Sarah won a silver medal with Kate Hornsey in the Women’s Pair at the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
She was a three-time Olympian, competing in the Women’s Eight at the Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.
She was a member of the Women’s Eight which won the World Championship in 2005 and also won silver in the Pair at that regatta.
Sarah was coached by her husband Bill, and at the London Games she was the first mother to row for Australia at the Olympic Games following the birth of their first child Leila in 2009. Her history-making moment was also shared by teammates Dana Falatic and Hannah Every-Hall later in the regatta.
She was diagnosed with cancer following the birth of her second child Luca in March 2013.
Sarah retired from the sport on doctor’s advice saying “it was a simple decision for me to bow out of rowing and focus my time on getting better and looking after my family”.
The President of the Australian Olympic Committee, John Coates, paid tribute to her today.
“We are extremely saddened to hear of Sarah’s passing and offer our deepest sympathy to her husband, two children, family and friends.
“Sarah was an extremely talented Olympic rower taken far too soon from us. She battled to the end,” Coates said.
Coates recognises that Sarah was among a remarkable group of female athletes who proved that mothers can not only continue to compete at an elite level but also win medals.
“Amongst her amazing achievements Sarah pioneered change in attitude by Rowing Australia with the introduction of their Family Friendly Policy allowing children of athletes to be reunited with their mums while away for extended periods of time training and competing.
“The legacy she leaves for younger women who would like to pursue both motherhood and elite sport is truly inspirational,” Coates said.