While you may or may not have reached your pinnacle of fame yet, the renowned people noted here have. They were all once avid oarsmen too. You may be surprised.
For example, Theodore Roosevelt, the 26th President of the US, rowed at Harvard, and Neil Armstrong (pictured above) rowed at the US Naval Academy. He said winning Sprints at Navy was better than walking on the moon. Not many can verify that claim.
Speaking of space, Rear Admiral Alan B. Shepard Jr., astronaut and the second man in space, rowed an eight at the US Naval Academy.
As an undergraduate student, Professor Stephen Hawking (pictured above coxing), of theoretical physicist fame, was a coxswain for University College in Oxford because of his light frame. According to ati or all-that-is-interesting.com, it was while rowing that Hawking exhibited some early signs of his illness and at 21 years old was diagnosed with motor neurone disease.
Renowned pediatrician and author, Dr. Benjamin Spock, won Olympic Gold in 1924 in the Men’s Eight, rowing with Yale.
Speaking of kids, George Harrison’s son, Dhani Harrison, was a British junior international oarsman and member of the Leander Rowing Club, one of the most prestigous in the world. He rowed to prove that he could gain entry with something other than his name. “You don’t get in a squad like that based on your name. It was hard to do and it was a hard-working squad” he was quoted as saying in a piece in the San Diego Union-Tribune.
Prince Albert of Monaco rowed and the Challenge Albert II in Monaco continues to be a huge regatta. He owns the childhood home of his late mother Grace Kelly, in Philadelphia, whose father John B. Kelly was a three-time Olympic gold medal-winning rower in the 1920s.
Other royal rowers include Princess Beatrix, Queen of the Netherlands from 1980 to 2013, who rowed with De Vliet, and King Olaf V, King of Norway from 1957 to 1991, who rowed at Oxford.
Sir Timothy Berners-Lee (pictured above) from Great Britain, inventor of the World Wide Web, rowed at Oxford University. He once said “You affect the world by what you browse.”
At the Friends of Rowing History site, you’ll see an exhaustive list of rowers, scullers and coxswains who became famous, including some listed above, but very few are women. Check out our 5 Women Rowers You Don’t Know You Want to Know post for just a few of the many great women rowers.
All this to say you are in good company and we can’t wait until you’re famous. Keep us posted.