Women's Coxless Pair - Tricia Smith and Betty Craig
Betty Craig and Tricia Smith are pioneers of elite Canadian women’s rowing. They competed at the first Olympics to include women in Montreal in 1976 and together they won three World Championship medals and an Olympic silver medal in the coxless pair. Craig and Smith set the standard for Canadian women rowers who followed in their footsteps.
Marion Elizabeth "Betty" Craig was born in Brockville in 1957 and took up rowing in 1973. She was a rising star on the Canadian rowing scene in the mid-1970s. She began her long international career with a trip to the 1976 Summer Olympics, where she was fifth in the coxless pairs alongside Tricia Smith. She won bronze and silver with Susan Antoft at the 1977 and 1978 World Championships respectively, and then finished seventh in the coxed fours crew the 1979 World Championships. This was her only departure from the coxless pairs at a major international regatta.
She was selected to compete at the 1980 Summer Olympics, but was forced to stay home after Canada joined the boycott of those Games.
The following year she renewed her partnership with Smith and the duo went on to capture silver, bronze, and bronze at the 1981, 1982, and 1983 World Championships respectively. Their greatest achievement, however, came in 1984 when they earned silver in the event at the Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, finishing behind the Romanians and ahead of the Germans.
Craig retired after the Games, but returned with Smith in 1987 and won the Canadian Championships. After an eighth-place finishing at that year’s World Championships Craig retired for good with three bronze and two silver World Championship medals and one silver Olympic medal. She was made a member of the Brockville and District Sports Hall of Fame in 1995.
Today we honor and celebrate “Tricia Smith the athlete”. We will save her many sports leadership accomplishments for “Tricia Smith the builder” for another time, but we would be remiss not to mention the highlights; past Vice President of FISA, current President of the Canadian Olympic Committee, Member of the International Olympic Committee, Member of the Order of British Columbia, and Member of the Order of Canada.
Born Patricia Catherine "Tricia" Smith in 1957 in Vancouver, she was an accomplished swimmer in a family of top athletes before learning to row at age 16. She quickly found her calling above the water, rather than in it, and continued to row and study at UBC.
In her illustrious international rowing career, she won a gold medal at the Commonwealth Games, seven World Championship medals and an Olympic silver medal in a career that spanned from 1976 to 1988. She has the distinction of competing in every women’s sweep boat class; the 2-, 4-, 4+ and 8+ at the international level.