Host City: Beijing, China
Date Started: August 9, 2008
Date Finished: August 17, 2008
Participants: 555 (364 men and 191 women) from 60 countries
Youngest Participant: Kim Hong-Kyun (19 years, 103 days)
Oldest Participant: Lesley Thompson-Willie (48 years, 327 days)
Most Medals (Athlete): Viorica Susanu and Georgeta Damian-Andrunache (2 medals)
Most Medals (Country): Great Britain (6 medals)
Rowing at the 2008 Summer Olympics was held at the Shunyi Olympic Rowing-Canoeing Park, a venue built specifically for the Games. Continuing efforts to draw in more countries to all events in the Olympics meant that a record 60 nations took part in the Beijing tournament. Most of the new nations appeared in the single sculls\: Rodrigo Ideus for Columbia, Paul Etia Ndoumbè for Cameroon, and Norberto Bernárdez for Honduras in the men’s, Myanmar’s Zin Latt Shwe and Honduras’ Camila Vargas for the women, and Iran, who sent Mohsen Shadi to the men’s and Homa Hosseini to the women’s. The lone exception was Iraq, who made its début in the double sculls with Haidar Nozad and Hamzah Jebur. Mathias Raymond, meanwhile, gave Monaco its first appearance in Olympic rowing since the 1928 Games, when its men had competed in the coxed fours.
Great Britain topped the medal table for the first time since 1948 with six, two of each kind. Australia was the only other nation to win more than one title, with victories in the men’s double sculls and coxless pair, while Canada was the only other country to take more than three medals total\: one gold, one silver, and two bronze. China, with its surprising win in the women’s quadruple sculls, became an Olympic champion in rowing for the first time. The 2008 program remained the same from the three previous editions, which is, as of 2012, its current state. There only multiple medalists in Beijing were the same ones from Athens\: Georgeta Andrunache and Viorica Susanu were again champions in the coxless pairs, although they only managed bronze this time in the coxed eights.