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Rowing


Rowing is the propelling of a boat using a fixed oar as a lever. In modern sports, rowers race against each other either as individuals or in crews of two, four or eight.

The boat race

Rowing was first used as a means of transport in ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome. As a sport, it probably began in England in the 17th and early 18th centuries, with the Oxford-Cambridge university boat race, which was inaugurated in 1828. By the 19th century, rowing was popular in Europe and had been exported to America.

Sculling vs sweep

The races are divided into sculling and sweep oar. Sculling events use two oars, whilst in sweep the rower holds one. The eight-person crews have a coxswain, who steers the boat and directs the crew, but in all other boats one rower steers by controlling a small rudder with a foot pedal.

Athlete of the century

Sir Steve Redgrave of Great Britain is widely hailed as the greatest rower ever. A six-time World Champion, he won gold medals at five Olympic Games and has been loosely crowned Athlete of the Century because of the extreme physical demands of rowing. His female counterpart on the gold medal count is Elisabeta Lipa of Romania, who also won five Olympic gold medals between 1984 and 2004.

Olympic history

Rowing has been staged at all the editions of the Olympic Games, except in 1896 in Athens. It was, however, on the programme, but a stormy sea compelled the organisers to cancel the events.
Women made their debut at the Games in 1976 in Montreal. They competed in a smaller programme. The Olympic Games in 1996 in Atlanta marked the introduction of the lightweight events.
Up to the 1960s, the USA dominated Olympic rowing. Then it was the turn of the Soviet Union, which in turn gave up its place in the 1970s-80s to the all powerful GDR (East Germany). These days, the reunified German team is among the best in the world. 

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Gallery

Rowing - Men's Double Sculls
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Rowing - Men's Double Sculls

Moritz Moos and Jason Osborne of Germany compete in the Lightweight Men's Double Sculls Semi Final on Day 6 of the 2016 Rio Olympics at Lagoa Stadium on August 11, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
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Rowing - Lightweight Men's Four
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Rowing - Lightweight Men's Four

Will Fletcher and Richard Chambers of Great Britain compete in the during the Lightweight Men's Double Sculls Final B on Day 6 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at Lagoa Stadium on August 11, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
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Rowing - Men's Pair
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Rowing - Men's Pair

Eric Murray and Hamish Bond of New Zealand react after winning the gold medal in the Men's Pair Final A on Day 6 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Lagoa Stadium on August 11, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
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Rowing - Women's Double Sculls
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Rowing - Women's Double Sculls

Natalia Madaj and Magdalena Fularczyk-Kozlowska of Poland compete against Victoria Thornley and Katherine Grainger of Great Britain in the Women's Double Sculls Final A on Day 6 of the 2016 Rio Olympics at Lagoa Stadium on August 11, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
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Rowing - Women's Pair
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Rowing - Women's Pair

Genevieve Behrent (bow) of New Zealand and Rebecca Scown of New Zealand compete in their Women's Pair Semi Final on Day 6 of the 2016 Rio Olympics at Lagoa Stadium on August 11, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
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Rowing - Men's Pair
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Rowing - Men's Pair

Eric Murray (bow) and Hamish Bond of New Zealand compete on their way to winning the gold medal in the Men's Pair Final A on Day 6 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Lagoa Stadium on August 11, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
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