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The GB Rowing Team is the high performance arm of British Rowing. Rowing is the nation’s most continuously successful Olympic sport, having won a gold medal in every Olympic Games since 1984, and has won six Paralympic golds since the sport was introduced to the Paralympic Games programme in 2008.
GB Rowing Team
Rower // Women's Squad Date of Birth: 29th Apr 1986 (35 years old)
Club: Sport Imperial BC Height: 182.00 Hometown: London
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Donna Etiebet added to her medals from the European Championships and multiple World Cups when she won gold with the women's four at the World Rowing Championships in 2016.
Donna Etiebet is a former snowboard instructor and triathlete who worked in the City of London for five years before deciding to focus on her rowing after enjoying success on the domestic stage.
Etiebet raced in the women’s eight during 2014 and 2015, helping to qualify the boat for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
Reigning World Champion Donna worked in the City of London for five years before deciding to focus on her rowing career
©Peter Spurrier/Intersport Images
World Champion Women's Four
European Silver Medallist Women's Eight
Etiebet won the first gold medal of her international career when she teamed up with Fiona Gammond, Holly Nixon and Holly Norton to claim the women’s fours title at the 2016 World Rowing Championships in Rotterdam. After winning their heat in tricky conditions, the four surged clear in the final to record an emphatic victory.
Racing in the women’s eight throughout 2015, Etiebet helped qualify the boat for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games with a fourth-placed finish at the World Rowing Championships in Aigubelette.
The season started with fifth place at the European Championships in Poznan, with the GB crew looking well on course for a medal until a boat-stopping crab in the closing stages.
They hit back with impressive bronze medals at the Varese and Lucerne World Cups, twice going under six minutes at the first of those, before finishing less than a second shy of the podium in Aiguebelette.
Etiebet also raced in the eight throughout 2014 and won a silver medal on her GB Rowing Team debut at the European Championships in Belgrade. She added bronze medals at the World Cups in Aiguebelette and Lucerne before finishing sixth at the World Rowing Championships in Amsterdam.
Her step up to international level followed an impressive domestic campaign in 2013 when she won pennants at the Pairs, Fours and Eights Head races as well as the intermediate coxed fours at Henley Women’s Regatta. She also made the semi-final of the Remenham Challenge Cup at Henley Royal Regatta.
Club: Sport Imperial BC
Boat: Women’s Eight
Coaches: James Harris
Learnt to Row: St Paul’s Girls School
Original Club(s): St Paul’s Girls School, New Hall College Boat Club, Thames Rowing Club
Original Coach(es): David Porteus, Rachel Knight, Tony Larkman, Clive Whitford, Tessa Miller, Stuart Whitelaw
Born in Canada, Etiebet spent her early childhood in Nigeria and loved the warmth and sunshine – anywhere with a beach remains her ideal travel destination.
She returned to Canada and was a snowboard instructor before moving to the UK in 2002, where she learned to row at St Paul’s Girls’ School. She studied biological anthropology at Cambridge University and was awarded a full Blue after winning the water polo varsity match in 2007.
After graduating, she worked in the City for five years and took up triathlons, with her best finish being fourth in a middle-distance race. She then took up rowing again with Thames Rowing Club.
Etiebet plans to return to her finance career when she finishes rowing but also enjoys DIY and browsing home renovation and decoration projects, so is hoping to launch her own business or e-site with that focus on the side.
A keen Spotify subscriber, her wide range of musical tastes include Hurts, Our Lady Peace, Haim, Macklemore, Lauryn Hill and Lianne La Havas, while Vikings, Happy Valley, Game of Thrones and Sherlock are among her favourite TV shows.
She also admires athlete Jo Pavey, saying: “She is such a strong role model showing it is possible to balance a successful sporting career alongside starting and growing a family.”
Etiebet is Lottery funded through UK Sport.
The GB Rowing Team claimed a golden hat-trick on Saturday to finish top of the medal table at the Senior World Rowing Championships in Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
Big gusts of wind were unable to prevent GB Rowing Team’s defending champions making smooth progress on Monday afternoon as the Senior World Championships got under way in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.
British Rowing has announced two more senior crews for the 2016 World Rowing Championships, completing selection for this month’s regatta in Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
The Olympic squad may be away honing their preparations for the Rio 2016 Games but there will still be a good GB Rowing Team presence at the Henley Royal Regatta, which gets under way today.