18 March 2022
By Göran R Buckhorn
Canadian Olympic champion Kevin Neufeld has passed away, age 61.
Kevin Neufeld, who was born on 6 November 1960 in St. Catharines, Ontario, rowed at high school for the former West Park Secondary School in the mid-1970s.
As a member of St. Catharines Rowing Club, Neufeld found success at the Royal Canadian Henley Regatta and U.S. Nationals. He won a gold medal in the eights at the world championships in 1983. The year after, he together with Blair Horn, Dean Crawford, Michael Evans, Paul Steele, Grant Main, Mark Evans, Pat Turner and Brian McMahon (coxswain) became Olympic champions by beating the home favourites, United States, by 0.42 seconds on Lake Casitas.
Neufeld was also part of the crews (rowing as Ridley Grad.) that placed first in the championships eights at the Head of the Charles in Boston in 1984, 1985, 1986 and 1987. He also won a gold medal in the coxless four – together with Grant Main, Paul Steele and Pat Turner – at the 1986 Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh.
At the Olympic Games in Seoul in 1988, Neufeld and the Canadian eight finished last in the final, and he left the sport.
Neufeld and the crew of the 1984 Olympic eight was inducted into the British Columbia Sports Hall of Fame in 1985 and the Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame in 2003. He was inducted as an individual into the Greater Victoria Sports Hall of Fame in 2009 and St. Catharines Sports Hall of Fame in 2011.
Kevin Neufeld, born on 6 November 1960, died on 26 February after a brief battle with cancer. He is survived by wife Connie and their three sons.