Kim Crowe Rowing Photos by Warren Clarke

Yep, we still have the world’s most determined athletes ‒ and the best metaphor-producing rowers going around.

Anyone else growing tired of hearing how “great” Great Britain is going to scoop the medal pool at its home Olympics in a few months’ time? Sure, it used the loot from its national lottery to boost its chances in tech-reliant pursuits such as cycling and sailing, but we reckon Australia still has athletes the envy of the world when it comes to the “priceless” virtues of true grit and stamina. Rower Kim Crow is a fine example. Crow, 26, the daughter of Max, a 200-plus gamer for the Bombers, Saints and Bulldogs, is a cert to be picked for Australia in the women’s double scull for London. She’s done us proud at five World Championship regattas, and her efforts at the Beijing Games only confirmed her role as a cornerstone of Australia’s next Olympic assault.

“We have the World Championships as a stop-check as to how we’re going, but our real focus for the entire time is very much on the Olympics,” Crow told Inside Sport before taking us through a training session on a wet ‘n’ wild late summer morning in Canberra. “Even at this point in time, where we don’t have crews finalised for the Games, we’re at a very advanced stage of our Olympic preparation.

“We talk about the first year of Olympic prep as getting together the cake mix; the next year is preparing the cake and putting it in the oven; and now that we have taken the cake out of the oven, we’re just putting the icing on top.”

Yep, we still have the world’s most determined athletes ‒ and the best metaphor-producing rowers going around. Here’s how pure ability and hard work will get our girls over the line against those big-spending Poms in London.


“Rowing races are conducted over 2000m. There are two different categories: sweep [one oar for each rower] and sculling [two oars each]. Most of us can do both ‒ I raced sweep in Beijing in the pairs, but since 2010, I’ve been sculling. My change was a strategic move by the powers that be. They wanted to strengthen our sculling program and encourage a lot of other girls to come over, rather than dilute the talent across the two disciplines.”


“I began my career in the women’s eights. Over time I’ve preferred the smaller boats; I like the dynamic you have of working closely with one other person. You go into a race knowing you’re playing a big role in the outcome. Personally, I feel there’s a better chance of winning a gold medal in the smaller boats, too, which is what I want at this Olympics. The world record for the women’s double scull is six minutes, 38 seconds. We’d be expecting to be somewhere near that depending on the conditions.