Twenty-one athletes have been selected to join the 2016 U.S. Olympic Rowing Team in four boats, including the rowers who are charged with the mission of extending the United States’ dominance in the women’s eight.
Seven of the nine women who will pursue a third consecutive Olympic gold medal for the United States were part of the crew that claimed an unprecedented 10th consecutive world or Olympic last September. That septet – Tessa Gobbo, Lauren Schmetterling, Kerry Simmonds, Meghan Musnicki, Amanda Polk, Emily Regan and coxswain Katelin Snyder – will be joined by Amanda Elmore and Eleanor Logan on the waters of Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas as the United States attempts to match Romania as the only two nations to win three consecutive Olympic championships in the women’s eight. Musnicki and Logan were part of the crew that won gold in London four years ago, and Logan helped start Team USA’s Olympic reign in the boat at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. A victory in Rio would give the United States its fourth gold medal, more than any nation since the event was introduced at the Montreal 1976 Olympic Games.
Adrienne Martelli, Megan Kalmoe, Tracy Eisser and Grace Latz will crew the women’s quadruple sculls in Rio. Martelli and Kalmoe bring Olympic experience to the boat, having won bronze together in London in the quad. Kalmoe also placed fifth in double sculls at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. Eisser and Latz were part of the crew that won world bronze in 2014. The addition of Kalmoe and Amanda Elmore a year later propelled them to the top step of the podium at the 2015 worlds. The bronze in London was only the second time the U.S. has medaled in the event, joining the silver won at the Los Angeles 1984 Olympic Games.
Seth Weil, Henrik Rummel, Charlie Cole and Matt Miller will race the men’s four in Rio. Cole and Rummel make their second Olympic appearance after winning bronze in London in the four, while Weil and Miller will make their Olympic debut. They have demonstrated they can race with the world’s best this season, recording two top-four finishes on the world cup circuit, including a win in April at the first stop in Varese, Italy. The bronze by Cole and Rummel in London was the first for the U.S. in the event since the Barcelona 1992 Olympic Games, snapping a 20-year drought that matched a similar stretch from 1964 to 1984.
The lightweight men’s four will be crewed by Robin Prendes, Tyler Nase, Edward King and Anthony Fahden. Prendes and Fahden were half of the quartet that powered the boat to an eighth-place finish at the London 2012 Olympic Games. After winning a silver medal at the Toronto 2015 Pan American Games, Prendes teamed with the other three, who had finished seventh at the 2015 worlds, to take bronze at the first world cup event of the 2016 season, inserting themselves into the medals discussion for Rio. The United States has not claimed a lightweight men’s four Olympic medal since the bronze won during the event’s debut at the Atlanta 1996 Olympic Games.