“Someone pinch me?”
Those were the words rower Andreanne Morin ’06 tweeted to fans and friends Aug. 2 after finally reaching the medal podium in her third Olympic appearance. Morin, the stroke of the Canadian women’s eight, and teammate Lauren Wilkinson ’11 each earned silver. American Caroline Lind ’06 won gold in the same event, becoming the first Princeton woman to win multiple gold medals in rowing. (She also was part of the U.S. women’s eight in Beijing.)
The “pinch me” moments continued in a record-setting week for Princetonians. Glenn Ochal ’08 of the U.S. men’s four added to Princeton’s rowing medal count, earning bronze Aug. 4. Ochal was happy to be part of the first United States medal in the event since 1992, but he also has an eye toward the future. “Bronze is great,” he told the Philadelphia Inquirer. “But there are still two boats ahead of us we want to catch.”
Women’s soccer star Diana Matheson ’08 capped her Olympic run in dramatic fashion, scoring the game-winning goal in the 92nd minute of Canada’s bronze-medal match against France. The goal was Matheson’s first in the 2012 Olympics, and the medal is Canada’s first in the sport – and its first summer team-sport medal since 1936. Princetonians have now captured seven medals in London: one gold, two silver, and four bronze.
Coach David Blatt ’81 and the Russian men’s basketball team took one step closer to an Olympic medal Aug. 8, beating Lithuania 83-74 in the quarterfinal round. Russia faces Spain in the semifinals Aug. 10. In an interview with Sports Illustrated’s Ian Thomsen, Blatt, a longtime pro coach in Europe and Israel, admitted that joining the Russian team seemed like an unlikely move when he took the job six years ago: “You take an American growing up in the time of the Cold War, add to it the fact that I’m Jewish and with an Israeli passport, and then you time-warp me into the ex-Soviet Union as the head of the Russian men’s basketball team. It’s almost mind-boggling. And I lasted! I didn’t get my head chopped off in the first year or two.”
The U.S. women’s field hockey team will play its Olympic finale in the 11th-place game Aug. 10. The Americans’ lone win was an impressive one – a 1-0 victory against gold-medal contender Argentina – and Katie Reinprecht ’13 sees a bright future ahead for the national program. “We know we can compete with the best teams in the world,” she told Phil Sheridan of the Philadelphia Inquirer. “It’s a matter of learning how to finish games. … We’re a young team, and that’s something we’re still learning how to do.”
An eventful weekend in London included three more medals for Princeton Olympians and a pair of remarkable individual performances.
The medal-winning events began early Aug. 4 when Glenn Ochal ’08 and the U.S. men’s four rowed a solid race to earn bronze. The Americans were in third place at each of the splits and finished a comfortable four seconds ahead of fourth-place Greece. U.S. women’s single sculls competitor Gevvie Stone ’07 finished her Olympic run with a victory in the B final, placing seventh overall. Click here for official results.
In women’s team epee, Maya Lawrence ’02 and Susannah Scanlan ’14 contributed to a one-touch victory over Russia in the bronze-medal match. The win gave U.S. fencing its only medal in the London Olympics. Click here for NBC video of Lawrence and Scanlan discussing the match.
Men’s steeplechase star Donn Cabral ’12 reached the Olympic final in his event, placing eighth in the 15-athlete field, less than seven seconds behind gold medal winner Ezekiel Kemboi of Kenya. Click here for official results.
Today’s United States vs. Canada women’s soccer semifinal will put Canadian midfielder Diana Matheson ’08 in the international spotlight. Canada already has made history by reaching the final four, and a win over the Americans would guarantee the nation’s first Olympic medal in women’s soccer. The game will be shown live at 2:30 p.m. Eastern on the NBC Sports Network.
Coach David Blatt ’81 and the Russian men’s basketball team will move on to the elimination round after posting a 4-1 record in preliminary games. Click here for official results and schedules.
The U.S. women’s eight, one of the most dominant crews in international rowing, lived up to its reputation in the Olympic final Aug. 2, winning by a 1.47 second margin over second-place Canada. That was good news for three Princetonians: American Caroline Lind ’06, who earned her second gold medal, and Canadians Andreanne Morin ’06 and Lauren Wilkinson ’11, who reached the medal podium for the first time.
Also on the water at Eton Dorney today: Glenn Ochal ’08 and the U.S. men’s four won their semifinal race, earning a place in the gold-medal final Aug. 4. Gevvie Stone ’07 of the United States finished fourth in her women’s single sculls semifinal and will compete in the B final Aug. 4. Robin Prendes ’11 and United States men’s lightweight four completed their Olympic run, placing second in the B final (eighth overall).
Two other Princetonians rowed in gold-medal finals yesterday. In the women’s pair, American Sara Hendershot ’10 and partner Sarah Zelekna were just 0.2 seconds shy of winning bronze. What does 0.2 seconds look like in a rowing race? Check out this screen shot posted by The Daily Princetonian. Sam Loch ’06 and his Australian crew placed sixth in the men’s eight. Click here for official results and schedules.
