Two is better than one for the Elliott twins
Wombmates to college roommates, and everything in between, Hannah and Fiona Elliott have shared all aspects of their lives. The Washington State University rowers are athletes through and through.
Growing up in Ontario, Canada, the sisters' parents allowed a lot of room for the two to grow as individuals, but over time and no matter what, their similarities remained consistent. From a young age, Hannah and Fiona always found their way to sports. Soccer, basketball, volleyball, and track and field filled their days. They were in high school before rowing even crossed their minds.
In March of 2019, the Elliotts registered for the RBC Training Grounds, a talent scouting and funding program for athletes designed to fuel the Canadian Olympic pipeline. The event included a variety of tests that measure an individual's baseline athleticism, such as strength, speed, power and endurance. The top 100 athletes are selected to compete in the regional qualifiers in Niagara Falls and the top 30 athletes receive funding for Olympic training.
The Elliotts did not intend to perform for scouts, but rather competed for their own purposes. Several coaches approached them about rowing after the event, and their love for the sport progressed from there.
The following year, Hannah and Fiona competed for a second time at the RBC Training Grounds. They advanced to the top 20 after sending in virtual submissions due to COVID-19. That placement allowed them to receive training funding from the RBC.
It was never part of Hannah and Fiona's plan to end up at the same university.
"Everything just fell into place with us both ending up at Washington State," Hannah said. "We both received scholarships and the university had each of the academic programs we wanted."
Having each other to lean on has been extra special for the sisters.They are a six-hour plane ride away from home, but they find comfort and familiarity in being with each other.
Rowing has taken the Elliotts as far as Bulgaria, where they traveled last summer to compete for the Canada Junior National Team.
"It was our first time traveling overseas and it was incredible," Fiona said. "You learn a lot and quickly at that level of competition."
Hannah and Fiona said their shared dream is to row at the Olympics. Steps to getting there include competing with the U23 Canada Rowing Team, rowing at the Ontario Summer Games and advancing in their careers with WSU.