Pioneer of the
Australian Iron Ore

Penrith to Paris: Local rowers make Olympic team

Article by Nathan Taylor, courtesy of The Western Weekender

Three athletes from Penrith, two from the Blue Mountains and one from Mulgoa are off to Paris later this month as part of the Australian Olympic Rowing Team.

The 37-strong team across nine boats was announced on Monday.
Penrith residents Lucy Stephan and Olympia Aldersey will compete in their third Olympics, having previously contested Tokyo and Rio.

32-year-old Stephan will compete in the Women’s Eight event, while 28-year-old Aldersey will row in the Women’s Four.

Fellow Penrith local, 30-year-old Katrina Werry will return for her second Olympics alongside 36-year-old Sarah Hawe from Mulgoa.

Both athletes will join Stephan in the Women’s Eight boat.

Making her Olympic debut is 22-year-old Laura Gourley from Glenbrook, who will contest the Women’s Quad Scull event at the Paris Games, while 29-year-old Warrimoo resident Caitlin Cronin will turn out for her second Games, also in the Quad Scull.

Overall, the team for Paris features six athletes making their third Olympic Team, 20 heading to their second Games and 11 debutants. The team celebrated their announcement at a team event in Varese, Italy, near their European Training Centre base, where athletes have been putting the final polish on their Olympic preparation.

Chef de Mission Anna Meares congratulated the athletes on their selection.

“Rowing is such an integral part of Australia’s Olympic history and I’m thrilled to announce 37 athletes who will proudly row at the Olympic regatta in Paris,” she said.

“To make an Australian Olympic Rowing Team takes incredible strength, determination and skill.

“From returning Olympic champions to Olympic debutants, each of these athletes have earned their place in Paris, with years of work to put them in a position to write Australia’s next chapter of Olympic rowing.

“Rowing Australia have built such an impressive high-performance environment and I want to thank and congratulate the entire team for helping prepare this world-class team.”

Many of Australia’s female Olympic rowers train right here in Penrith, with the Hancock Prospecting National Training Centre located on the banks of the Nepean River.

Rowing Australia Chief Executive Sarah Cook, who rowed for Australia at the 2008 and 2012 Games, said being selected for the Team was the ultimate reward after years of dedication, focus and commitment.

“Our rowers train three times a day, six days a week, and commit themselves above and beyond, all with the goal of having their name on the Australian Olympic Team,” she said.

“On behalf of everyone at Rowing Australia, I offer my sincere congratulations and know they will do themselves, their family and their country proud in Paris.”

The Rowing competition will be held at the Vaires-sur-Marne Nautical Stadium from July 27 to August 3.