Christine Roper, a member of Canada’s Olympic team, made history when she became the first Canadian Jamaican to win a gold medal in the sport of rowing at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics. With the win, Roper helped the women’s eight to secure a gold medal for rowing at the Olympic Games.
Roper was born in Montego Bay and lived in Jamaica until she was 14. She then traveled to the United States to attend high school. She was introduced to rowing at that time, previously being interested in the sport of swimming. She then moved to Canada after graduating from the University of Virginia in 2011 with a BA in Psychology.
She first represented Canada in 2010 at the U23 World Championships where the eight took home a bronze medal. In 2011, the team won the U23 gold medal; in 2012, Roper claimed a second world title at the U23 with the four.
She started to train with Canada’s national team in 2012 and made her senior international debut the same year. She went on to win two medals at the World Championships in 2013, with a bronze medal with the eight and a silver with the four. At the World Championships in 2014, she won a silver medal and took home another bronze medal at the 2015 competition as a member of the eight. Roper’s Olympic debut came as a member of the eight in 2016, when the team finished fifth in Rio. In 2017, on a return to the World Championships, she won a silver medal with the eight. During her rowing career, Roper has won medals more than 20 times at World Rowing competitions.
She was officially named to the Olympic team of Canada as part of the Women’s Coxed Eight team in June of 2016. In 2019, she helped the women rowers to qualify to represent Canada at the 2020 Summer Olympics with a fourth-place finish at the qualifiers. Roper was named the World Rowing Athlete of the Month in May 2021 by the sport’s world governing body.
Roper’s dream of becoming an Olympian originated when she watched Canada’s men’s eight-win a gold medal at the 2008 Games in Beijing.
Photo Source: Christine Roper Instagram