Carl Ogawa entered the University of British Columbia in 1954 and soon joined the school’s rowing team as a coxswain for the eights crew. He first represented his country at the 1955 Henley Royal Regatta where, despite losing the final to the University of Pennsylvania, he gained national acclaim by helping the Canadians defeat the strong Russian squad. He was then selected to represent Canada in the eights at the 1956 Summer Olympics after winning that year’s national championships. At the Games he earned a silver medal alongside David Helliwell, Philip Kueber, Richard McClure, Douglas McDonald, Bill McKerlich, Donald Pretty, Lawrence West, and Robert Wilson and, in doing so, became the first Asian-Canadian to win an Olympic medal. He has been inducted into the Canadian Olympic (1958), British Columbia Sports (1976), and University of British Columbia Sports (2010) Halls of Fame as a member of his silver medal-winning crew.