Lausanne, 10 April 2017
The most prestigious medal awarded in rowing, the Thomas Keller Medal, has been narrowed down to six finalists by the World Rowing Federation, FISA.
The finalist list is dominated by two top rowing nations, Great Britain and the United States with a para-rower reaching the finals for the first time. Following public nominations, the finalists for the 2017 Thomas Keller Medal are (in alphabetical order):
- Tom Aggar (GBR)
- Caryn Davies (USA)
- Katherine Grainger (GBR)
- Eleanor Logan (USA)
- Greg Searle (GBR)
- Andrew T Hodge (GBR)
Created in 1990, the Thomas Keller Medal celebrates athletes who have had an outstanding career in rowing. It honours those who have shown exemplary sportsmanship and technical mastery of the sport as well as having shown a legendary aspect both in and outside of their rowing career.
Tom Aggar – Great Britain
Aggar is a legend of para-rowing. He first raced internationally in 2007 and instantly found success, beginning a winning streak that lasted for the next four years. This included Aggar winning gold in the para men’s single sculls at the 2008 Paralympic Games. This was the debut Games for para-rowing. Aggar continued through to the London 2012 Paralympic Games, but missed out on a medal. He persisted and came back to take bronze the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games before retiring.
Caryn Davies – United States
Davies is described as the epitome of the scholar-athlete. Having earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from Harvard University in 2005 and a Doctor of Law degree from Columbia University in 2013, she also was twice Olympic Champion and a four-time World Champion between 2002 and 2012. She has stroked the USA women’s eight repeatedly since its winning streak began in 2006 and helped the boat set two World Best Times. Davies then went on to do an MBA at Oxford University in Great Britain and during that time she stroked the women’s Oxford boat to victory in the 2015 Oxford-Cambridge Boat Race.
Katherine Grainger – Great Britain
Grainger is Great Britain’s most decorated female Olympian with five Olympic medals including gold from the London 2012 Olympic Games. These medals show Grainger’s all-round brilliance and longevity in the sport having won Olympic medals in the women’s quadruple sculls, pair and double sculls. Grainger also has won eight medals at the World Rowing Championships. Off the water Grainger achieved a PhD in law and, now retired, stays actively involved in rowing.
Eleanor Logan – United States
Logan became the United States’ greatest Olympic women’s rower after winning her third consecutive Olympic gold at the Rio 2016 Olympics. These medals all came from being part of the formidable US women’s eight. But Logan has also competed in other boats including the women’s single, pair and four at World Championship level.
Greg Searle – Great Britain
Between 1990 and 2000 Searle raced at three Olympic Games and at seven World Rowing Championships. During this time he won Olympic gold in 1992 and Olympic silver in 1996 as well as five World Championship medals in a variety of sweep boat classes, from the eight to the four to the coxed pair, as well as in one sculling event, the men’s single sculls. Following a fourth-place finish in the men’s pair at the Sydney Games, Searle retired from the sport for nine years, only to come back and compete at the highest level of competition in his late thirties. He finished his rowing career by medalling at the London 2012 Olympic Games, 20 years after competing at his first Olympic Games in 1992.
Andrew T Hodge – Great Britain
A three-time Olympic Champion, Hodge has been a mainstay among Great Britain’s elite squad for 15 years. This was despite a bout of illness that saw Hodge having to fight to get back into his country’s top boats in 2016. He managed to swap successfully between the men’s eight, four and pair during his career which ended with gold in the men’s eight at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
The winner will be announced on 29 June 2017 and awarded at the 2017 World Rowing Cup III in Lucerne, Switzerland on Saturday evening, 8 July 2017. During the award ceremony, an 18-carat gold medal will be bestowed by Dominik Keller, the son of FISA’s former president Thomas Keller, to the winner.
For a full list of winners, please click here. http://www.worldrowing.com/
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