Dr Kevin Thompson, physiologist at the English Institute for Sport, explains the physical characteristics that make up the ultimate rower.
ROWERS ARE TALL
World-class rowers have long "levers" (their arms and legs) so that they can make long strokes.
Male Olympians tend to be between 1.90m and 1.95m (6'3"-6'5") and females 1.80m-1.85m (5'11"-6'1").
ROWERS ARE MUSCULAR
Sir Steve Redgrave maintained his muscle mass through his career
They need to be strong so that they can apply a lot of force to the water on each of their strokes. The extra muscle power makes them heavy.
The average weight for a male world-class rower is 90-95kg (14st 2lb-15st). The women weigh in at 75-80kg (11st 11lb-12st 8lb).
And that's almost pure muscle - because they don't want to carry any extra weight, rowers tend to be very lean.
There is also a lightweight category for men who weigh less than 72.5kg and women who weigh less than 59kg.
These athletes are still pretty tall - men about 1.80m and women 1.70m.
Coxes steer the "eights" boats and often also give their crews instructions and motivation during the race.
They must weigh a minimum of 55kg for men and 50kg for women.
Rowers don't want to carry any more weight than they have to, so coxes generally weigh exactly the minimum.