The London 2012 Olympic Games is just around the corner, and while the international time difference will have many rowing fans arriving at work bleary-eyed after a night of attentive television spectating, Rowing NSW has stepped in to sharpen the focus on our green-and-gold rowers, turning the spotlight to our NSW athletes.
NSW is well-represented in the Olympic Rowing teams and, while a number of the athletes might have called Canberra home for the intense months of training leading up to Olympic selections, we’re sure they want to hold onto their New South Welshman and woman status.
A total of 46 Australian athletes will travel to London for the 2012 Olympic Games of which 14 have rowed or currently row for a NSW club.
The athletes putting the blue in the green-and-gold:
Brodie Buckland, 28yo (Pair), James Chapman, 32yo (Four), Amy Clay, 34yo (Quad Scull), Rod Chisolm, 38yo (Lightweight Duble), Sarah Cook, 27yo (Eight),Tess Gerrand, 24yo (Eight), Francis Hegerty, 29yo (Eight), Toby Lister, 25yo (Cox-Eight), Sam Loch, 29yo (Eight), Dan Noonan, 32yo (Quad), Brooke Pratley, 32yo (Double Scull), Nick Purnell, 22yo (Eight), Bronwen Watson, 25yo (Lightweight Double Scull), Matt Ryan, 28yo (Eight).
The Olympic Rowing regatta will take place on the Eton-Dorney course in Buckinghamshire, a county more regularly renowned for its annual Roald Dahl festival and swan-upping activities, as well as Eton College, the famous independent boys school. Bordered on one side by the River Thames and with the Royal Windsor Racecourse not far away, the Eton-Dorney course will host the Rowing (July 28-August 5), Canoe Sprint (August 6-11), and Paralympic Rowing (August 31-September 2).
Infamous for warm beer and middle-of-the-road food, it’s no surprise the Australian team has eschewed Britain and chosen Italy as its base camp leading in to the London Olympic Games. After securing $11 million from the Australian Federal Government, the Australian Sports Commission has set up an Institute-of-Sport-style facility, the European Training Centre, at Gavirate on the shores of Lake Varese in northern Italy. The Australian Government has leased the facility for ten years, with the possibility of a five-year extension.
The site was chosen for its proximity to Milan and an international airport, the nearby quiet roads for training and easy access to European competition venues.
Our rowers will stay alongside other Australian athletes including cyclists, triathletes, tennis players and boxers.
Athletes feel at home surrounded by Australian accents and local Italian restaurateurs have reportedly increased the carbohydrate plates on their menus, catering to the ever-hungry Aussie athletes.
HOW TO WATCH
London is an eye-watering nine hours behind Australian Eastern Standard Time, making live television viewing a likely highly-caffeinated affair.
Channel Nine and Fox Sports have shared rights for the Olympic Games coverage, with ABC the nominated broadcaster for the Paralympic Games.
Racing starts at 9.30am London time on Saturday July 28 – 6.30pm Australian EST. But make sure you check out a full schedule for the Olympic rowing here and the Paralmypic rowing schedule here