Aug. 2, 2012
ETON DORNEY, United Kingdom - Mary Whipple made history as a Husky Olympian on Thursday, leading the United States women's 8+ to gold at the London 2012 games.
It was the third medal in Whipple's storied international career, tying Husky swimmer Jack Medica for most by an individual athlete in school history. The 32-year-old also won gold at the 2008 games in Beijing and silver in 2004 in Athens. No UW rower has ever won repeat gold until Whipple accomplished the feat.
Since 2006, the United States has dominated the women's eight event, and the 2012 final was a continuation of this theme. The USA boat never trailed on the 2,000-meter course on Lake Dorney, taking gold in a time of 6:10.59. The second-place Canadians - considered by many to be the No. 1 threat to the Americans - were less than two seconds behind at 6:12.06.
With the win by Whipple and the USA eight, Huskies have now won six medals at these Olympics. It's the most for the Washington program since 1936, when the iconic crew won nine golds in the midst of Nazi Germany.
Before the Olympics, Whipple announced she would be retiring from international duty. If so, this was a tremendous coda to an outstanding career. Whipple has five World Championship wins on her resume to go with those three medals, and has been undefeated since 2006. At the collegiate level, Whipple led the Huskies to back-to-back team NCAA Championships in 2001 and 2002.
Olympic Women's Eight, Grand Final Results
United States 6:10.59
Great Britain 6:18.77