Canadian rower Christine Roper who was born in Jamaica made her mark on the global rowing scene when she was named World Rowing Athlete of the Month for May 2018. Christine, 27, is the daughter of Brian Roper, who is the general manager of Beaches Ocho Rios Hotel. Christine said she was excited to receive the recognition, while her father said his “glad bag buss”. Christine moved to the United States when she was 14 to attend high school, and it was there she discovered her talent for rowing. As one of the best rowers in the world, she said she was proud to be named Athlete of the Month and that it “is always nice to be recognized for all the hard work we have put in.” Brian Roper noted that such recognition is not given for just “turning up,” but for being “better than everybody else.”
Christine took fifth place in the Rio Olympics, but she was dissatisfied with that. According to Brian, “She wants to be in the middle of the podium.” Christine made her international debut in Canada after graduating from high school. She received a bronze medal at the 2013 World Championships with the eight-member rowing team and a silver medal with the four-member team. In 2014, she earned a silver medal at the competition and another bronze in 2015. She then entered the Rio Olympics in 2016 as a medal contender. Of her team’s performance in Rio, Christine said she was proud of how they did, but she wanted more. After taking some time off, she is back and hopes that with continued improvement she can win an Olympic medal. Christine Roper is also planning to give back to the country where she was born now that a Jamaican rowing federation is in operation. While she says she doesn’t really know the people involved with rowing in Jamaica yet, she believes that Jamaicans are very talented athletes and wants to be involved in any way she can. Her parents live in Jamaica, and Christine returns to the island on a regular basis, particularly for the Christmas and New Year’s holidays.
Photo Source: Christine Roper