Langley Olympic champion Lisa Roman was pleased with the “great turnout” for the first post-pandemic Head of the Fort rowing regatta.
“A good fundraiser, a great event, a great day,” is how Roman summed it up for the Langley Advance Times.
Hosted by the University of the Fraser Valley rowing team, the event drew close to 200 participants from 12 clubs to compete on Saturday, March 19 on Bedford Channel in Fort Langley, mostly youth and master’s teams.
For Roman, it represented another step in the process of rebuilding the UFV rowing team, her athletic alma mater.
“We had a two-year hiatus due to COVID,” Roman told the Langley Advance Times.
“I started the team up again in November. After COVID, it kind of fell apart.”
Roman, who wants to increase community involvement in the sport, is planning to offer “learn to row” courses this summer.
She is hoping to attract sponsors to support the team. Any interested parties are asked to email email@example.com.
A D.W. Poppy Secondary graduate (2007) who grew up in Murrayville, Roman had 14 years of competitive figure skating before she ever set foot in a racing boat.
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Trained by UFV head coach Liz Chisholm, Roman was the Cascades’ top female rower within a year, and during her second season, she tried out for and made Team B.C. for the Canada Summer Games, winning three medals.
After transferring to Washington State University Roman racked up multiple wins, going on to second team All-America honours as a senior, and as a member of Canada’s women’s eight, won the gold medal and set a world age-class record at the U23 World Rowing Championships.
She went on to be part of five medal-winning teams at the senior World Championships.
At the 2020 Tokyo Games – postponed to 2021 due to COVID-19 – Roman and fellow Langley rower Andrea Proske, along with with Kasia Gruchalla-Wesierski, Christine Roper, Susanne Grainger, Madison Mailey, Sydney Payne, Avalon Wasteneys and coxswain Kristen Kit won the gold medal, 0.91 seconds ahead of New Zealand,with China coming in third.
Roman was inducted into the UFV Cascades hall of fame in February.
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