AFTER months of grueling training sessions and punishing tests, North Vancouver siblings Michael and Lauren Wilkinson will now both get to enjoy the payoff together - rowing in the Olympic Games.
Last week Rowing Canada announced the team that will represent the country in London and both Michael and Lauren were named to the squad, each making the Olympics for the first time.
Lauren, 22, was one of 10 athletes, including a yet-to be-named alternate, picked for the women's eights team. She helped Canada win gold as a member of the women's eights team at the Under-23 World Championships last year and in May raced with the senior women's eights team as they claimed gold at the Samsung World Rowing Cup in Munich.
Michael, 26, was named to the men's coxless fours Olympic team. Last season he won national championship gold in men's singles and finished 11th overall in double sculls at the World Championships.
The Canadian men and women have been training at rowing centres - the men in Victoria and women in London, Ont. - for the better part of a year as the team's coaches have prepared the racers for the Games while also making decisions about who gets to go.
The siblings grew up in Lynn Valley with Lauren following her older brothers Jerome and Michael to training sessions at the Burnaby Lake Rowing Club.