After two close calls, Darcy Marquardt can at last add an Olympic medal to her decorative rowing career.
Competing at her third Summer Games, the 31-year-old from Richmond helped Canada win silver in women's eight on Thursday morning at the Lake Dorney rowing course.
In a highly anticipated showdown with the defending Olympic champion United States, the Canadian crew closed hard over the final 500 metres, before settling for second and duplicating the finish of the previous two World Championships.
“I had so much trust in the work we've done,” Marquardtt told Postmedia News. “We've been so consistent day after day in training and racing this season. We laid it all on the line today and that's an Olympic silver. We can't be upset with that.”
Marquardt made her Olympic debut at the 2004 Games in Athens, placing fourth in women’s pairs with teammate Buffy-Lynne Williams. Four years later, she fell just short of the podium again, placing fourth as a member of the eights crew in Beijing.
Following the near miss, she took an 18-month break from the sport before being inspired by watching the 2010 Winter Olympics Games in her hometown, including being in attendance for Christine Nesbitt’s gold medal skate at the Richmond Oval.
Her impressive career also includes winning gold in women’s pair with Jane Rumball at the 2006 World Championships.
The McRoberts secondary graduate was a multi-sport athlete who thrived on the softball field before giving rowing a try as a student at the University of Victoria.
It’s ironically the same path travelled by Kyle Hamilton, another Richmond rower who won gold for Canada in men’s eight in Beijing.
Marquardt studied French and psychology at UVic and plans on becoming a physiotherapist now that her rowing career is likely behind her.
She is also engaged to Richard Hortness, a member of the Canadian Olympic swim team. The couple met at the 2008 Summer Games.