Born and raised Airdronian Olivia McMurray won a gold medal with Kailani Marchak for Canada in the Pan American Games Qualification Rowing Regatta in Santiago, Chile April 17.

A George McDougall graduate, McMurray just returned home from helping Canada qualify for the Pan American Games in rowing. She now has to fight to earn her spot on the team to return as a member of Team Canada to Santiago for the main event, the Pan-Am Games in October.

McMurray has made her home in Calgary for almost a decade, working there as a Process Engineer.  She was first introduced to rowing in 2010.

"I first represented Canada, nine years ago, in 2014. I was an under-23 athlete, and I went to Scotland, it was really cool."

Since the pandemic, her rowing career has really taken off.

"I've really built a lot of momentum. My partner and I won a silver medal at nationals in 2021, that's kind of when we realized, we're actually kind of a top team in the country. Then this recent fall we placed sixth at Nationals, but all of the Olympians were back for 2022, so placing sixth in a fully attended year, was what earned us the tryout invite [for the Pan American Games Qualification]. Then we moved out to Victoria, at the end of January this year, went through the selection process, made the team, then trained another month and a half and then we competed in Chile."

McMurray would love to make the team so she can return to Chile.

"It would be amazing. I love the event and the venue. It was like the most perfect racecourse I've ever been on, not a single buoy was out of place."

If she does qualify to go back, she's excited it will be to multi-sport games, instead of just a rowing-only competition, like the qualification was.

"It was my first international medal and first International Gold Medal, it was just overall an incredible experience."

McMurray is pleased that all the hard work she's put into the sport is finally paying off with great results.

Send your news tips, story ideas, pictures, and videos to