What Are the Olympic Rowing Events?

Rowing is one of the oldest sports in the Summer Olympic Games, and just like all of the other wide-ranging events, it’s evolved over the years. Today, you have boats and oars made out of high-tech materials, and athletes wearing elite rowing clothing from companies like Boathouse.com. But despite the advances in rowing shell and fabric technology, what it takes to win is the same now as it was for the first Olympic rowers back in 1900. Athletes need strength, endurance, teamwork, and determination if they have hopes of earning a medal this year. So as we wait for the world’s best athletes to take the stage, let’s discuss the events slated for the 2020 Tokyo games.

2021 Summer Olympics Rowing Events in Tokyo

As of the 2020 (well, 2021 really) Tokyo games, there are 7 types of rowing events. They feature both sweep rowing events and sculling. Since 1976 there have been events for both men and women, which takes the grand total to 14 events for this year’s games.

 Here are the different Olympic rowing events:

  • Single Sculls: One rower sculling
  • Double Sculls: Two rowers sculling
  • Lightweight Double Sculls: Two rowers under a certain weight limit sculling
  • Quads: Four rowers sculling
  • Coxless Pair: Two rowers sweep rowing
  • Coxless Four: Four rowers sweep rowing
  • Eights: Eight rowers sweep rowing and led by a coxswain

Past Rowing Events

Though some events like men’s eights with a coxswain have been part of the Olympics since rowing was introduced in 1900, there have been some changes along the way. One of the best examples is the inrigger competition of 1912. Featuring inrigger shells which have the oarlock directly attached to the gunwale, this event lasted for only one Olympiad. Other events had a much longer lifespan; pairs with coxswain and fours with coxswain were a fixture in the games from 1900 all the way up until 1992.

In 2021, the U.S. Competes in 9 Out of 14 Rowing Events

In the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, the United States has qualified for 9 overall events. This is impressive, because though the U.S. has historically done quite well at rowing, the modern era of the sport is dominated by Germany, the U.K., and New Zealand. Seven women’s teams and two men’s teams will compete in this year’s games. This year, the U.S. was the only country to qualify for all 7 women’s events. The men’s team will compete in Coxless Fours, (or simply, Fours), and Eights. The outlook for team U.S.A. is good, especially for the women. It’s likely they’ll bring home some medals this year!

Rowing Apparel Fit for Champions

Your squad may not be quite ready for an Olympic regatta, but that doesn’t mean you can’t train and race in elite athleticwear. At Boathouse.com, you’ll find rowing clothing for crew that’s made to meet the highest manufacturing and performance standards. Our company was founded by Olympic rower John Strotbeck, so we know exactly what you're looking for in rowing apparel. Lightweight, breathable, moisture-wicking, non-restrictive, and tailored to prevent chafing, our rowing unisuits for crew are engineered for the heat of competition.


If you want new uniforms for your school or club, our rowing apparel is fully customizable. Because we make our clothing right here in Philadelphia, USA, we can ensure the highest standard of quality and offer industry best turnaround times. Outfit your team with championship-worthy unisuits today.

BOATHOUSE U.S.A. Crew Grey / Small