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

  • Baron Pierre de Coubertin, founder of the modern Olympic Games, was a rower.
  • 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.
  • Physiologically, rowers are superb examples of physical conditioning.  Cross-country skiers and long distance speed skaters are comparable in terms of the physical demands the sport places on the athletes.
  • 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.
  • Singles may be as narrow as 10 inches across, weigh only 23 pounds and stretch nearly 27 feet long.
  • The first rowing club in the US was the Detroit Boat Club, founded in 1839.
  • The first amateur sport organization was a rowing club – Philadelphia’s Schuylkill Navy, founded in 1858.
  • From 1920 through 1956, the USA won the gold medal in the men’s eight at every Olympic Games.
  • Physiologists claim that rowing a 2,000 meter race – equivalent to 1.25 miles – is equal to playing back-to-back basketball games.


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