ORC News

Martin Bielz: Celebration of Life

Sep 29, 2023

We are sad to announce the passing of Martin Bielz on Wednesday, September 20th 2023. Please see a message from his Wife, Claire.


I am the wife of Martin Bielz.  It is with a very heavy heart that I share with you Martin’s passing on Wednesday evening September 20th.   We will hold a celebration of life at the Ottawa Rowing Club on Saturday. October 21st, 2023 from 2pm to 5pm.

Martin was an Olympic rower (1960 for Romania), an Olympic Coach and Director of Rowing at the 1976 Montreal Olympics.  He went on to positions at the Canadian Amateur Rowing Association and Sport Canada, then Head Coach of the Ottawa Rowing Club and founder of the Ottawa-Carleton Rowing School in the 1980s.  

In the words of Tricia Smith, rower, Olympian and President of the Canadian Olympic Committee:  “I have many fond memories of Martin especially in my early days starting out as a young rower. Always a leader, he had a huge impact on sport in this country from which so many of us benefitted.”

Terry Dillon, CEO of Rowing Canada, has reached out to our family saying “We would love to find a way of recognizing Martin’s legacy and contribution to our sport.  He was a much loved and valued member of the rowing community.  […]  I am told Martin was the very first employee of Rowing Canada and we find ourselves owing him a tremendous debt of gratitude for what we are today.”

Please feel free to pass this news along to anyone who knew Martin and to share my email address below.

Best regards,

Claire Caloren, claimart@telus.net