Women’s epee fencer Maya Lawrence ’02 posted the U.S. team’s best result in the individual competition July 30, reaching the round of 16 with a 15-12 victory over Italy’s Mara Navarria. Lawrence lost her next bout, 15-12, to another Italian, Rossella Fiamingo. U.S. teammate Susannah Scanlan ’14 was eliminated in the opening round by Olena Kryvytska of the Ukraine. The United States women will open against Italy in the team epee competition Aug. 4. Soren Thompson ’05 is slated to compete in the men’s individual epee Aug. 1. Click here for official results and schedules.
All eight of Princeton’s alumni rowers have advanced in their respective events. On July 31, Gevvie Stone ’07 (United States) will row in the women’s single sculls quarterfinals and Robin Prendes ’11 (United States) will compete in the men’s lightweight four semifinals. Sara Hendershot ’10 (United States, women’s pair) and Sam Loch ’06 (Australia, men’s eight) will row for gold in their respective events Aug. 1. The women’s eight gold-medal final on Aug. 2 will feature three former NCAA champions from Princeton: Caroline Lind ’06 (United States) and Andreanne Morin ’06 and Lauren Wilkinson ’11 (Canada). Glenn Ochal ’08 of the U.S. men’s four will row in the semifinals Aug. 2. Click here for official results and schedules.
Olympic rowing will be in the spotlight this weekend as six of Princeton’s eight rowers begin competition.
Four are participants in the women’s and men’s eights — the marquee events of international rowing. American Caroline Lind ’06, a 2008 gold medalist, is looking to return to the top of the podium. Canada, with Andreanne Morin ’06 and Lauren Wilkinson ’11 on board, will be among the leading challengers. On the men’s side, Sam Loch ’06 aims to pull Australia into medal contention.
The smaller U.S. boats also include Princetonians: Sara Hendershot ’10 will compete in the women’s pair, and Gevvie Stone ’07 is America’s representative in women’s single sculls. Portions of the rowing competition will be broadcast during NBC’s afternoon coverage July 28 and 29.
Sisters Julia Reinprecht ’14 and Katie Reinprecht ’13 will make their London debut when the U.S. women’s field hockey team faces Germany July 29 at the colorful Riverbank Arena, a blue-turf stadium on the edge of the River Lea. The game will be broadcast on the NBC Sports Network at 4:15 p.m. Eastern.
World-class athletes are not the only Princetonians playing an integral role in the London Olympics. NBC Universal executive Brett Goodman ’90 and a handful of other Tigers are part of the business and broadcasting collaboration that will provide an unprecedented 5,535 hours of coverage from the games, beginning with women’s soccer this afternoon.
Goodman is the senior vice president of strategic partnerships and business affairs for NBC Universal Sports – a title he succinctly translates as the “head lawyer” for NBC Universal’s Olympic division. His daily activities range from working on anti-piracy efforts to reviewing deals for sponsored elements of NBC’s broadcasts.
As an undergraduate, Goodman covered Princeton sports for the University Press Club and WPRB. He planned to go to law school after graduation but put that path on hold to become an NBC researcher for the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.
After returning from Spain, Goodman enrolled at Columbia Law School, earned his J.D., and practiced for five years at a firm in New York City. In 2000, he returned to NBC in a new role, handling legal affairs. Last year, he was part of the NBC Universal group that presented the company’s successful bid to broadcast the next four Olympics, for a record $4.38 billion fee.
In London, Goodman is part of an on-site team of 2,800 NBC Universal employees, working on everything from the NBC Nightly News to Access Hollywood. “It’s a lot of work, but it’s a great environment,” he said.
Other Princetonians behind the scenes in London include Joe Gesue ’93, the executive editor for NBC Universal Sports and Olympics; Rebecca Chatman ’94, the co-producer of NBC’s daytime and weekend coverage of the games; and Jennie Thompson ’90, a producer for the Today show. Craig Masback ’77, the former CEO of USA Track and Field, will serve as an analyst on coverage of the middle- and long-distance running events.
While the Olympic work schedule is demanding, Goodman said the he’ll find time to visit a few events and catch some of the live action on video feeds in his office. “At some point, I think you have to allow yourself to be a fan,” he said.
Do you have a nominee for Tiger of the Week? Let us know. All alumni qualify. PAW’s Tiger of the Week is selected by our staff, with help from readers like you.
The opening ceremonies of the London Olympics are still a few days away, but one of Princeton’s Olympians is preparing for an early kickoff. Women’s soccer midfielder Diana Matheson ’08 and her Canadian teammates will face Japan, the 2011 Women’s World Cup champion, on July 25 at 4 p.m. Eastern on the NBC Sports Network. (Update: CTV also will have a live feed at 11:30 a.m. Eastern.) Matheson has battled back from a knee injury and appeared to be in top form during Canada’s recent tune-up game against New Zealand, looping a perfect shot over the opposing goalie and into the top left corner of the goal (click here for video). Last week, she told Ben Rycroft of the CBC that she had few doubts about being in shape for London. “It was just a matter of how many drugs I was going to have to be on – anti-inflammatories, I mean," she said.
