One of the legends of Australian sport is the story of Jane Robinson. The Murray River Canoe Marathon is an event for canoes and kayaks, paddling 400km in the peak of a hot and dry Australian summer. Many of them compete as relay teams, dividing up the work such that each athlete only paddles a quarter of the distance each day. Robinson is different: she committed to row the full 400km herself, not in a canoe but in a single scull. In other words, that is 400km going backwards. A typical rowing race, as we can see in the video below, is only two kilometers.
I was really lucky to be able to get some photographs of those moments on Jane's rise to world domination. They are published below for the first time.
Robinson's wikipedia page tells the rest of the story: three Olympics and three World Championship wins.
Robinson's last world championship, in 2003, was part of the women's quad scull crew. The Australian girls competed against the USA, UK, Germany, Belarus and Ukraine. In hindsight, it couldn't be more political and it is fascinating to watch in the video.
This picture was taken shortly after Jane and Stu got together. They have since had two children.
At one point, a submerged tree branch collided with Jane's rigger. Stu was on hand to help fix it.