Sarah Tait (Outhwaite)
1983 - 2016
Sarah Tait won a silver medal with Kate Hornsey in the Women’s Pair at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. The duo won their heat by over five seconds and progressed straight through to the final.
Tait and Hornsey had the difficult task of taking on the hot favourite home crew of Helen Glover and Heather Stanning in the final who were looking to become the first British women rowers to stand on top of the podium as an Olympic Games.
The Australians came through the halfway mark sitting in 3rd position over six seconds off the Brits and trailing the New Zealand crew by 3.57 seconds. Tait and Hornsey picked up the stroke rate and powered home to move into 2nd as the finish line neared to win the silver medal. They finished 2.73 seconds behind the history making British pair.
She was a three-time Olympian, competing in the Women’s Eight at the Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, where the crews finished sixth at both Games.
Outside of her Olympic silver another highlight came at the 2005 World Championships where the new-look women’s eight won the world title and she also rowed to silver in the Pair at that regatta.
Sarah was coached by her husband Bill, and at the London Games she was the first mother to row for Australia at the Olympic Games following the birth of their first child Leila in 2009. Her history-making moment was also shared by teammates Dana Falatic and Hannah Every-Hall later in the regatta.
She was diagnosed with cancer following the birth of her second child Luca in March 2013. She fought bravely before losing the battle in March 2016.
Sarah was among a remarkable group of female athletes who proved that mothers can not only continue to compete at an elite level but also win medals.
Sarah pioneered change in attitude by Rowing Australia with the introduction of their Family Friendly Policy allowing children of athletes to be reunited with their mums while away for extended periods of time training and competing.
Sarah’s Olympic journey began at the Sydney Youth Olympic festival in 2001 where she won two medals and three and a half years later she made her senior Olympic debut at Athens 2004.