Harris to represent Canada in rowing at Pan Am Games

WELLINGTON COUNTY – Stephen Harris has been selected to represent Canada at the Pan Am Games, which run from Oct. 20 to Nov. 5 in Santiago, Chile.

“This is my first time representing Canada at a multi-sport games, so it’s a big honour,” the 21-year-old Marden resident told the Advertiser.

“I’m very excited and look forward to competing.”

Harris has represented Canada before in the U19 and U23 World Rowing Championships.

The U23 championships were held in Bulgaria this past July, and had over 750 athletes from 51 nations attend, according to WorldRowing.com.

Harris also competed in the U23 championships in Italy in 2022 where he won a bronze medal, and the 2019 Junior World Championships in Tokyo.

At the Pan Am Games, Harris will race in the men’s lightweight double and the mixed eight, which is a new event for the Games.

The selection process for the Pan Am Games was conducted by Rowing Canada and the National Sporting Organization for Canada, according to Harris.

“They invited some of the top athletes that they felt would be a good fit. And we did some selection events to finalize the attendance,” he said.

Stephen Harris competed in the 2022 Canada Summer games where he won 3 Gold medals, the most of any rower from any province. Submitted photo

Rowing background

Harris attended John F. Ross Collegiate Vocational Institute and has been rowing since his Grade 9 year of high school.

He became a member of the Guelph Rowing Club in 2016, which he is still part of today. He now attends Brock University, where he is studying economics, and is also on the rowing team.

Harris said he has spent a couple years getting his university team at the senior national team level.

“My parents actually met rowing at Western (University). So for me, it was always a sport I was going to get into,” said Harris.

Along with travelling to Italy, Harris also won three gold medals at the Canada Summer Games in 2022 – the most medals of any rower from any province that year.

More recently (Sept. 28 to Oct. 1) Harris won the senior National Lightweight title in Duncan, BC.

When he is not in school, Harris rows for the national team and he trains in Vancouver. However, he plans to move back to Guelph/Eramosa for the remainder of the fall season for training.

The Pan Am Games will mark the next move in his rowing career, and those wanting to watch Harris at the Pan Am Games can do so by downloading the “Pan Am Sports Channel” app from smartphone app stores or watch at panamsportschannel.org/main.

The link to the games can be found at santiago2023.org.