Australian Rowing Team member and Olympic silver medalist, Sarah Tait has passed away. Sarah had been battling cancer since the birth of her second child, Luca, in March 2013, and in February 2014 made the decision to step away from rowing to battle the disease, a battle she sadly lost on 3 March 2016.
Born, Sarah Anne Outhwaite, on 23 January 1983 in Perth, Western Australia to parents Simon and Barbara Outhwaite, she grew up with her three brothers in the suburb of Wembley Downs and began rowing in Year Nine and her passion for the sport stuck.
An Environmental Science and Agriculture graduate, Sarah made her first appearance on the international rowing scene, when in 2000, she won a silver medal in the Junior Women’s Four at the World Rowing Junior Championships in Zagreb, Croatia.
From that day forward, Sarah never looked back competing at three Olympic Games (2004, 2008 and 2012) with her final Olympics being the one that saw her win a silver medal alongside Kate Hornsey in the Women’s Pair, the crew was coached by husband, Bill.
At the time of her retirement in 2014, Sarah said her greatest achievement in rowing was taking home a silver medal at London 2012, saying: “Without a doubt, my greatest achievement has to have been combining with Kate and our coach, Bill, to take home that silver medal for Australia in the London 2012 Olympics. Bill has been a great support and in last eight years has made the most amazing difference to my rowing career, and my life, both as my husband and my coach.”
In her time in the team she won numerous accolades including gold and silver in the 2005 World Rowing Championships and bronze in the 2011 World Rowing Championships while she captained the Australian Women’s Rowing Team for both the Beijing (2008) and London (2012) Olympics.
Sarah received her McVilly-Pearce pin, she was rower number 651, alongside her World Championship winning Women’s Eight crewmates late last year.
A member of Swan River RC in Western Australia and Mercantile RC in Victoria, Tait gave birth to her and Bill’s first child, Leila, in 2009 and their second, Luca in 2013. A rowing scholar of the Western Australian Institute of Sport (WAIS) and more recently the Victorian Institute of Sport (VIS), she is survived by her husband Bill, children Leila and Luca, parents Simon and Barbara, along with the extended family.
Rowing Australia will be providing support for any athletes, coaches and support staff effected during this difficult time.