Kathleen Heddle, Rower Who Received three Olympic Gold Medals, Dies at 55

Kathleen Heddle, who gained three Olympic gold medals rowing for Canada within the 1990s and impressed a technology of athletes, died on Monday at her residence 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 companion, 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 through which they led the race from begin to end, according to Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame. With that, Ms. Heddle and Ms. McBean grew to become 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 night time, Ms. McBean wrote on Twitter in regards to the demise of her rowing companion, calling Ms. Heddle the “Biggest of All Time.”

“I’m crushed and with out phrases at present 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 eight months previous, her mother and father, Duncan and Marilyn Heddle, 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, and their two kids, Lyndsey and Mac.

Info on survivors was not instantly accessible.

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. Nevertheless it was in Ms. Heddle’s third yr on the college within the 1980s when she was “picked out of a lineup” due to her top and recruited to affix the varsity’s rowing workforce, she told the British Columbia Sports Hall 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 straight away,” recalled Ms. Heddle. “I favored the stability between brute power and energy with finesse.”

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

By 1987, Ms. Heddle had earned a spot on the Canadian nationwide rowing workforce 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, in accordance with 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,” in accordance with the World Rowing Federation, the governing physique for the game.

Although Ms. Heddle rapidly 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, in accordance with the British Columbia Sports activities Corridor of Fame. There was, she stated, “a burden to satisfy the expectations folks place on us.” When she gained, she stated, “it was extra a sense of reduction than the rest.”

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