Ali’s international rowing career covered three Olympic Games from 1988 to 1996. Her best result was fifth in the double scull with Annabel Eyres at Barcelona in 1992.
One of the strongest personalities in a squad that was far from short of them, she spent several years training outside the main system. She had her own, understandable, reasons for doing this but admits that ‘going it alone’ made her few friends and, more importantly, wasn’t helpful to the development of GB women’s rowing at the time.
Having learned to row (initially as the result of a bet) at Oxford University, Ali was OUWBC President in 1987 and later wrote The Yanks at Oxford, an account of the men’s boat race squad mutiny that year.
The photo at the top of this page shows Ali (second from the right) with some of her crewmates from the GB eight at the opening ceremony of the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games and is from Dorothy Roberts’ personal collection.