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Summer Olympics Rowing Events

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The 2012 Summer Olympic Games get under way with the first day of competition on July 27.

The rowing events have long been deeply rooted in the Olympics -- making their first appearance at the Paris Games in 1900. The events are a head-to-head competition and include lightweight events -- where the athletes have a weight limit.

Boats will race in six lanes on the 2,000-meter course at the Eton Dorney Rowing Centre at Dorney Lake, roughly 25 miles outside of London. There are 14 gold medals up for grabs in London -- eight in men's events and six for women.

There are two types of Olympic rowing races -- sweeps and sculls. Sweeps are races where competitors use a single oar, while scullers use two oars each. Boats, or shells, come with or without a coxswain, the person who directs the boat and guides the rowers.

Here is a brief look at the some of the Olympic rowing events to help enjoy the competition at the 2012 London Games:

Men's Events:

Pairs

First Race Time: July 28. Noon (All times reflect the local time in London)

2008 Results: Gold: Australia, Silver: Canada, Bronze: New Zealand.

Description of race: Two rowers per boat, both of which use one oar with both hands.

Four

First Race Time: July 30. 10: 40 a.m.

2008 Medalists: Gold: Poland, Silver: Italy, Bronze: France.

Description of race: Four rowers in the boat. All four have one oar they paddle to the finish line.

Eights

First Race Time: July 28. 10:10 a.m.

2008 Results: Gold: Canada, Silver: Great Britain, Bronze: United States.

Description of race: Eight rowers, each using one oar, and guided by the coxswain who gives instructions.

Lightweight Fours

First Race Time: July 28. 11 a.m.

2008 Results: Gold: Denmark, Silver: Poland, Bronze: Canada.

Description of race: Four rowers in the lightweight division that each use one oar .

Single Sculls

First Race Time: July 28. 12:30 p.m.

2008 Results: Gold: Norway, Silver: Czech Republic, Bronze: New Zealand.

Description of race: One boater using two oars over the course of the race.

Double Sculls

First Race Time: July 28. 10:30 a.m.

2008 Results: Gold: Great Britain, Silver: Australia, Bronze: France.

Description of race: Two rowers in each boat. Both rowers have two oars they use during the race.

Lightweight Double Sculls

First Race Time: July 29. 10:50 a.m.

2008 Results: Gold: Great Britain, Silver: Greece, Bronze: Denmark.

Description of race: Same as double sculls, but rowers must qualify under a specific weight limit.

Quadruple Sculls

First Race Time: July 28. 11:30 a.m.

2008 Results: Gold: Poland, Silver: Italy, Bronze: France.

Description of race: Four rowers use two oars each -- one with each hand -- during the race.

Women's Events

Pairs

First Race Time: July 28. 9:30 a.m.

2008 Results: Gold: Romania, Silver: China, Bronze: Belarus.

Description of race: Two rowers, each of which uses one oar.

Eights

First Race Time: July 29. 11:30 a.m.

2008 Results: Gold: United States, Silver: Netherlands, Bronze: Romania.

Description of race: Eight rowers are in the boat. Each rower uses one oar and the crew is given instructions by the coxswain.

Single Sculls

First Race Time: July 29. 1:20 p.m.

2008 Results: Gold: Bulgaria, Silver: United States, Bronze: Belarus.

Description of race: One person per boat. The competitor uses two oars during the race.

Double Sculls

First Race Time: July 30. 10:20 a.m.

2008 Results: Gold: New Zealand, Silver: Germany, Bronze: Great Britain.

Description of race: Two rowers each use two oars during the race.

Lightweight Double

First Race Time: July 29. 10:20 a.m.

2008 Results: Gold: Netherlands, Silver: Finland, Bronze: Canada.

Description of race: Two rowers each use two oars during the race. Competitors must qualify under a certain weight.

Quadruple Sculls

First Race Time: July 28. 9:50 a.m.

2008 Results: Gold: China, Silver: Great Britain, Bronze: Germany.

Description of race: Four rowers each use two oars during the race.

Times and dates subject to change.

Sources:

"2008 Olympic Rowing Results," ESPN

London 2012 Olympic Games Rowing

Jeff DeLuca has been a sports writer since 1997. His favorite Olympic memories include the 1980 US Hockey Team and the Dream Team in 1992.

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