(Reuters) – Olympic rowing triple gold medalist Kathleen Heddle, the quiet and stoic counterpart to the sociable and flamboyant couple Marnie McBean, has died after a long battle with cancer, Rowing Canada said on Wednesday. He died at the age of 55 on Monday at his home in Vancouver, said a statement from Rowing Canada issued on behalf of his family. “Rowing brought Kathleen to the world stage,” said Rowing Canada. “A country and a sport came to know and understand their determination. A silent force was seen; imperturbable, firm, inspiring.” As an Olympic and World Champion who touched perfection, Kathleen never sought the spotlight. “A pure athlete, a role model by actions and behavior. She was revered by teammates, coaches, opponents and those who knew her best. She was essentially Canadian.” Heddle and McBean were in many ways an odd couple at rowing, but on the water they won gold in the helmsmanless pairs at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics and in the double sculls at the 1996 Atlanta Games. part of the crew that won gold in the women’s round of 16 in Barcelona. “Kathleen Heddle 1965-2021. 3x Olympic Champion + + + The best of all time. Today I am devastated and speechless by this loss. Too soon,” tweeted McBean, who will be Canada’s chief of mission at the Olympic Games in Tokyo this year.
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