Rower - Women's Squad
Date of Birth: 15th Dec 1985 (36 years old)
Club: Imperial College BC
Hometown: Richmond - North Yorkshire
Zoe Lee had two ambitions for the 2016 season – to become a doctor and make her Olympic debut at the Rio Games.
Lee achieved both in some style, completing her PhD in geography at King’s College, London in March before winning an historic Olympic silver with the women’s eight for Rio 2016.
An Oxford Blue and former world university champion, Lee also stroked the eight to a gold medal at the 2016 European Championships.
Knee surgery after Rio 2016 kept Lee out of the entire 2017 season, but she returned to racing in time for the GB Rowing Team assessments and finished third in the women’s single at the Senior, U23 and FISU Trials in April.
Rio 2016 Olympiad: 2013 – 2016
Lee was once again selected to stroke the women’s eight for the 2016 season and helped to secure an eye-catching gold at the European Championships in Brandenburg, with GB surging through to take the victory in a perfectly-judged race. Another thrilling late push at the Lucerne World Cup saw the GB eight go mighty close to overhauling the Olympic and world champions from the United States and they won silver again at the World Cup in Poznan, this time behind New Zealand.
No British women’s eight had won an Olympic medal before 2016 but Zoe and her crew-mates ended that wait at Rio as they took silver in a photo-finish after an epic race that featured another trademark surge through the field in the second half.
Lee first sat in the stroke seat in 2015 and helped qualify the eight for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games with a fourth-placed finish at the World Rowing Championships in Aiguebelette.
The season started with fifth place at the European Championships in Poznan, with the GB crew looking well on course for a medal until an unfortunate boat-stopping crab in the closing stages.
They hit back with impressive bronze medals at the Varese and Lucerne World Cups, twice going under six minutes at the first of those, before finishing less than a second shy of the podium in Aiguebelette.
Lee had started the Olympiad in the women’s quadruple scull, finishing fourth at both the Sydney and Eton Dorney World Cups, before moving to the eight where she again finished just off the podium at the World Cup in Lucerne and World Rowing Championships in Chungju.
She remained in the eight for the 2014 season and won silver at the European Championships in Belgrade. Later she added bronze medals at the World Cups in Aiguebelette and Lucerne before finishing sixth at the World Rowing Championships in Amsterdam.
London 2012 Olympiad: 2009 – 2012
Lee first trialled for the GB Rowing Team after moving to London in 2009 and was selected for the World University Rowing Championships the following year, winning gold in the women’s four with Emily Taylor, Monica Relph and Leonora Kennedy.
She gained her first GB Rowing Team experience in the women’s eight at the 2011 and 2012 European Championships, finishing fourth in Plovdiv and winning bronze in Varese.
|Rio de Janeiro 2016||W8+|
|World Rowing Championships|
|European Rowing Championships|
|World Rowing Cup Regattas|
|World University Rowing Championships|
|GB Rowing Team Senior Trials|
Club: Imperial College BC
Boat: Women’s Squad
Coaches: Paul Thompson
Learnt to Row: Oxford University
Original Club(s): Oxford University Women’s Boat Club
Original Coach(es): Paul Mattick, Ian Shore, Andy Green, Don McLachlan, Brian Steele, James Harris
Lee read geography at Oxford University and gained a Blue for netball during her undergraduate studies. She gave rowing a try during her second year but only took up the sport properly during her master’s course. In 2008 she stroked Oxford to victory in the Women’s Boat Race against Cambridge and also won the Women’s Eights Head of the River and the senior coxed fours at Henley Women’s Regatta.
She has spent the past six years juggling her full-time rowing career with studying for a PhD in Geography, focusing her research on the area of sand transportation. She completed her course in March 2016, just prior to the Olympic Trials, and is now Dr Lee.
She is Lottery funded through UK Sport.
|Place of Birth||Current Address||Home Town|
|Richmond, North Yorkshire||Putney||Richmond, North Yorkshire|
|Date of Birth||Height|
|15th December 1985||176cm|
|University of Oxford, King’s College London|