In 2000 at the Sydney Olympic Games, Guin made history by being part of the crew that won Britain’s first ever female rowing medal at an Olympic Games. This was the highlight of an international career that spanned 9 years, 2 Olympic Games and 6 World Championships.
Guin also holds the world records for the fastest solo rowing crossing of the English Channel, which she accomplished in a fine rowing shell and for crossing the Zero Degree Channel in the Maldives. Both these records are world firsts and the fastest times for either men or women.
Recently Guin has been sharing her ‘ocean’ skills guiding crews across the Kawai Channel in Hawaii and the Zero Degree Channel, in the India Ocean.
Academically Guin has degrees from Leeds Carnegie and Loughborough University. In her early career as an exercise physiologist for the British Olympic Association she worked with Olympic legends like Steve Redgrave.
Currently, Guin works for the leading UK youth sport charity the Youth Sport Trust heading up their innovation projects.
Guin’s time between her challenges and work is shared between the international federation for rowing where she looks after the emerging disciplines of beach and coastal rowing; Henley Royal Regatta, where she is the first women in 175 years to sit on the management committee and as chair of the largest women’s rowing race in the world; the Women’s Eights Head of the River Race.
More recently in June 2016, Guin embarked on another challenge to row the 1896 classic ocean rowing route across the wild North Atlantic; from New York to the UK. As skipper, she led her crew to complete the journey in 48 days achieving a range of world first and world records. The women became the first British women to cross the North Atlantic, some 50 years after John Ridgeway and Chay Blyth became the first British men to do it in a time of 69 days.
Guin’s life is a scattering of determination and world firsts; from a childhood moving between counties in Africa and the Middle East; to her years as a young adult and fulfilling her driving ambition to become an international athlete. She has slept on changing room floors, sneaked into campsites after dark, and worked crazy jobs on sail training boats and ridden the city streets of London as a push bike messenger to make ends meet.
Her dreams have been shattered so many times. The most defining was when aged 24, at the very door of making the British Team the GB coaches informed her she was too small and would never be an international rower. Guin switched boat class into the single scull and in 12 months to the very day was ranked 8th in the world.
As they say the rest is history. Guin believes:
“The limits of sport and human endeavour are there to be challenged; after all, if you haven’t visited the unknown, how do you know if it is impossible.”
Guin will be coming on the Tough Girl Podcast in June!
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