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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 Date of Birth: 15th Dec 1985 (35 years old)
Club: Imperial College BC Height: 176.00 Hometown: Richmond - North Yorkshire
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Zoë Lee had two ambitions for the 2016 season - to become a doctor and make her Olympic debut at the Rio Games.
She achieved both in some style, completing her PhD in geography at King’s College, London in March before winning an historic Olympic silver with the women’s eight for Rio 2016.
An Oxford Blue and former world university champion, Zoë also stroked the eight to a gold medal at the 2016 European Championships.
Knee surgery after Rio 2016 kept Zoë out of the entire 2017 season. She made the switch to sculling when she returned for the 2018 season and competed as part of the women’s quad. She returned to the women’s eight in 2019, where she won European silver and World Cup bronze.
Zoë retired from the GB Rowing Team in December 2020.
Zoe stroked the women's eight to Olympic silver and European gold during a historic 2016 season
©Peter Spurrier/Intersport Images
Olympic Silver Medalist Women's Eight
European Champion Women's Eight
European Silver Medallist Women's Eight
European Bronze Medallist Women's Eight
World University Champion Women's Four
Lee was once again selected to stroke the women’s eight for the 2016 season and 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 2016 but Zoe and her crew-mates ended that wait at Rio as they took silver in a photo-finish after an epic race that featured another trademark surge through the field in the second half.
Lee first sat in the stroke seat in 2015 and helped qualify the eight for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games with a fourth-placed finish at the World Rowing Championships in Aiguebelette.
The season started with fifth place 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.
Lee had started the Olympiad in the women’s quadruple scull, finishing fourth at both the Sydney and Eton Dorney World Cups, before moving to the eight where she again finished just off the podium at the World Cup in Lucerne and World Rowing Championships in Chungju.
She remained in the eight for the 2014 season and won silver at the European Championships in Belgrade. Later she added bronze medals at the World Cups in Aiguebelette and Lucerne before finishing sixth at the World Rowing Championships in Amsterdam.
Lee first trialled for the GB Rowing Team after moving to London in 2009 and was selected for the World University Rowing Championships the following year, winning gold in the women’s four with Emily Taylor, Monica Relph and Leonora Kennedy.
She gained her first GB Rowing Team experience in the women’s eight at the 2011 and 2012 European Championships, finishing fourth in Plovdiv and winning bronze in Varese.
Club: Imperial College BC
Boat: Women’s Squad
Coaches: Paul Thompson
Learnt to Row: Oxford University
Original Club(s): Oxford University Women’s Boat Club
Original Coach(es): Paul Mattick, Ian Shore, Andy Green, Don McLachlan, Brian Steele, James Harris
Lee read geography at Oxford University and gained a Blue for netball during her undergraduate studies. She gave rowing a try during her second year but only took up the sport properly during her master’s course. In 2008 she stroked Oxford to victory in the Women’s Boat Race against Cambridge and also won the Women’s Eights Head of the River and the senior coxed fours at Henley Women’s Regatta.
She has spent the past six years juggling her full-time rowing career with studying for a PhD in Geography, focusing her research on the area of sand transportation. She completed her course in March 2016, just prior to the Olympic Trials, and is now Dr Lee.
She is Lottery funded through UK Sport.
At the start of Women's Sports Week 2016, we look back at 40 years of women's rowing in the Olympic Games plus milestone moments for GB at the Paralympics.
Rio 2016 Olympic heroes Heather Stanning and Katherine Grainger were honoured at the 2016 Team Scotland Scottish Sports Awards in Edinburgh on Wednesday.
The GB eights brought the Rio 2016 Olympic regatta to a glorious conclusion as they won gold and silver in the space of 30 minutes on another truly Super Saturday.
Alex Gregory, Mohamed Sbihi, George Nash and Constantine Louloudis laid down a strong marker in their opening Olympic men's four heat here at the Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas in Brazil. They built on an early lead to win in 5:55.59 and move into Wednesday’s semi-finals. “I feel like a pressure valve has been released”, said…