Jessica Morrison made her Olympic debut in Rio as a part of the women’s eight. The crew had only two weeks to prepare for their Olympic campaign, after the Russian boat was banned from competing at the Games.
In their first heat, the Aussies flew out of the start in a bid to chase down favourite USA, as well as Netherlands and Romania. The crew of Fiona Albert, Jessica Morrison, Alexandra Hagan, Meaghan Volker, Molly Goodman, Olympia Aldersey, Lucy Stephan, Charlotte Sutherland and coxswain Sarah Banting made a competitive start however with limited race preparation managed a fourth place finish. The boat required a top four finish in the repechage to qualify for the A-final. As they approached the final 500 metres, the top four crews pulled ahead and the Australians were left to finish fifth in what was a valiant effort for a crew that had only been training together for 10 days.
Morrison’s first Australian Rowing Team was this year, 2016, when she was selected to be part of the Australian Women’s Eight that competed at the Final Olympic Qualification Regatta in Lucerne.
Prior to rowing she was a keen swimmer and won World University Games gold in the 4x100m freestyle relay while also finishing 3rd in both the Berlin and Stockholm World Cups for the 100m freestyle in 2012. Later she transferred into rowing following injury.
She competed in the eight, on debut for Australia, where the crew finished third at the Final Olympic Qualification Regatta as they just missed a Rio 2016 spot. The boat was a late call up to the Games after Russia was removed from the competition.