Canada led after the first 1,000 meters of the 2,000-meter race, with the U.S. in third. But when former Husky Katelin Snyder unleashed her rallying cry, everyone knew what had to happen.
RIO DE JANEIRO — The U.S. boat was in third place halfway through the race when coxswain Katelin Snyder, a former University of Washington standout, shouted the magic words: “This is the U.S. women’s eight!”
Yes, it was.
The crew, which also included former UW Husky Kerry Simmonds, responded and did what it always does: It won.
The U.S. women’s eight is a seemingly invincible boat, with 11 consecutive world and Olympic titles since 2006.
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Only two crew members racing Saturday remained from the boat that won gold in the London Olympics, and only one from Beijing four years earlier.
It didn’t matter.
Canada led after the first 1,000 meters of the 2,000-meter race, with the U.S. in third. But when Snyder unleashed her rallying cry, everyone knew what had to happen.
“She yelled, ‘This is the U.S. women’s eight!’ And we rallied,” said Simmonds, who rowed in seat No. 2.
Snyder, always playing down her role as the coxswain — the only person in the boat without oars — said she told the crew to “trust your fitness, and trust the plan and trust your teammates.”
But what about the tradition of the U.S. women’s eight — a dynasty that stands out in team sports?
“I did say that,” she said, bashfully. “I think it was in the third 500 (meters). And everyone was going together. I was going with them and they were going with me.”
The U.S. won in 6 minutes, 1.49 seconds. As Canada faded after its aggressive start, Britain won silver and Romania the bronze.
It was the first U.S. gold medal in the rowing regatta and second overall, after Genevra Stone’s silver in the women’s single sculls.
U.S. fourth in men’s eight
Britain won the men’s eight, its third rowing gold in the final race of the Olympic regatta. Defending Olympic champion Germany got the silver medal and Netherlands took bronze.
The U.S. boat finished fourth and had four former UW Huskies in it: Sam Ojserkis, Rob Munn, Hans Struzyna and Sam Dommer.