After the 2008 victory in Beijing, the women's rowing team is hoping that it doesn't take another twenty-four years to bring the USA another gold medal. The eight boat had not won gold since 1984, and they looked strong beating the Netherlands team (silver) and Romania team (bronze) in Beijing. The Eton Dorney Rowing Centre, located outside of Buckinghamshire, London, will be where the eight teams and all other USA boats will be bidding for their first place finish in 2012.
The eight boat will be coxswained by Mary Whipple, along with the five returning rowers: Harvard alumna Caryn Davies, Caroline Lind, Elle Logan, Erin Cafaro, and Susan Francia. The new members are Ithaca College grad Meghan Musnicki, Ester Lofgren, and Colorado native Taylor Ritzel. The members of this eight team are the six-time defending world champions, and last month they set a new world best time (5:54.17) in Lucerne, Switzerland at the 2012 World Rowing Cup. They will clearly be the team to beat.
Even though the eight boat is causing a lot of buzz; there are many others to watch on the USA Women's Rowing team in London. Gevvie Stone will compete solo in her first Olympics. Even though Stone had much crew success for the past eight years, she won her solo race in the 2011 Senior World Championship Trial, and she will go for the gold alone.
The women's four will also have three returning members from the silver winning team at last year's world regatta in Bled, Slovenia - Natalie Dell, Adrienne Martelli, and Megan Kalmoe - along with Kara Kohler, who was in the quad team that won gold in Bled.
It will be wonderful watching all these strong women bidding for 2012 Olympic gold. Go Team USA!
Ashley Hodge was a member on the University of Minnesota: Twin Cities Women's Rowing Team. After three months on the freshman team, she participated the next three years on the varsity team. For the majority of her rowing career, Ashley sat in seat seven, behind the stroke.
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