Olympic heroine returns to rowing roots

Three-time Olympic silver medallist Katherine Grainger has made an emotional return to the University.

She came back to the place where her rowing career started to name Edinburgh University Boat Club’s new eight-man craft.

Katherine Grainger next to the new boat

Starting off

Katherine Grainger first took up rowing while studying law at Edinburgh and made the transition to international rowing while still a student.

As well as winning silver at the Sydney, Athens and Beijing Olympics, she has won four golds and a bronze at the World Championships in 2003, 2005 and 2007.

The new boat, built by Italian company Filippi, was funded almost exclusively by generous grants from the University’s Sports Union.

It is part of an ongoing equipment replacement plan by the club to ensure that all of its members have every possible opportunity to progress in the sport.

Continued inspiration

Edinburgh University Boat Club vice president Rhona MacCallum said: “Katherine Grainger’s success is a continued inspiration to everyone at the club - especially as novice rowers make up more than half of our membership.

“We are delighted that the new boat for our women’s squad is to be named ‘Katherine Grainger’ in honour of all that she has accomplished.”

Katherine said: “It’s brilliant to come back here today - I have such fond memories of my time at Edinburgh. I met some of my best friends through rowing. I wasn't very good when I first started but I stuck with the boat club because the social life is fantastic.

“It’s exciting to get my own boat and hope that it will be an inspiration to others here at the University. It’s going to be strange the next time I'm walking along the Union Canal to see my name going past on the side of a boat.”