Birthday: December 18, 1996 (age 19)
Hometown: Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Cal affiliation: Current California Golden Bear
Years at Cal: 2014-current
Olympic appearances: 2016 will be her 1st Olympic games, she will row in the Women's Eight
Cal student Caileigh Filmer is an acclaimed rower prior to her matriculation in Berkeley. She was member of the 2015 Cal Varsity Eight, rowing in the 6th chair (seats 4-6 are typically the strongest rowers) in the NCAA. That Cal squad won the Pac-12 in an undefeated season up until the NCAA final when they finished 2nd to NCAA team and V8 champ in Ohio State.
2nd in the nation in the V8 and as a team! Wouldn't have rather done it with anyone else because I love each and everyone on this team!BEARS— Caileigh Filmer (@caileigh_f) May 31, 2015
In 2016 spring semester, Filmer chose to focus on making the Olympics and decided to leave her Cal teammate to pursue her dream. Even without Filmer, the Golden Bears won their first NCAA team title since 2006.
With the Canadian team in the pairs event, Filmer won a bronze medal in the 2014 Summer Youth Olympics - which is apparently a short distances 1000 meter race rather than the standard 2000 meter. Caileigh also owns a pair of silver medals from the 2014 World Rowing U23 championships in women's pair and 2015 World Rowing U23 championships in women's four.
In lieu of rowing with her fellow Bears (who she clearly still love and support from afar, judging from her Twitter account), Filmer represented Canada in the World Cup I and World Cup II of rowing in 2016.
More on Caliegh and her Rio outlook:
Her Canadian Olympic Team Bio says that she was originally a competitive swimmer (I wonder if she knew Calympian Noemie Thomas from swimming before Cal) before switching to rowing in age 13. She has stated that she intend to be an Environmental Science major. Since she wants to be a science major, we get the following gems from her Twitter.
When did I ever think Chem 1A and Math 1A in same semester was a brilliant idea... Hmmm well I guess better planning for next semester then— Caileigh Filmer (@caileigh_f) October 9, 2014
Best Christmas present ever... FINDING OUT I PASSED CALCULUS— Caileigh Filmer (@caileigh_f) December 25, 2014
The Canadian Women's Eight boat won the Silver at the 2012 London games. Their lineup for the Rio game consists of:
- Caileigh Filmer, Victoria, B.C.
- Susanne Grainger, London, Ont.
- Natalie Mastracci, Thorold, Ont.
- Cristy Nurse, Georgetown, Ont.
- Lisa Roman, Langley, B.C.
- Christine Roper, Montego Bay, Jamaica
- Lesley Thompson-Willie, London, Ont. (coxswain)
- Antje von Seydlitz, Smithers, B.C.
- Lauren Wilkinson, North Vancouver, B.C.
Lauren Wilkinson and the coxswain Lesley Thompson-Willie are the lone holdover from the Eight that placed 2nd behind the Eight from the United States, which included Calympians Erin Cafaro. Given the history of that program, chances are good that Caileigh and her Canadian crew can medal in Rio.
Good luck to Caileigh in Rio (and future math and chemistry courses) and GO BEARS!