Host City: Los Angeles, United States
Venue(s): Lake Casitas, Los Padres National Forest, California
Date Started: July 30, 1984
Date Finished: August 4, 1984
Mostly due to the Soviet-led boycott, no nation that had ever won a gold or silver medal in the women’s double sculls at the Olympics or World Championships took part in the event at the 1984 Summer Games. In fact, the only World Championship medalists who were present in Los Angeles were Marioara Popescu-Ciobanu and [Elisabeta Oleniuc] of Romania, who were favorites to win gold. Canada, the reigning Pan American champions, sent sisters Danièle and Silken Laumann. These two nations met in the opening round, with Romania emerging victorious by a margin of nearly two and a half seconds, although both finished faster than Haldis Lenes and Solfrid Johansen of Norway, the other heat winners. Romania maintained its dominance in the final, winning gold by a comfortable margin, but the Dutch duo of Greet and Nicolette Hellemans, who had been behind Romania and Canada in the heats, snuck ahead of the Canadian sisters to steal silver. Canada, then, had to be content with bronze. Of all the medals, however, it was perhaps Oleniuc’s that was most noteworthy: under her married name of Lipă, she would go on to win seven more medals in five editions of the Olympic Games, making her the most decorated rower in the history of the sport.