Silver with style and spirit! Brilliant result for a brilliant team in a brilliant competition. Congratulations to the Team GB Lightweight Men’s Four (above) whose medal put Team GB powering right to the top of the Rowing medal board.
Britain’s rowing leadership wasn’t always such and many failures had to be embraced to get to this elite position. A few of years ago, I was attending a conference for junior rowing coaches at the National Water Sports Centre in Nottingham. One of the Team GB coaches was sharing perspectives of training at the elite/senior level and some of their more prominent experiences. He described the situation leading up to Beijing with the double sculls team of Matts Wells and Stephen Rowbotham. First, 2006-07 was a perfect year for UK international rowing with all preparation running precisely to plan…yet they won nothing. Then, 2007 and early 2008 was a ‘car crash’. Injuries, illnesses, falling short in international competitions. But a crash that was just what the team need to jolt them onto a course that led ultimately to Olympic Bronze. The speaker quoted the increasingly legendary GB rowing coach Jurgen Grobler on his assessment of the turbulent year as he declared, “To jump high, sometimes you have to go down low.”
Congrats again to the new high water mark for British rowing.