Canada's Mark Oldershaw Fulfills Family Legacy With Third Place In London


29-year-old Mark Oldershaw comes from a long line of rowing champions. However, as a third generation Oldershaw rower, Mark was hoping to bring home the illustrious top-three finish from London. He did so, placing third place in the Men’s C1 1,000-Meter Canoe race in a time of three minutes, 48 seconds. This is a race that features one athlete in a small boat, kneeling on one knee, paddling their hearts out for 1000m.

“I am so happy,” he said. “I just can’t even put it into words right now. I’m just so proud to represent Canada. The whole race I was just staring at the nose of my boat, there’s a big maple leaf on it, and it’s just such a good feeling.”

Oldershaw’s quest for this victory wasn’t an easy one. Years ago, doctors found a benign tumor on his paddling hand. Two surgeries later, the doctors were able to successfully remove it. Because the tumor sat on a nerve in his hand, he was in constant pain and had trouble sleeping as a result. Before he was diagnosed and treated, Oldershaw fought through the pain, continuing to row regardless.

His third place finish in London brought a sense of closure to a family who has long sense desired that result. His grandfather competed in the original 1948 London Games and didn’t have as fortunate of a result. Mark carried a wooden paddle his grandfather used in 1948 with him in London in 2012. His father and two uncles also competed in previous Games.

“I mean, I’ve been dreaming of this since I was a little kid, Oldershaw said of his top-three finish. “Every birthday blowing out the candles. Every shooting star. Every eyelash.”


John Ohail


August 10, 2012