Heather Stanning MBE
Rio 2016 Olympiad: 2013 – 2016
At the 2015 GB Rowing Team Senior and U23 Trials, Heather and Helen Glover took first place in the women's pair for a second successive year. They were selected to race in the women's pair at the 2015 European Rowing Championships in Poznan, setting a new championship record as Heather completed her set of international titles. The pair won gold once more in a solid performance at the World Cup in Varese, taking the lead from 500m and holding off the USA and New Zealand. In the final of the women's pairs event at the third World Cup in Lucerne, they took an early lead and executed a well-controlled race to finish first, two and a half seconds clear of New Zealand in second. They went on to retain their world title, winning their event at the World Championships in Aiguebelette by two lengths.
The second World Cup of the 2014 Season in Aiguebelette saw Heather return to international competition for the first time since winning Olympic gold in London 2012. Heather, with Helen Glover, marked her return by storming to victory, winning an emphatic gold. The pair went on to secure another gold at the final World Cup in Lucerne, stamping their authority on this event ahead of the World Championships. As defending Olympic Champions Heather and Helen Glover had high expectations on them at the World Rowing Championships in Amsterdam and met these with aplomb. They dominated their fields in every race and in the Final set a World's Best Time to win gold by clear water over USA and New Zealand.
In 2013 Heather took time out of rowing to fulfill her military commitments and joined her Royal Artillery Regiment at Camp Bastion in Afghanistan where she combined her military duties with a land-based training programme to maintain her rowing fitness.
London 2012 Olympiad: 2009 – 2012
During the 2012 World Cup Series, Heather raced in the women's pair with Helen Glover. The duo won a gold medal at all three of the World Cup regattas. At the 2012 Olympic Games in London, Heather, with Helen, went on to become Olympic Champion in the pair and was awarded the MBE in the 2013 New Year Honours list. It was Team GB’s first gold medal of the Games, and a first for a GB women’s boat at an Olympic Games.
At the 2011 GB Rowing Team Senior Trials, Heather and Helen Glover dominated the women's pair's final and raced this boat throughout the 2011 Season. During the 2011 World Cup series, the duo won impressive gold medals at both Munich and Lucerne, winning the overall World Rowing Cup Series. At the 2011 World Rowing Championships in Bled, they took silver behind New Zealand in a closely fought battle where they managed to close the gap from the previous season to less than one tenth of a second.
In 2010, after strengthening performances at the first two World Cup regattas before being unable to race at the third due to her crewmate’s illness, Heather and Helen gave a breakthrough performance in the women’s pair at the 2010 World Rowing Championships on Lake Karapiro, New Zealand. The duo showed no fear in their first senior Worlds, winning a fine silver medal.
In 2009 Heather was 7th in the eight at the European Championships.
Beijing 2008 Olympiad: 2005 – 2008
In 2008 Heather won the Rememnham Challenge Cup at Henley Royal Regatta.
Heather won gold with Olivia Whitlam in the women's pair at the 2007 World Under 23 Championships, having joined the GB Rowing Team's Start Programme the previous year. That year she also won silver at the National Championships and the Home Countries Regatta in the women's pair, and took gold at the Indoor Championships.
Beyond the Boat
After graduating from the University of Bath with a BSc (Hons) in Sports Technology, Heather pursued a military career and was commissioned from RMA Sandhurst in August 2008 into the Royal Artillery. She is a Captain in the 32nd Regiment and was given special dispensation to pursue her Olympic career at London 2012.
A month after winning women’s pair gold, Stanning reported to Larkhill Garrison in Wiltshire and resumed her British Army career. She was posted to Helmand Province in Afghanistan, where she completed her tour of duty in the summer of 2013.
Heather was a volunteer fire fighter at school and would like to be an adventurer – “not that I have any experience in the area, it just sounds exciting!” Ranulph Fiennes would be among her dream dinner guests, along with Michael McIntyre and Margaret Thatcher.
New Zealand is the perfect travel destination for Heather, who enjoys most physical outdoor activities - sailing and snowboarding in particular. Neighbours is her favourite TV programme, Top Gun is her top film and she winds down after competitions with pizza and a beer.
Heather is Lottery Funded through UK Sport.