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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: 7th Oct 1984 (35 years old)
Club: London Rowing Club Height: 178.00 Hometown: Durham
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After top-five finishes at her two previous Olympic Games, Jess Eddie finally got on the podium at Rio 2016 as she helped the women's eight to an historic silver.
Jessica Eddie has spent the majority of her senior career in the eight and is among the most experienced members of the GB Rowing Team women’s squad.
Eddie first represented her country in 2001 and is a double world medallist at both under-23 and senior level, as well as a reigning European champion.
Jess was part of the first-ever GB women's eight to win both an Olympic medal and European title in 2016
©Peter Spurrier/Intersport Images
Olympic Silver Medalist Women's Eight
European Champion Women's Eight
European Silver Medallist Women's Eight
Olympic Finalist Women's Eight
World Bronze Medallist Women's Eight
2003 & 2005
World U23 Bronze Medallist Women's Pair
After finishing runner-up in the women’s pair with Polly Swann at the GB Rowing Team Trials, Eddie was once again selected in the women’s eight for 2016. She helped to secure an eye-catching gold at the European Championships in Brandenburg, with GB surging through to take the victory in a perfectly judged race. Another thrilling late push at the Lucerne World Cup saw the GB eight go mighty close to overhauling the Olympic and world champions from the United States and they won silver again at the World Cup in Poznan, this time behind New Zealand.
No British women’s eight had won an Olympic medal before but Eddie and her crew mates ended that wait at Rio 2016. They took silver in a photo finish after an epic race that featured another trademark surge through the field in the second half.
Eddie was in the women’s eight for all but one race of the Rio Olympiad and helped qualify the boat for the 2016 Games with a fourth-place finish at the 2015 World Rowing Championships in Aigubelette.
The 2015 season started with a fifth-placed finish at the European Championships in Poznan, with the GB crew looking well on course for a medal until an unfortunate 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.
Eddie doubled up in the first World Cup of the Olympiad in Munich, finishing fourth in the eight and fifth in the pair with Katie Greves. She partnered Louisa Reeve to a similar finish at the Eton Dorney World Cup before returning to the eight for the rest of the 2013 season, placing fourth at both the World Cup in Lucerne and World Rowing Championships in Chungju.
She also raced in the eight throughout 2014, winning silver at the European Championships in Belgrade and bronze medals at the World Cups in Aiguebelette and Lucerne before finishing sixth at the World Rowing Championships in Amsterdam.
Eddie’s top-five finishes with the women’s eight at the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games are among the highlights of a GB Rowing Team career that started in 2001.
She finished fifth at the 2009 World Rowing Championships in Poznan at the end of a season which started with gold in the eight at the Banyoles World Cup.
During the 2010 World Cup season, she won a medal of each colour with the eight – gold in Bled, silver in Munich and bronze in Lucerne – before finishing just off the podium at the World Rowing Championships in New Zealand.
The 2011 season saw her take silver with the eight at the Munich World Cup before securing a second World Championships medal with bronze at Bled in 2011.
Two more bronze medals followed at the Belgrade and Munich World Cups in 2012 before Eddie and the eight recorded another fifth-place finish at the London Olympics.
Eddie was sixth in the women’s quad on her GB debut at the 2001 World Rowing Junior Championships in Duisburg and raced in the same boat at the following year’s event in Trakai, finishing eighth.
After winning women’s pair bronze with Katie Greves at the 2003 World Rowing U23 Championships in Belgrade, Eddie made a fine senior debut in 2004 by winning bronze at the World Cup in Lucerne. She also raced in that boat at the World Rowing Championships, placing sixth.
She started 2005 with a bronze medal in the women’s eight at the Eton Dorney World Cup and finished it with a fifth-placed finish at the World Championships in Japan. In between, she won a women’s pair bronze medal with Anna Watkins [nee Bebington] at the World U23 Championships in Amsterdam.
Eddie was 11th in the pair when Eton Dorney staged the 2006 World Rowing Championships before moving to the eight for the rest of the Beijing Olympiad, winning a silver medal at the 2007 World Cup in Linz and an impressive bronze at the World Rowing Championships in Munich.
The eight went into the 2008 Beijing Games on the back of a bronze medal at the Poznan World Cup and finished fifth in China.
Club: London Rowing Club
Boat: Women’s Squad
Coaches: James Harris
Learnt to Row: Durham Amateur Rowing Club
Original Club(s): Durham Amateur Rowing Club, University of London Boat Club
Original Coach(es): Gordon Beattie
Eddie took up rowing aged eight and also played netball and rugby as a youngster. She was under-10s county champion at mini rugby with Durham RFC – “I tell this fact to most people I meet.” She has a twin sister, Alexandra, who also rowed.
She completed a degree in biology at Royal Holloway College in 2006 and is currently studying art. She spends her spare time reading up on art history or visiting galleries and her ideal non-rowing career would be an expert on Antiques Roadshow. LS Lowry would be one of her dream dinner party guests, along with Joanna Lumley and Beyoncé.
A big music lover, Eddie says she is currently “obsessed” with Nadine Shah, a singer-songwriter from Sunderland. When it comes to training, her ergo soundtrack is a mix of upbeat pop – “Beyoncé, obviously” and rockier tracks from Arcade Fire and alt-J.
She is also a big fan of sushi and coffee, and enjoys discovering London’s independent coffee shops. Her espresso machine would be one of the items she would take to a desert island, along with her Gameboy and a football “to master my keepy-ups”.
Her favourite TV show is University Challenge and Grease 2 is her top film.
Eddie is Lottery funded through UK Sport.
The GB Rowing Team’s one gold, two silver and a bronze medal world cup performance in Switzerland today was somewhat undermined by illness.
Britain’s “bankers” for gold - the women’s pair and men’s four - came home with the goods from the European Championships in Brandenburg an der Havel, Germany, today and there was an exciting bonus win from the new-look women’s eight in the Olympic classes as well as superb win for the lightweight men’s pair.
Want to know what representing your nation at an Olympic Games means to our GB Rowing Team athletes?
The 2015 World Champion GB Rowing Team men’s eight reunite tomorrow for the first time since their gold medal charge in France in September.