Elisabeta Lipă (born October 26, 1964 in Siret, Suceava) is a retired rower from Romania, who was born under the name of Elisabeta Oleniuc. She is the most decorated rower in the history of the Olympics, winning five golds, two silvers and one bronze. She holds the record for the most years between gold medals, at 20 years. *** Birgit Fischer of Germany actually holds the woman's record for years between gold medals, at 24 years. Aladar Gerevich holds the men's record for years between gold medals at 28 years. Only the 5 consecutive golds by Great Britain's Sir Stephen Redgrave can match Lipa's Olympics rowing achievements. ***
Lipă debuted at the age of 19 at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, California, where she won her first gold medal in the Double Scull event. She won her most recent gold medal in the eight-oared boat at the Athens Summer Olympics in 2004. She is the only person to win a gold medal in the two premiere rowing events: the single scull and the eight oared boat. She is also one of very few women to win a gold medal in both a sculling (two oars per person) and a sweep (one oar per person) event. (Canada's Kathleen Heddle and Marnie McBean accomplished the same, sculling and sweep gold medals, in 1992 and 1996.)
She was awarded the 2008 Thomas Keller Medal at the Rowing World Cup in Lucerne.