Kathleen Heddle, Rower Who Gained 3 Olympic Gold Medals, Dies at 55


Kathleen Heddle, who gained three Olympic gold medals rowing for Canada within the Nineteen Nineties and impressed a technology of athletes, died on Monday at her house in Vancouver, British Columbia. She was 55.

Her demise was introduced in an announcement from her household launched by Rowing Canada Aviron, the nationwide governing physique for rowing within the nation. The assertion stated that Ms. Heddle had battled for years with breast and lymph node most cancers, and later, melanoma and mind most cancers.

Within the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona, Ms. Heddle and her rowing associate, Marnie McBean, gained two gold medals, within the pairs and the eights. On the 1994 World Championships, Ms. Heddle and Ms. McBean gained a silver medal within the double sculls.

On the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, Ms. Heddle and Ms. McBean gained a gold medal within the double sculls, a 2,000-meter competitors wherein they led the race from begin to end, based on Canada’s Sports activities Corridor of Fame. With that, Ms. Heddle and Ms. McBean turned the primary Canadians to win three Olympic gold medals in any sport, the group stated.

The next yr Ms. Heddle and Ms. McBean had been inducted into Canada’s Sports activities Corridor of Fame.

On Tuesday evening, Ms. McBean wrote on Twitter concerning the demise of her rowing associate, calling Ms. Heddle the “Biggest of All Time.”

“I’m crushed and with out phrases as we speak at this loss,” she added.

Within the assertion from Rowing Canada Aviron, Ms. Heddle’s household stated, “A rustic and a sport received to know and perceive her resolve.”

Kathleen Joan Heddle was born on Nov. 27, 1965, in Path, British Columbia, about 400 miles east of Vancouver. When Kathleen was 8 months previous, her dad and mom, Duncan, a mining engineer, and the previous Marilyn Buchanan, a registered dietitian and homemaker, moved the household to Kitsilano, a neighborhood in Vancouver that abuts the English Bay. The household additionally included two different daughters, Libby and Peggy, and a son, Murray.

Ms. Heddle remained in Vancouver, settling within the close by neighborhood of Kerrisdale together with her husband, Mike Bryden, whom she married in October 2000. They’ve two teenage youngsters, Lyndsey (a scholar on the College of British Columbia and a member of the rowing group) and Mac.

Along with her husband and youngsters, Ms. Heddle is survived by her sisters, Libby Heddle and Peggy Neal.

When Ms. Heddle enrolled on the College of British Columbia, she was tall and athletic, hoping to make a mark for herself on the planet of volleyball. But it surely was in Ms. Heddle’s third yr on the college within the Eighties when she was “picked out of a lineup” due to her top (5 ft 11 inches) and recruited to hitch the college’s rowing group, she instructed the British Columbia Sports activities Corridor of Fame and Museum.

“It was a fairly obscure sport then,” she stated, “so they might attempt to recruit individuals who they thought had the precise construct and had potential.”

“I used to be hooked instantly,” recalled Ms. Heddle. “I appreciated the steadiness between brute energy and energy with finesse.”

On the time, Ms. Heddle was 19 and her volleyball aspirations “had stalled,” based on the British Columbia Sports activities Corridor of Fame. She shortly tailored to her new sport and excelled. She earned a bachelor’s diploma in psychology in 1990 from the college and continued together with her newfound ardour.

By 1987, Ms. Heddle had earned a spot on the Canadian nationwide rowing group and gained a gold medal within the pair occasion on the Pan American Video games.

On the 1991 World Cup in Switzerland, Ms. Heddle paired up with Ms. McBean for the primary time. Of their first race collectively they beat the defending world champions, based on the British Columbia Sports activities Corridor of Fame.

In 1999 Ms. Heddle was awarded the Thomas Keller Medal, an honor given annually to a not too long ago retired athlete who has “a protracted and profitable rowing profession and who has made an excellent contribution to rowing as a competitor and as a sports activities persona,” based on the World Rowing Federation, the governing physique for the game.

Although Ms. Heddle shortly ascended to the higher echelon of rowing, she acknowledged that the rise got here with a problem.

“Rowing was seen as a medal sport in Canada, and we had been seen because the favorites,” Ms. Heddle stated, based on the British Columbia Sports activities Corridor of Fame. There was, she stated, “a burden to fulfill the expectations folks place on us.” When she gained, she stated, “it was extra a sense of aid than the rest.”



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