Thursday, July 19, 2012

Great Olympic Streaks: Rowing/Kayaking

Rowing and kayaking are similar, though far from identical sports, in which participants in boats use some type of implement (e.g., oar, paddle) to propel themselves or their teams along a body of water. This YouTube video discusses the differences between the two disciplines.

Each of these sports has a dominant figure who compiled a gold-medal-winning streak lasting a full generation.
Kayaker Birgit Fischer, first representing East Germany and then, from 1992 onward, a unified Germany, won gold medals in 6 straight Olympiad: 1980, [1984 boycotted], 1988, 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004. She wanted to come back and participate in the London Games, but her physician put an end to that, based on some undisclosed medical-examination results.

This year's host country is home to one of the all-time greats in rowing. According to the Wikipedia, Sir Steven Redgrave “won gold medals at five consecutive Olympic Games from 1984 to 2000.”

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