Heather McDermid was an outstanding track and field athlete at Western Canada High School in Calgary. She won a full athletic scholarship to Rice University in Houston, Texas, where she won All-American honours in 1989. An ankle injury ended her track career and Olympic dreams as an 800m runner. Heather refocused her athletic interests and learned to row at the Calgary Rowing Club. After rowing for only a couple of years, she tried out for and made the Canadian National Team in 1994.
Heather competed at two Olympic Games as a member of the women’s eights rowing team. At the 1996 Atlanta Summer Olympic Games, the team rowed to a silver medal finish and at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Summer Games they won the bronze medal. Heather brought her athletic ability, competitive spirit and outstanding personality to rowing and was a leader on the team.