Kenora rower named to Canada's Olympic team

KENORA – St. Thomas Aquinas High School alumna Abby Dent is going to the Paris Olympics, and that comes as no surprise to Megan Derouard.

“No, absolutely not,” Derouard, the high school’s athletic director, said Thursday.

Dent, 22, was named to Canada’s Olympic rowing team as part of the women’s eight.

She was on the women’s eight squad that won gold in Chile last year at the Pan American Games and gold in Switzerland last month at an Olympic qualifier. She also took home silver in another event at the Pan Am Games.

Dent was a standout in high school sports due to her drive and “ability to seek proficiency,” said Derouard, who coached Dent in high school volleyball.

“Rowing was her thing from Day 1 where you could see that she was going to excel because of the time and effort that she put in,” Derouard continued.

“And you could see that from a young age, all the way through her high school career. Those of us that knew Abby and spent time with Abby knew she was going to excel in this sport.”

Paris 2024 will mark the Olympic debut for Dent, who competed with the Kenora Rowing Club and the Manitoba Rowing Club.

As a member of the University of Michigan’s rowing team, she was named the Big 10 Rower of the Year for 2023 and twice shared in the conference championship.

Derouard said Dent is “a natural leader,” as well as funny, quirky and “someone people want to be around.”

This first go at the Olympics likely won’t be Dent’s last, she said.

The 2024 Summer Olympics will take place July 26 through Aug. 11 in Paris.

Rowing is set for July 27 to Aug. 3 at the Vaires-sur-Marne Nautical Stadium, with the eights final set for the last day.

Canada has collected 43 rowing medals over the years at the Olympic Games.

Mike Stimpson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Thunder Bay Source