Byrnes ’05 to row for Canada in Beijing Olympics
|Andrew Byrnes ’05 (top left) and the rest of Canada’s men’s eight, shown after winning the gold medal at the 2008 Rowing World Cup in Switzerland. (Rowing Canada Aviron photo)|
RCA announced the crews it will nominate to the Canadian Olympic Committee to compete at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China. Byrnes, a former rower at Bates, will make his first Olympic appearance and have a strong chance for a medal as well, judging by Canada’s performances in the past year. In May, Canada claimed gold at the Rowing World Cup in Lucerne, Switzerland, edging out runner-up China. Last summer, during Byrnes’ first year as a member of Canada’s top eight-man boat, the Canadians captured the gold medal at the FISA World Championships in Munich, Germany.
“This is a strong team – both in skill and maturity level,” said RCA VP High Performance Phil Monckton. “The final weeks of preparation before the Olympics are intense and exciting – we are looking forward to the Olympic regatta and to making Canada proud both on and off the water in Beijing.”
Canada has eight boats that have met FISA’s (the international rowing federation) standards for qualification. The rowing event of the 29th Olympic Games will be held at Shunyi Olympic Rowing-Canoeing Park in the Shunyi District of Beijing from August 9 to 17, 2008.
Byrnes will add to the list of former Bates athletes who have competed in the Olympics, and the second rower, after Mike Ferry ’97, who competed in the double sculls at Sydney in 2000. Bates’ list includes Justin Freeman ’98, a Nordic skier for the U.S. at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy, and Nordic skier Nancy Ingersoll Fiddler ’78, who competed at Calgary in 1988. Runner Arnold Adams ’33 was a member of the U.S. team at the 1932 Los Angeles Olympics but did not compete due to a foot injury.
A pair of other recent Bates alumni will vie for spots on the U.S. Olympic Track and Field team this week at the Olympic Trials in Eugene, Ore. Liz Wanless ’04 will compete in the women’s shot put and Keelin Godsey ’06 in the women’s hammer throw. The top three individuals in both events will compete for the U.S. in Beijing. Qualifying for both events will start on Thursday, July 3. (UPDATE: Wanless finished fifth in the shot put and Godsey came in seventh in the hammer throw at the Olympic Trials in Eugene, Ore. Story)
Canadian Men’s Eight
Brian Price, Belleville, Ontario, Quinte RC
Kyle Hamilton, Richmond, B.C., University of British Columbia
Adam Kreek, London, Ontario, London Rowing Club
Dominic Seiterle, Victoria, B.C., Delta Deas RC
Malcolm Howard, Victoria, B.C., Brentwood College RC
Jake Wetzel, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Lake Louise RC
Andrew Byrnes, Toronto, Ontario, North Star RC
Ben Rutledge, Cranbrook, B.C., UBC
Kevin Light, Sidney, B.C., Victoria City RC