Derek Porter began winning medals at the national level of rowing in 1988. Whether in pairs, fours, eights, or single sculls, his string of victories is unparalleled.
A member of the National Rowing Team from 1989-2000, Victoria’s Derek Porter captured his first international gold as a part of the Canadian men’s eight crew at the 1989 San Diego Crew Classic, and a bronze at the US Nationals later the same year. In 1990, he won bronze at the Classic, while bringing home gold from the US Nationals. Additional competitions in 1990 saw Porter and his men’s eight team members win gold at the Amsterdam International Regatta, silver at the Rotsee International Regatta and silver at the 1990 World Championships. His winning streak continued into 1991 at the Rotsee International Regatta (silver) and the World Championships (silver).
In his first season competing in single sculls, Porter won the 1993 US National Championship, and placed second at the 1993 World University Games. Porter went on to yet another single scull victory by taking the gold medal at the 1993 World Championships, stroking the 2000-metre course in six minutes, 59.03 seconds.
Porter and the other BC Members of the 1992 Canadian Olympic Rowing Teams were inducted into the BC Sports Hall of Fame in 1994 for their outstanding representation of British Columbia in a men’s and women’s Olympic gold medal sweep of that competition.
Going into the 1996 Olympics, Porter stood as one of the favourites in the single sculls. Porter held on to win the silver medal. Following that achievement, Porter was awarded the Order of British Columbia.
Following the 1996 Olympics, Porter devoted himself to chiropractic school, and finished twelfth and thirteenth at the 1997 and 1998 World Championships, respectively. In 1999, he placed third at the 1999 World Championships.
One of the most anticipated rowing events at the 2000 Olympics was the men’s single scull. In addition to Porter, it featured two-time world champion Rob Waddell, defending Olympic champion and three-time World Championship silver medalist Xeno Müller, and rising star Marcel Hacker. The race lived up to the hype. Porter finished fourth in the closest Olympic race ever, a little over two seconds separated first from fourth. Following the Olympics, Porter retired from international competition.