USRowing announced on June 22 the finalized list for the 12 crews representing the United States in the 2012 Olympic Games. These crews are comprised of many already-decorated athletes, including the ladies of the women’s eight.
Coxswain Mary Whipple, 32, will lead the women’s eight in defending the world title. The U.S. claimed the gold medal in the 2008 Beijing Games and silver in the 2004 Athens Games. This will be Whipple’s third appearance coxing the women’s eight in the Olympic Games.
This year’s eight is made up of Caryn Davies, Caroline Lind, Eleanor Logan, Meghan Musnicki, Taylor Ritzel, Erin Cafaro, Esther Lofgren, Susan Francia, and Whipple. Six of these athletes, including Whipple, were members of the 2008 gold medal team. These athletes are Davies, Lind, Logan, Francia, Cafaro and Whipple.
This year’s races at the 2012 London Olympic Games will take place at Eton Dorney, 25 miles west of London. The lake was built by Eton College and completed in 2006 for the sole purpose of racing. Also known as Dorney Lake, it was home to the 2006 World Rowing Championships, where the U.S. women’s eight placed first with a world record time of 5:55:50. Four athletes from the current London team, Davies, Lind, Francia and Whipple, raced in that record-setting boat.
Whipple writes about her Olympic experiences on her blog, 9thseat.com, “What I’m most proud of from that Olympic cycle was the foundation we laid for the years to come. Most of the women training for Athens were products of successful collegiate rowing teams. We all believed in unity and a positive team culture. Uniting nine individuals with different strengths made us a stronger unit. We all knew our individual roles were valued and important in creating our Athens identity.”
With an experienced leader guiding the U.S. women’s eight, this U.S. crew will be hard to beat.
Blogs to check out:
- Mary Whipple’s informative coxswain blog
- Esther Lofgren’s personal rowing blog
- Susan Francia’s story
Women’s crews to keep an eye on:
- The Romanian women’s eight won bronze in both the 2010 World Championships and 2008 Beijing Games, and gold in 2004 in Athens.
- The British women’s quadruple sculls took the gold at the 2010 and 2006 World Championships, and silver in the 2008 Beijing Games. Meanwhile, Germany placed third in the same event at all three of those races.
- July 28, rowing heats begin
- August 2, Women’s Eight Final