Although already having taken part in three World Junior Championships, Frances Houghton’s senior championship début came at the Sydney Olympics where she competed alongside fellow débutant Sarah Winckless in the double sculls. She bounced around between doubles and eights before being selected for the quadruple sculls for the 2003 season and Houghton has remained an integral part of the quad ever since. An almost permanent fixture in the number three seat, she won four world titles (2005-07, 2010) and three Olympic silvers (2004, 2008, 2016). She considered retirement after the Beijing Olympic Games but, after taking a year away from the water in 2009, returned to international competition at the start of 2010. Houghton failed to medal at the 2012 London Olympics, but added a third silver with the eights at Rio in 2016. It was the first time the British women had won an Olympic medal. She also won the gold medal with the eights at the European Championships in Brandenburg. She announced her retirement in December 2016 and was, at the time, the longest serving member of the British squad. During her sabbatical in 2009 she trained to be a professional chef. Houghton has a degree in Hispanic studies and has worked as a translator.