McBean withdraws
Can you row in an office chair?
Marnie McBean heads to Sydney
McBean and Fiona Milne en route Sydney
McBean and her oars
2000 Games Rowing Coverage