Norcross: Rowing and a Guilford athlete

Sarah Trowbridge of Guilford, CT, competes in an Olympic rowing event.

On Friday, my third day of Olympic events, I had to travel outside of London. The rowing events are being held at the Eton College Rowing Centre at Dorney Lake, outside of Windsor. As my session began at 9:30 a.m., with a recommended arrival time of one hour prior, this meant leaving very early, taking the tube (subway) part of the way, then changing to a National Rail train. After arriving at Windsor & Eton Riverside rail station, we were directed to shuttle buses, which brought us closer to the venue. All told, it took more than two hours to travel less than thirty miles, but it was well worth it. There weren't many Americans for me to cheer on, but it was still an exciting day.

I wasn't sure what to expect at the venue, but quickly realized that spectators would not see a whole lot of the actual races. We were seated in stands that were near the finish line, and watched the rest of the action on huge screens situated across the lake. I also don't have a whole lot of knowledge about rowing and the top competitors, but I was very excited that I'd see Guilford's Sarah Trowbridge competing in the Women's Double Sculls final.

I saw mostly men's races, including Single, Double, and Quadruple Sculls. I saw Team GB win two medals in those races, which got the crowd very excited, and New Zealand rowers also had a great day. One of the most memorable moments, though, was the crowd cheering on Niger's first ever rowing competitor, Djibo Isaaka, who the announcer told us only had three months of training behind him, mostly in an old wooden fishing boat. Although his times did not place him near the top of the competition, he is a trailblazer in his country, and the crowd urged him on as loudly as they cheered for medalists, which reminded me of the true meaning of the Olympics: competing is as important as winning.

Unfortunately, Sarah Trowbridge and her partner did not medal, finishing their race in sixth place while a team of British rowers took the gold, which was of course exciting for the home crowd. While they may have been disappointed in their result, I was very proud to see one of Connecticut's own competing at the world's most prestigious sporting event. Sixth in the world? Not bad at all!

The Women's Double Sculls final.
The Women's Double Sculls final.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jennifer Norcross is an English and history teacher at Stonington High School. She tries to take advantage of her summers off for interesting travel and will be visiting friends and attending several events at the Games.

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