Only eight years after women’s rowing was introduced as a sport in the Olympics, the United States women won the gold in Los Angeles at the ’84 games.
Some of the names you might recognize include…
- 2-seat: Holly Metcalfe, Head Women’s Coach at MIT
- 3-seat: Carol Bower, Head Coach at Bryn Mawr
- 4-seat: Carie Graves, recently-retired after 15 years as the head coach (and founder) of the University of Texas’s rowing program
- Stroke: Kathy Keeler, wife of Harry Parker and at the time of the race, head coach at Smith College
You’ll notice that, as Bob Ernst mentioned in the beginning, women only raced 1000m in international competition (pretty sure the original reason for that was because women were fragile creatures who couldn’t handle the demands of rowing 2000m – no, seriously…). In 1988 though that was changed and female crews began rowing the standard 2000m.
AND, as a bonus fun fact, the next time you watch “Good Will Hunting” and someone asks “I wonder if the person sculling is a real rower or an actor”, you can casually say “Oh, that’s Jeanne Flanagan, 5-seat in the women’s eight that won gold in 1984.”