Laumann, Silken

Silken Laumann, rower (b at Mississauga, Ont 1965). Laumann was only 19 when she appeared at the Olympics in 1984. She and her sister won the bronze medal in the heavyweight doubles. Laumann rapidly emerged as the leader of a new and much improved Canadian women's ROWING TEAM. After a disappointing 7th place finish in the doubles event at the 1988 OLYMPIC GAMES in Seoul, she moved to the singles sculls and began training with the men's team.

By 1991 she had become the premier women's rower in the world, winning the World Cup championship and the World Championship that year. Two months prior to the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona, Laumann's boat was rammed accidentally when she was preparing for a regatta in Europe. She suffered a broken ankle and ligament damage to the ankle. Laumann staged a remarkable recovery from her injury, and with a specially fitted brace she was able to compete at the games. Her bronze medal performance was one of the inspirational highlights of the games.

Laumann was named Canada's female athlete of the year in 1991 and 1992, and won the Lou Marsh award in 1991 as Canada's outstanding athlete. Laumann returned to competition in 1994, re-establishing herself as the best women's rower in the world. She suffered another setback at the Pan American Games in Argentina when she was disqualified when she tested positive for a drug contained in a cold medication. She won a silver medal at the 1996 Atlanta games and announced her retirement shortly after.