Winning an Olympic silver medal Thursday wasn’t just the highlight of Krista Guloien’s rowing career — it marked the pinnacle of her life, so far.
Guloien, of Port Moody, helped Canada claim its second silver and seventh medal overall at the London 2012 Olympic Summer Games. The U.S. won gold in the 2,000 m race in a time of 6 minutes, 10.59 seconds, followed by Canada in 6:12.06 and bronze-medalist the Netherlands in 6:13.12.
“As of right now, this is it. There’s nothing better,” the 32-year-old Guloien told The Tri-City News on her cell phone while heading to CTV’s Olympic broadcast studio in London. “I’m still going to work to try to achieve better in life in some way but right now, I’m not really sure how.”
Four years after a gut-punching fourth-place finish at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, the Canadian crew rallied down the stretch to reach the podium and re-establish Canada as one of the top women’s crews in the world.
The Canadians made a valiant push for gold down the stretch on Lake Dorney but finished just shy of the defending Olympic-champion Americans, who were last defeated in international competition in 2005 and returned six of the nine crew members from the squad that captured gold at the 2008 Beijing Games.
“I was pretty nervous going in… in rowing it’s a game of inches,” said the Port Moody secondary school grad. “It was pretty amazing. It was actually how we pictured it would go, other than winning silver.”
Guloien said at the time, she had yet to watch the video replay of the race and was eager to do so just to see how it all unfolded.
“At the moment, everything happens so fast,” said Guloien, who first took up rowing in 2001 while working on her criminology degree at Simon Fraser University. “We tried to catch [the Americans], we just weren’t able to make [the gap] up.
“I’m still really happy with the silver and so proud of what we accomplished here.”
Guloien is no stranger to accomplishments on the water. Since making the Canadian national team in 2006 (and moving to London, Ont. to be closer to the squad’s training grounds), she has competed in five world championships, winning back-to-back silver medals in the women’s eights in 2010 and 2011. Previously, at the 2006 and 2007 Worlds, Guloien was part of Canada’s fifth-place team in the coxless fours and quad skulls respectively.
The shining women’s eight rowing performance came one day after the Canadian men’s eight posted a thrilling sprint to the finish to earn the country’s first silver medal at the London Games.
Other members on the Canadian women’s eight crew are: Darcy Marquardt of Richmond; Winnipeg’s Janine Hanson; Ashley Brzozowicz of London, Ont.; Montreal’s Andreanne Morin; Rachelle Vinberg of Regina; North Vancouver’s Lauren Wilkinson; and 52-year-old Toronto cox Lesley Thompson-Willie, who took home her fifth Olympic medal while making her seventh Olympic appearance.
The last Tri-City resident to win an Olympic medal was curler Kelley Law of Coquitlam, who took home a bronze at the 2002 Winter Games in Salt Lake City, Utah along with teammates Julie Skinner, Georgina Wheatcroft and Diane Nelson.
More to come for our Olympians
Four Tri-City Olympians are still in action at the London Olympic Games:
• Coquitlam’s Jasmin Glaesser is a member of the Canadian women’s track team pursuit squad that was to compete in the 2012 London Olympics today (Friday).
• Coquitlam native Brittany Timko and the rest of the Canadian women’s soccer team next play today (Friday) at the 2012 London Olympics against the host Great Britain.
• Coquitlam BMX cyclist Tory Nyhaug, 20, starts three days of competition with qualification on Aug. 8.
• Coquitlam’s Haislan Garcia, in freestyle wrestling, takes to the mat on Aug. 12, the last day of the Games.