July 5, 2016
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Former Virginia rowers Susanne Grainger (2013), Inge Janssen (2010), Christine Roper (2011) and Matt Miller (2011) and UVA two-sport athlete Meghan O’Leary (2008) will compete at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. In addition, two-time National Coach of the Year Kevin Sauer will serve as an assistant coach.
Grainger and Roper are making their Olympic debuts for Canada in the women’s eight. Grainger and Roper recently helped Canada to a silver medal at the 2016 World Rowing Cup in Varese, Italy. Grainger made her international debut in 2011, while Roper debuted in 2010. Roper and Grainger earned CRCA second-team All-America honors at UVA in 2011 and 2013, respectively.
Janssen will compete in her second Olympic games with The Netherlands in the women’s quad. Janssen competed in the same event at the 2012 Olympics in London and has been competing internationally since 2011.
O’Leary will make her Olympic debut for the United States and be coached by Sauer in the women’s double sculls. O’Leary is a former two-sport athlete at UVA, competing in softball and volleyball. O’Leary, who started rowing in 2010, made her international debut in 2013, earning a silver medal in the women’s double sculls at the World Rowing Cup III in Lucerne, Switzerland. O’Leary also earned a silver medal at the 2015 World Rowing Cup II in Varese, Italy.
Sauer will make his Olympic debut and serve as the coach for O’Leary and teammate Ellen Tomek, who qualified for Rio by finishing first in the women’s double sculls in late April at the U.S. Olympic Trials in Sarasota, Fla. Sauer has guided the Cavaliers to a pair of NCAA championships and 16 ACC titles. Sauer, who earned 10 ACC Coach of the Year honors, rowed collegiately at Purdue and was a member of the U.S. National Rowing Team in 1975 and 1977.
Miller will make his Olympic debut for the United States in the men’s four. He was a four-year member of the UVA club rowing team from 2008-11. Miller, who made his international debut in 2013, earned a gold medal in the men’s four at the 2016 World Rowing Cup I in Varese, Italy.
Rowing at the 2016 Olympic Games is set for Aug. 6-13. The site of the 2016 Olympic Rowing events is the Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon.