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Brooke Francis

Brooke Francis (née Donoghue) started rowing at Mercer Rowing Club and Te Kauwhata College in 2010. She first represented New Zealand at the 2013 World Rowing Junior Championships in the Women's Quad, finishing 5th in Trakai, Lithuania.

After making the switch to Waikato Rowing Club and joining Waikato Rowing Performance Centre in the Summer of 2013–14, Brooke went on to gain selection in the U23 Quad that claimed Bronze at the World Rowing U23 Championships. After performing outstandingly domestically and internationally, she earned a spot in the 2014/2015 Elite Summer Squad. The following year in 2015 she picked up a Silver in the Double with partner - Claudia Hyde, at the U23 World Rowing Championships.

Brooke had the opportunity to race in the 2016 Elite Women’s Quad, but unfortunately failed to qualify for the 2016 Olympics at the ‘regatta of death’ in Lucerne. However, Brooke began to emerge as one of New Zealand’s top female sculling prospects. In her breakthrough season in 2017 she joined forces with Olivia Loe in the Elite Women’s Double. The duo went unbeaten through the international season, winning two World Rowing Cup regattas and Henley Royal Regatta and becoming the 2017 World Champions in Sarasota. In 2018 they won the World Rowing Cup II and III regattas before facing stiff competition at the World Rowing Championships in Plovdiv, where they claimed Silver behind Lithuania.

In 2019 Brooke was again selected into the Women’s Double Scull with Olivia Loe. Brooke and Olivia defended their World Rowing Cup II title and went on to win the Stonor Challenge Trophy for the Women’s Double Sculls at the Henley Royal Regatta. After a successful start to their European season, they won Gold at the 2019 World Rowing Championships, securing Olympic qualification in the process.

Brooke went on to become an Olympic Silver medalist, placing second in the Women's Double scull event alongside boatmate Hannah Osbourne at the Tokyo 2020 Games. Racing in hot conditions at Tokyo's Sea Forrest Waterway Brooke and Hannah finished second behind Romania in a time of 6m 44.82s to claim Silver. Tokyo was Brooke's debut Olympic Games.

After Tokyo, Brooke decided to have some time off rowing. At the start of 2022, Brooke married former under-23 rower Jeff Francis. To cap off the year, the couple welcomed their new baby girl, Keira Nola Francis, into the world on the 13th of September.

Brooke is back rowing and excited to be working towards the Paris Olympics with Keira in tow.

Off the water, Brooke has completed a Business Management degree and a Master of Management specialising in Sustainability at Massey University. Brooke is also a vegetarian athlete and published a vegetarian recipe book for active people called ‘Sustain’ during 2020 Covid lockdown alongside fellow Olympian Luuka Jones and nutritionist Christel Dunshea-Mooij.