Bitter Sweet Revenge
John Brendan Kelly Sr. was one of the most renowned rowers of all time - his rowing gift allowed him to do the unthinkable. In the 1920 Summer Olympics in Belgium, he went on to win the single scull race in a very hard fought battle against other top rowers. Only 30 minutes later he also won the double scull race with Paul Costello, making him an absolute legend on the water!! Yet, the story doesn’t stop here. Prior to the Olympics in Belgium, Kelly was denied access to The Royal Henley Regatta due to his occupation as a bricklayer. His victory at the Olympics was then crowned by a letter to King George V saying “"Greetings from a bricklayer”.
Rowing Across the Pacific
In 1983 world rowing history was written by British ocean rower Peter Bird. For the first time ever he managed to row across the Pacific Ocean from San Francisco to the shores of Australia, all by himself! Not only did he have to endure endless open water, two hurricanes and hungry sharks underneath his boat but also deliver the strength to row 294 days! After rowing for more than 6000 miles, he reached the Great Barrier Reef just 33 miles before the Australian mainland. To this day, he remains one of the greatest of all time and serves as rowing inspiration for many other bold men & women.
The Mysterious Golden Boy
During the 1900 Olympic final in Paris, Holland’s national team faced a true nightmare due to what seemed like a minor issue. While the French team was making use of lightweight boys at the age of 12 years, Holland brought the 60 kilograms of Dr. Brockman as their official coxswain. Even though the Dutch team was superior to the French, the extra weight was literally weighing them down and taking the gold medal out of reach. In a desperate attempt, the Dutch team found a replacement for Dr. Brockman in the form of a young, local boy. With his help, they successfully claimed the gold medal and hence made the boy the youngest-ever gold medal winner in Olympic history. Quickly after the victory, the boy disappeared and to this day his name remains unknown even though his actions will forever stay in the hearts of the Dutch rowing crew. His age is estimated between 12 and 14 years.