Brooke Pratley grew up in country NSW in Crookwell and did not start rowing until 2002. Pratley was a sculler before turning to sweep rowing for the Olympic selection trials. Pratley made her Olympic debut at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games in the women’s eight where the team finished 6th.
Pratley returned to the sculls as she partnered with Kim Crow in the double sculls to qualify for her second Olympic Games in London. She was then sidelined with a rib injury just a couple of months out from the Games but returned to competition at World Cup 3 in Munich, winning silver.
Pratley and Crow qualified the fastest in their heat and the second fastest overall to go straight into the Olympic final. The pair were hoping to upset the party of Britain’s Anna Watkins and Katherine Grainger who were looking to become Britain’s first ever female gold medallists in the sport.
The Australians did their best to keep pace with the home crowd favourites and were 1.41 seconds down at the halfway mark. Buoyed by their parochial supporters in the stands, Watkins and Grainger continued to lift and Pratley and Crow finished comfortably in second 2.73 seconds behind the gold medallists. In what was a race in two from the outset, Poland’s Magdalena Fularczyk and Julia Michalska finished a further 9.37 seconds back to win the bronze medal.