Three-time Olympian of the rowing single scull Kim Brennan reckons Australia’s team for the Rio Games may be the strongest she has seen in her Olympic career.
Brennan says they’re stacked with genuine medal chances, including the women’s double scull and women’s quad scull which medalled at the World Cup earlier this year.
In 2012, Brennan was the first Australian rower to compete in two events at the one Games, finishing with a silver in the double sculls and bronze in the singles.
She claimed the World Championship title in 2015 but doesn’t think it provides a distinct advantage.
“Everyone starts the race at the exact same point and has the opportunity to create their best race from that moment in time,” she said.
“Having said that, prior performance gives you confidence that your training and technique are on the right track.”
Teammate Kerry Hore in the rowing quad scull is set to become Australia’s first four-time Olympic rower.
She will race alongside three Olympic rookies, Jessica Hall, Jennifer Clearly and Madeleine Edmunds in the women’s quadruple sculls.
Also making her third Olympic appearance is Sally Kehoe who has paired up with the youngest member of the section, Genevieve Horton, in the women’s double scull.
“It remains a great privilege as we have all had to work incredibly hard to reach Rio,” Horton said.
“To have someone by your side (or sitting behind you) with a wealth of experience is a great advantage, especially as she [Kehoe] is one of only a few Olympians in our field of the women’s double.”
— Rowing Australia (@RowingAust) March 30, 2016
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Kim Brennan says that being out on the water is a joy and she loves the community of Rowing.
Brennan, 30, made history at the 2012 London Games when she was a medalists for two separate Rowing events; silver in the double scull and bronze for the single.
Brennan met her husband at the same Games, Gold medal rower, Scott Brennan.
Sport runs in Brennan's family, with her mum Susan Crow as the chief executive offer of Netball Victoria and Softball Australia and the first woman on the Cricket Vicotria board. She is also currently the head of community at A-League soccer club Melbourne city FC. Her dad played AFL for Essendon, St Kilda and Footscray in the '70s and '80s. Brennan considers her parents as the most influential people in her life.
Brennan is a qualified lawyer and a regular columnist for The Age.
Rio will be Horton's Olympic debut, and at just 21, she's the youngest member of the Australian rowing selection.
Although Horton likes to watch beach volleyball, she says that rowing was the only sport she could make the firsts in at school, so she thought she'd better stick with it. She also values the travel opportunities in the sport.
She is also a lover of strawberry milk and calls it "liquid gold".
Kehoe, 29, took up rowing during her time at boarding school in Brisbane, having to leave her hometown in Toowoomba.
She is currently studying a Masters of International Finance at Deakin University.
Kehoe is related to Australian Swimmer Susie O'Neill through her paternal grandmother and says that O'Neill's 1992 Barcelona performance inspired her to become an Olympian.
Cleary will be making her Olympic debut at the Rio Games, with her breakout coming from her 2014 World Rowing Cup 1 in Sydney where she took home gold alongside her crew.
Clearly has a degree in Neuroscience at The University of Melbourne and is hoping to begin a medical degree, having just completed the highly competitive Graduate Medical School Admissions Test.
The 23-year-old from Geelong says that she took up rowing for the "sheer physical challenge".
Also making her Olympic debut, Queensland-born Edmunds is training in Canberra at the AIS.
Born into a rowing family, Edmunds' father is Ian Edmunds who competed for Australia during the 1980s and won an Olympic bronze medal at the 1984 Los Angeles Games in the Men's 8s. Edmunds says that her first Olympic memory is trying on her dad's medal.
Outside of rowing, Edmunds is studying business and is an avid baker.
Another Queenslander on the Quad Scull is 24-year-old Jessica Hall who took the Australian National champion in the Women's Quadruple Sculls in Penrith, NSW.
Hall is a part time student, studying Criminology and Psychology at Griffith University.
Hore is a Tasmanian-born rower who many Olympic history at Rio, as the first female rower to compete at four Olympic Games.
The 35 year old had a career highlight when she won gold in the women's quad scull in the 2003 World Championships in Milan.
She has fond memories of growing up in Tasmania and considers her favourite holiday destination, bush walking in Tasmania.