Rowing at the 1920 Summer Olympics

Dates 27 – 29 August 1920
Medal Events 5

The rowing events were held closer to Brussels than Antwerp. They actually were contested in the Grand Canal, starting at Vilvorde, about five miles northwest of Brussels. The Field described the site as follows, “The surroundings were not picturesque. On the right bank (looking from start to finish) is a rough pavé road, bounded on the right by a dreary, dusty wall and an odoriferous ditch. On the left bank of the course is an almost continuous line of factories, some of which discharge streams of hot water from their condensers into the murky waters of the canal. The average depth of the water was from 15 ft. to 20 ft., and compared with the Thames, it was a little heavy to row on. From an artistic or a picnic point of view, it was unprepossessing. From the purely business point of view of boat racing, it was as good and as fair a test of the merits of competition as it is possible to imagine. There was never for one single instant the slightest advantage in either station.”

All the 1920 rowing events were contested over 2,000 metres on a perfectly straight course.


Event Status Date Participants NOCs
Single Sculls, Men Olympic 27 – 29 August 1920 10 10
Double Sculls, Men Olympic 27 – 29 August 1920 10 5
Coxed Pairs, Men Olympic 28 – 29 August 1920 12 4
Coxed Fours, Men Olympic 28 – 29 August 1920 40 8
Eights, Men Olympic 27 – 29 August 1920 72 8
135 (135/0) 14 (14/0)


Event Gold Silver Bronze
Single Sculls, Men Jack Kelly, Sr.USA Jack BeresfordGBR Darcy HadfieldNZL
Double Sculls, Men United StatesUSA ItalyITA FranceFRA
Coxed Pairs, Men ItalyITA FranceFRA SwitzerlandSUI
Coxed Fours, Men SwitzerlandSUI United StatesUSA NorwayNOR
Eights, Men United StatesUSA Great BritainGBR NorwayNOR

Medal table

NOC Gold Silver Bronze Total
United States USA 3 1 0 4
Italy ITA 1 1 0 2
Switzerland SUI 1 0 1 2
Great Britain GBR 0 2 0 2
France FRA 0 1 1 2
Norway NOR 0 0 2 2
New Zealand NZL 0 0 1 1