2012 Summer Olympics Rowing: A Fan's Guide

Abstract: The 2012 London Summer Olympic Games will feature 14 rowing events, which will take place between July 28 and August 4. This article contains information that will be useful to anyone who wants to watch the events on television.

The 2012 London Summer Olympic Games are almost here and rowing will be among the featured sports.

About the Sport
Olympic rowing program cover, 1908 (1)

Per the 2012 London Olympics' official website, individuals or teams competing in the rowing events will use oars to power their sleek, canoe-like boats 2,000 meters (approximately 2187.2 yards) to the finish line ahead of any competitors. Depending on the event, an athlete might use either one or two oars. Competitors who use two paddles (one in each hand) are called scullers. Teams competing in the men's and women's eight (rowers per squad) events will field a coxswain in addition to the eight rowers. "The coxswain, or cox, typically sits at the stern and is responsible for steering the boat and directing the crew."

The sport demands a lot from its athletes. USRowing notes that competitors not only need to be physically strong, they also must possess, among other things, "aerobic ability, technical talent, exceptional mental discipline … and pain tolerance."

Tournament Format

According to the London Olympics' official site, rowers will compete in a series of qualifying heats with the top few boats advancing. If a team fails to advance out of the first series of qualifying heats, it is placed in the "repechage round, which offers [it] a second chance to qualify" to move on. Depending on the size of the rowing event, a team might have to place well in several heats in order to reach the final round.

Rowing Events and Times

Per its official website, the 2012 London Summer Olympic Games will feature 14 rowing events. They are the men's and women's single sculls; men's and women's pair events; men's and women's double sculls; men's and women's lightweight double sculls; men's and women's quadruple sculls; men's four; men's lightweight four; and men's and women's eight events.

The numeric term in the event names refers to the number of rowers per team. For instance, each squad competing in the men's pair will contain two rowers.

Per the 2012 Olympics' official website, the qualifying heats for the rowing events will take place between Saturday, July 28 and Monday, July 31. The medal round for the men's eight, women's pair, and women's quadruple sculls will take place on Wednesday, Aug. 1. On Thursday, Aug. 2, men's double sculls, men's lightweight four, and women's eight will host their medal rounds. The medal rounds for men's single sculls, men's pair, men's quadruple sculls, and women's double sculls will occur on Friday, Aug. 3. The rowing events conclude on Saturday, Aug. 4, with medal heats for men's four, men's lightweight double sculls, women's single sculls, and women's lightweight double sculls.


The Olympic website notes that 353 men and 197 women will compete in the rowing events at the 2012 London Summer Olympic Games. The Olympics organizers will not make a final determination as to how many boats will compete in each event until "after the sport entries deadline at the beginning of July."

Eton College Rowing Center

All of the rowing contests will take place at Eton College Rowing Center (Dorney Lake), which per the 2012 Olympics' website, is about "25 miles west of London." The facility "is set in a 400-acre park within a nature conservation area" and "is acclaimed as one of the finest rowing venues in the world."

1. Photographer: Wat Bradford?
    Date (photo taken): Unknown
    Title/Description: Olympic rowing program cover, Henley-on-Thames, July 29, 1908
    Location/Permission: Wikimedia Commons - Expired copyright (click on the title or caption to see
    the photo, credits, permissions).

-- Anthony Hopper

#sports #Olympics #fanguide #fans #guide #rowing #SummerGames #games

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