Host City: Seoul, South Korea
Date Started: September 19, 1988
Date Finished: September 25, 1988
Participants: 592 (399 men and 193 women) from 38 countries
Youngest Participant: Roman Ambrožič (15 years, 7 days)
Oldest Participant: Ladislau Lovrenschi (56 years, 92 days)
Most Medals (Athlete): 18 athletes with 2 medals
Most Medals (Country): East Germany (10 medals)
Rowing at the 1988 Summer Olympics was held at the Misari Regatta in Hanam, which had been built for the 1986 Asian Games. As the first Olympics since 1976 not to experience a major boycott, it boasted a record 38 participant nations in the rowing events, including Kuwait, who took part in the sport for the first and, as of 2012, only time by sending Waleed Al-Mohamed Abdulmuhsin to the men’s single sculls. Edgardo Maerina also helped his nation, the Philippines, make an inaugural appearance through the men’s single sculls. East Germany, who had been absent from the previous Olympics due to the Soviet-led boycott, returned to its position at the top of the medal table by winning 8 of the 14 fourteen events; Italy, with victories in the men’s quadruple sculls and coxed pairs, was the only other nation to earn more than one gold medal. Romania medaled in seven events, coming in as runner-up four times, and no other nation captured more than three medals total.
The 1988 program replaced the women’s coxed quadruple sculls with the coxless quadruple sculls, but otherwise remained the same as it had been since the introduction of women’s events in 1976, although the women’s races were now contested over 2000 metres (like the men), rather than 1000. China, who had made its Olympic rowing début in the previous edition, surprised spectators by winning its first medals\: silver and bronze in the women’s coxed fours and eights respectively. There were numerous multiple medalists in Seoul\: Andy Holmes and Steven Redgrave won the coxless pairs event and also took bronze in the coxed pairs, the Chinese silver medal-winning crew from the coxed fours were all members of the coxed eights lineup that took bronze, and every member of the Romanian runner-up coxed eights squad had earned a medal in another discipline, either bronze in the coxed fours or, in the case of Rodica Arba and Olga Homeghi-Bularda, gold in the coxless pairs.