Wednesday, January 1, 2014

The Top Five Rowing Moments of 2013, Part V: Team USA in Lucerne



We said it at the time, and it held true for the 2013 World Rowing Championships—the performance of Team USA at the final World Rowing Cup made a strong statement about their intentions, both for the 2013 season, as well as the long road to Rio. Not only did the new additions to the men's national team staff—men's coach Luke McGee and high performance director Curtis Jordan—make their presence felt immediately, the women's team continued to push the boundaries of the sport, setting yet another world best time in the eight (with yet another new lineup).

The men's eight scored the first victory over the Germans since 2009, and the men's four held off a very strong Australian crew in a wire-to-wire win. While the results on the water were very impressive, equally so was the perspective of the athletes winning gold medals for the U.S. "It's a World Cup win in a post-Olympic year. We have three years till Rio, and that's the important one," said 2012 bronze medalist Henrik Rummel in a post-race interview with Martin Cross. As USRowing noted at the time, no less than nine of the 31 U.S. athletes who earned trips to the podium were appearing in their first-ever senior-level international competition.

The U.S. later carried this momentum through to Chungju, where they enjoyed one of their most successful world championships in years, bringing home eight medals (tied for first with Germany, Britain, and Italy for the most overall) and placing fourth in the medal standings.

And there you have it! 2013 was an outstanding year in rowing—one that exceeded expectations at seemingly every turn—and all we can say is that we're excited to see the level to which dedicated athletes, coaches, and trainers push the sport as 2014 unfolds. Well rowed, all.

-RR

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