Melbourne-born Rosie Popa has a strong rowing pedigree with both her parents having represented Australia at Olympic Games in rowing and won Olympic medals. Rosie’s mother, Sue Chapman-Popa, represented Australia at the 1984 Olympic Games, in the Women’s Coxed Four, winning an Olympic bronze medal, while her father, Ion Popa, is an Olympic bronze medallist in the Men’s Eight from the same Games. Ion was also part of Australia’s World Championships winning Men’s Eight in 1986.
Rosie has represented both the USA and Australia in her rowing career, by virtue of having US-citizenship. Rosie represented the USA at U23 level, but in 2015 reverted to her country of birth, Australia, and was selected to race for Australia in the Women’s Eight. After finishing her degree in Sociology at UC Berkeley and a period of time out of the boat, Rosie made her return to rowing and at the end of 2017 was selected to join the Hancock Prospecting Women’s National Training Centre in Penrith.
In 2018, Rosie was selected to compete in the Women’s Four for the World Rowing Cups and then the Women’s Eight for the World Rowing Championships. She also represented Australia in the Remenham Challenge Cup at the 2018 Henley Royal Regatta. She will no doubt be listening to her favourite pump up song ‘Shots & Squats’ by Vigiland feat. Tham Sway before she hits the start line.
At the rescheduled Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, Popa teamed up with Annabelle McIntyre, Lucy Stephan, and Jessica Morrison – in the Women’s Coxless Four – to win Olympic Gold.