Ben Rutledge – 2008 Olympic Gold Medalist for Rowing; World Championship Gold Medalist and World Cup Gold Medalist for Rowing
Ben grew up in Cranbrook playing many different sports including hockey, volleyball, golf and soccer to name a few. However, it wasn’t until he attended the University of British Columbia that he tried the sport of rowing. His love for the sport blossomed quickly and three years later he was a member of the 2002 World Champion Canadian Men’s 8+, a feat which he and his teammates would repeat the very next year.
“Getting to the top is one thing, but staying there is another” (Mike Spracklen; head coach Canadian men’s eight). This statement rang true for Ben and his teammates during the 2004 Athens Olympics when they finished a disappointing fifth place. After a brief time away, including the completion of a degree in Commerce, Ben decided that he would attempt to get back on top and pursue his quest for Olympic gold in Beijing, 2008. This began in 2006 when Ben and his university crew won the National Championships for the first time. In addition, Ben received the top male graduating athlete (Bobby Gaul Award) at UBC.
In 2007, Ben and his Canadian teammates reclaimed their position at the top of the world by winning the World Championships in the Men’s 8+, leading them into the Beijing Olympics as top contenders. With the experience of Athens, and four more years of training, Ben and his team won Olympic Gold in a convincing fashion on Lake Shunyi in August of 2008. In combination with his training, Ben volunteers his time with Right to Play, and coaching first year rowers at UBC, where he hopes develop more potential Olympians.
Speaking is also one of Ben’s passions. He speaks with the Clean air Champions and Vancouver’s Active Adventures program. In addition, he enjoys encouraging people to achieve their best with his motivational talks.