The coxswain toss after a win
Men's Olympic 8
Harry Parker Sports Illustrated
Women's Olympic 8



Rowing is one of the original sports in the modern Olympic Games.

Baron Pierre de Coubertin, founder of the modern Olympics, was a rower.

Rowers are the third largest U.S. delegation (48 athletes) to the Olympic Games.

Eight-oared shells are about 60-feet long – that’s 20 yards on a football field.

Rowing was the first intercollegiate sport contested in the United States. The first rowing race was between Harvard and Yale in 1852.

An eight, which carries more than three-quarters of a ton (1,750 pounds), may weigh as little as 200 pounds. The boats are made of fiberglass composite material.


The first amateur sport organization was a rowing club – Philadelphia’s Schuylkill Navy, founded in 1858.

From 1920 until 1956, the USA won the gold medal in the men’s eight at every Olympic Games.

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.