More news about Tigers in London:
Women’s epee standout Susie Scanlan ’14 was “made to hold a blade.” [Minneapolis Star Tribune]
Men’s four rower Glenn Ochal ’08 has a reputation for grueling, marathon workouts. [Philadelphia Inquirer]
The parents of Sara Hendershot ’10, a rower in the women’s pair, noticed her uncommon competitiveness at an early age. [Hartford Courant]
This is the second post in our summer series about Dale Award recipients.
Of the thousands of journalists covering the London Olympics, freelance blogger Ari Satok ’14 may have one of the most enviable assignments. Satok, a recipient of the Martin A. Dale ’53 Summer Award, goes where he wants to go, interviews anyone who is willing talk, and writes about the things that grab his interest on a website devoted to his project, arisolympicadventures.com.
There are a few drawbacks, of course. As a non-credentialed reporter, Satok will have limited opportunities to speak with the Olympics’ biggest stars – though he has been in touch with some of Princeton’s Olympians and other athletes from his native Canada. He also nabbed a brief interview with Oscar Pistorius, the double-amputee sprinter who will represent South Africa in the Olympic track and field competition.
Being outside the press room “just means that I’m going to have to be more creative,” Satok said, covering stories and angles that other media outlets might overlook.
In his first two weeks in London, Satok has been writing stories, shooting photos and video, and recording brief radio-style news capsules about the buildup to the games. He’s spent part of his time in parks and public spaces, talking with the city’s residents – some who are excited and others who are dreading the impending congestion.
When the world’s top athletes begin competing in London next week, 15 Princetonians will be among them, adding to a remarkable legacy that includes 48 medals and more than a century of the Summer Olympians.
Princeton’s first visit to the Olympics was by far its most successful: Four track and field teammates in the Class of 1897 traveled to the 1896 Athens Olympics at the suggestion of history professor William Sloane, a friend and colleague of International Olympic Committee founder Baron Pierre de Coubertin. The Princeton students were part of a 27-athlete contingent from the United States.
Robert Garrett Jr. 1897 was the American team’s breakout star, earning two gold medals and two silver in the field events. Classmates Albert Tyler and Herbert Jamison also won silver medals, while Francis Lane just missed bronze in the 100-meter dash, finishing fourth.
Garrett, who later competed at the 1900 Paris Olympics, remains the most decorated Princeton athlete, with a total of six medals. Karl Frederick 1903 *1904 ranks second on the list with three gold medals (one individual, two team events) in shooting at the 1920 Antwerp Olympics.
Tiger of the Week: Charles Gibson ’65
In the most publicized “get” of the presidential campaign, ABC anchorman Charles Gibson ’65 went to Alaska last week to record a series of one-on-one interviews with Gov. Sarah Palin, her first on national TV. And while most of the attention was on Palin, the Republican vice-presidential nominee, the bright lights fell on Gibson as well, with questions about what he would ask and how tough he would be.
The interviews were a popular draw for TV viewers — ABC won the week’s evening-news ratings race by a wide margin. But reviews were mixed: Some critics complained about the drawn-out format, while others applauded Gibson’s professionalism and no-nonsense approach. As Tom Shales of the The Washington Post wrote, “[I]t was almost a no-win situation, yet he came out of it not losing.” For that, Gibson is our Tiger of the Week.
Photo courtesy Wikipedia
Do you have a nominee for Tiger of the Week? Let us know. Nominees need not be famous — all alumni qualify. PAW’s Tiger of the Week is selected by our staff, with help from readers like you.
Lind, Coppola win rowing medals
Princeton classmates Caroline Lind ’06 and Steve Coppola ’06 earned medals at the Beijing Olympics Aug. 17. Lind and the U.S. women’s eight won gold, while Coppola and the U.S. men’s eight settled for bronze. A third member of the Class of 2006, Andreanne Morin of the Canadian women’s eight, missed a medal by less than a second, finishing fourth in the event finals.
The victory in the women’s eight was America’s first since 1984, and Lind, who had met members of the 1984 team, told The Boston Globe that she drew inspiration from that gold-medal-winning crew. “They wanted to welcome us to their club,” she said. “So we had to step up.”
Alumni Lia Pernell ’03 (United States, women’s quadruple sculls) and Sam Loch ’06 (Australia, men’s eight) also rowed in the Olympic finals Aug. 17, finishing fifth and sixth, respectively, in their events.
Click here for NBC’s video coverage of the U.S. women’s eight.
Alumni, students begin competition
Twelve Princetonians – 11 athletes and one coach – are representing their countries in Beijing during the opening week of the 2008 Olympics. (Apologies to Konrad Wysocki ’04 and Bryan Tay ’12, who were not included in The Weekly Blog’s July 9 list of Tiger Olympians.)