8 Amazing Rowing Facts
In the rowing world, Oak Ridge is known for having one of the country’s best training waterways available. Our race courses and venues offer visiting teams a challenging and fun spring training experience. For many Oak Ridgers, this means that rowing is associated with busy grocery stores, packed restaurants, and full hotels. However, there’s so much more to rowing than just a few new faces around town.
Having been involved in the sport of rowing as an athlete and coach for over 20 years, I wanted to share some fun facts about rowing that may surprise you. Rowing has a long history in Oak Ridge as the Oak Ridge Rowing Association was founded in 1978 with a mission to promote the sport of rowing in Oak Ridge and East Tennessee. Rowing dates back to the inception of the modern Olympic Games. In fact, the founder of the modern Olympics, Baron Pierre de Coubertin, was a rower.
Here are eight additional facts that you may not know about rowing:
The Universities of Oxford and Cambridge ran the first ‘boat race’ and it’s become an annual tradition that continues to this day.
Harvard and Yale competed in the first rowing race in 1858. The race was originally held on Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire, but it has since moved to the Thames River, near New London, CT.3. Rowers are the Third Largest US Delegation in the Olympic Games
8-oared shells are about 60-feet long, carry more than 1,750 pounds and weigh as little as 200 pounds. Singles may be as narrow as 10 inches across, weigh only 23 pounds, and stretch nearly 27-feet long.
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. Physiologists claim that rowing a 2,000-meter race – equivalent to 1.25 miles and done in about six minutes – is equal, physiologically speaking, to playing back-to-back basketball games.
Anderson Cooper (Yale), Stephen Hawking (Oxford), Edward Norton (Yale), Gregory Peck (Cal Berkeley), Teddy Roosevelt (Harvard), Capt. Alan B. Shepard (Navy), Dr. Benjamin Spock (Yale/US Gold medal 1924), Bradley Cooper (Georgetown), Hugh Laurie (Cambridge), Winkelvoss Twins (Harvard) to name a few.7. The Firsts