Host City: Barcelona, Spain
Date Finished: August 2, 1992
Participants: 627 (437 men and 190 women) from 45 countries
Youngest Participant: Carlos Front (11 years, 251 days)
Oldest Participant: Roberto Ojeda (50 years, 137 days)
Most Medals (Athlete): 13 athletes with 2 medals
Most Medals (Country): Germany (10 medals)
Rowing at the 1992 Summer Olympics was held at the natural [Lago de Bañolas] in the lake's eponymous city. The breakup of the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia and the return of South Africa to the Olympic movement, among other factors, contributed to a record 45 nations competing in rowing in Barcelona, up from the previous high of 38 in 1988. These new representatives included Croatia, Slovenia, and "Independent Olympic Athletes", who represented the rest of the former Yugoslavia. By entering Ali Rıza Bilal and Christian Francis respectively into the men's single sculls, Turkey and Lebanon made their first, and as of 2012 only, appearances in Olympic rowing, while Hong Kong débuted through the women's single and men's double sculls. Zimbabwe, meanwhile, sent Margaret Gibson and Susanne Standish-White to the coxless pairs to represent the nation in this sport for the first time, but the country would not take part again until 2008. The "Unified Team" was technically a new entrant as well, although it served primarily as a proxy for the Soviet Union, as many of its constituent nations did not compete independently upon dissolution. One important exception for rowing was Estonia, who sent medal contenders to the men's single and double sculls, giving the nation its first independent appearance since Elmar Korko competed in the single sculls in 1936. Another constituent nation, Latvia, made an unqualified independent début by entering rowers into the men's single sculls and the women's coxless pairs, while a third, Lithuania, was represented in the men's coxed and coxless pairs and the women's coxless pairs and single sculls.
A newly unified Germany topped the medal table by taking 10 medals, four of them gold, but they were not as dominant as East Germany had been. Canada tied the Germans' gold medal count and also earned a bronze medal that was perhaps even more valuable, as it was won by Silken Laumann in the single sculls only two months after a terrible injury nearly ended her promising rowing career. Traditionally strong Romania took seven medals, including gold twice, while the United States took three, but failed to win any events. No other nation won more than two medals, although Slovenia's two third-place finishes were its first rowing medals as an independent nation. The "Unified Team" also took bronze in the women's quadruple sculls.
The 1992 program was altered slightly from the previous year, as the women's coxless fours made its only Olympic appearance, replacing the coxed version. It would change more dramatically in 1996 with the elimination of several events to make room for lightweight class competitions. There were numerous multiple medalists in Barcelona. Six members of Canada's victorious women's eights crew were Olympic champions in other 1992 events\: Kirsten Barnes, Brenda Taylor, Kay Worthington, and Jessica Monroe in the coxless fours and Marnie McBean and Kathleen Heddle in the double sculls. Romania's champion men's coxed fours crew all won medals in other events\: Iulică Ruican and Viorel Talapan took silver in the coxed eights, while Dimitrie Popescu, Neculai Țaga, and Dumitru Răducanu capture bronze in the coxed pairs. Among the nation's women, Elisabeta Lipă was champion in the single sculls and runner-up in the double sculls and Veronica Cochelea was runner-up in the double and quadruple sculls.