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International and Olympic Rowing

  • Rowing is one of the original sports in the modern Olympic Games.
  • Baron Pierre de Coubertin, founder of the modern Olympics, was a rower.
  • FISA, the first international sports federation, was founded in 1892.
  • Rowers are the third largest U.S. delegation (48 athletes) to the Olympic Games.
  • From 1920 until 1956, the USA won the gold medal in the men’s eight at every Olympic Games.
  • Dr. Benjamin Spock, the famous baby doctor, was an Olympic rower in 1924 and won a gold medal in the eight. Gregory Peck rowed at the University of California in 1937.
  • In 1997, Jamie Koven became the first American to win the men’s single sculls at the world championships since 1966.
  • In 1999, the U.S. men’s eight won its third consecutive gold medal at the world championships, a first in U.S. history.
  • In 2004, the U.S. men’s eight won gold at the Olympic Games.
  • In 2008, the U.S. won gold in the women’s eight at the Olympic Games.
  • At the 2012 London Olympic Games, the U.S. women’s eight won gold. At the Paralympics, the U.S. won bronze in the trunk and arms mixed double, a first in U.S. history.
  • In 2013, at the World Rowing Championships the U.S. women’s eight won gold and extended its streak of eight consecutive world or Olympic titles. The U.S. won eight total medals in the event, including gold in the women’s four, bronze in the men’s eight and four and silver in the lightweight women’s double sculls.

Rowing in the United States

  • The first national governing body for a sport in the United States was for rowing. Founded as the National Association for Amateur Oarsmen in 1872, it was changed in 1982 to the United States Rowing Association.
  • Yale College founded the first collegiate boat club in the U.S. in 1843.
  • Rowing was the first intercollegiate sport contested in the United States. The first rowing race was between Harvard and Yale in 1852.
  • The first rowing club in the U.S. was the Detroit Boat Club, founded in 1839.
  • The first amateur sport organization was a rowing club – Philadelphia’s Schuylkill Navy, founded in 1858. (LBRA will compete again in their Stotesbury Cup Regatta again in 2016!)