Host City: Ciudad de México, Mexico
Date Started: October 13, 1968
Date Finished: October 19, 1968
Participants: 353 (353 men and 0 women) from 29 countries
Youngest Participant: Luis Colman (14 years, 114 days)
Oldest Participant: Héctor Menacho (40 years, 141 days)
Most Medals (Athlete): 79 athletes with 1 medal
Most Medals (Country): Netherlands and East Germany (3 medals)
Rowing at the 1968 Summer Olympics took place in Mexico City’s Lake Xochimilco, in its newly-constructed Virgilio Uribe Olympic course. The 1968 program remained that same as it had been since 1924 and would continue to be until 1976, when it was expanded to include women and the men’s quadruple sculls. As the only nation to win more than one gold medal, in the coxless pairs and fours, East Germany topped the medal table, while its silver medal in the coxed fours made it one of only two nations to win three medals of any color (the other was the Netherlands). This was the first time the United States had competed in Olympic rowing (it skipped 1908 and 1912) and failed to win a gold medal.
Bulgaria made its Olympic debut by entering crews into the double sculls and coxed pairs (the nation had sent rowers to the 1964 Games as well, but they did not actually participate), while East and West Germany competed as independent entities for the first time, although rowers from both nations had taken part and found great success for years under unified Germany. Among notable medalists, New Zealand’s victory in the coxed fours gave that nation its first Olympic rowing title since its debut in 1920 and started them on their journey to becoming a world power in the sport.