Gemma King

Nationality: GBR Height: 174cm Age: 24
Course MRes + PhD Stem Cell Biology
College St John's
University Cambridge
Status Postgraduate
Role Rower

Boat Race History

  • 2019 – Cambridge Women’s Lightweight Boat
  • 2021 – Cambridge Women’s Reserve Boat
  • 2022 – Cambridge Women’s Lightweight Boat
  • 2023 – Cambridge Women’s Reserve Boat

About Gemma:

Why did you choose MRes + PhD Stem Cell Biology?

I’m just starting the PhD part of my course and will be trying to improve platelet production from stem cells in the lab. This would be really useful as it would minimise the need for platelet donors and provide a reliable supply of platelets. The idea that my work could help the lives of others in the future is exciting and I’m looking forward to working on it.

Why did you first try rowing?

My school had taster sessions for rowing and I went along to theses. I had previously played several other sports and was convinced that I would only be rowing for a few weeks. Clearly that did not happen, and I’m still rowing 11 years later!

Who introduced you to the sport of rowing?

Stuart Larner and Anna Blackstone at Lady Eleanor Holles

Where else have you rowed?

I have rowed with CUBC since October 2018, but row in Weybridge during the holidays.

What are your proudest rowing achievements?

I am really proud of all of the boat races that I have been a part of, as every year the experience has been so different and seeing how far everyone comes each year is incredible. I am also proud of coming 3rd representing Great Britain at EUSA in 2019 in the W2-. In addition to this, I am really proud to have won representing England at the Home International Regatta in 2017, 2018, 2019, 2022 and 2023, and am particularly proud to have been team captain for England in 2022 and 2023, where England brought home all four trophies (junior and senior men and women).

Do you have a favourite Boat Race? Which one and why?

I really enjoyed watching the 2016 women’s boat race as seeing Cambridge keep rowing, despite almost sinking, was so impressive and showed how determined the rowers were.

What would winning The Boat Race mean to you?

I am now starting my 6th year rowing with Cambridge University. The friendships I have made and experiences I have had during this time have made all of the hard training and early mornings worth it. Winning lightweight and reserve boat races has been absolutely incredible and the feeling when you cross the line is what keeps me coming back year after year. Just to be a part of Boat Race this year would mean so much to me as I have watched it since I was young and been inspired by athletes in the race. To win it would be even more special.

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