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Category: Inspiring Story

‘winning in tough times, leading in tough times’

Ikon sukan rowing di peringkat antarabangsa bagi pasukan GB yang selalu dikenali adalah Sir Steven Redgrave & Matthew Pinset. Ini kerana pencapaian luar biasa Sir Steven Redgrave yang bertahan selama 5 musim olimpik sehingga diiktiraf sebagai lagenda yang masih hidup. Begitu juga dengan Matthew Pinset. Pasukan yang digeruni pihak lawan kerana penguasaannya dalam coxless four dan coxless pair. Namun jarang kita mahu ambil tahu siapa lagi krew di dalam pasukan coxless four Great Britain.


Faktor penguasaan GB dalam coxless four adalah adanya krew seperti Sir Steven Redgrave yang bertindak sebagai pemangkin pembentukan krew. Krew yang berpengalaman dan kuat banyak membantu jurulatih GB memantapkan koordinasi dan penyelarasan latihan mahupun kekuatan. Ketika Sir Steven Redgrave bersara, tugasnya di galas oleh Matthew Pinset dalam mempertahankan penguasaan GB. Seterusnya, dengan persaraan Matther, tinggal Steve William merupakan satu-satunya krew coxless four yang masih kekal. Seperti sebelumnya, Steve William menjadi tumpuan pasukannya dalam pembentukan coxless four yang baru. Beliau menjadi rujukan utama dalam pembangunan pasukan tersebut.

Baru-baru ini dalam artikel berita yang dipetik dari http://www.worldrowing.com/, Steve William menyuarakan hasrat untuk bersara dari pasukan kebangsaan. Perjalanan kariernya bukan mudah apabila pasukan coxless four yang dianggotainya melalui liku-liku sukar setelah gagal mempertahankan kejuaraan di Kejohanan Dunia (World Rowing Championship) pada 2007 yang berlansung serentak dengan pemilihan sukan Olimpik. Pasukan beliau hanya mendapat tempat keempat. Tidak berada di tempat teratas sepertimana tradisinya memberi tamparan hebat kepada pasukannya. Begitu juga tahun seterusnya 2008 dengan cabaran Sukan Olimpik Beijing yang semakin hampir ditempuhi dengan sukar. Namun, ketika di Beijing mereka berazam tiada ruang untuk kesilapan. Berada di belakang krew pasukan Australia di sepanjang perlumbaan peringkat akhir, krew Steve Wiliam mengerah seluruh tenaga. Hanya di kedudukan 250m sebelum perlumbaan berakhir, pasukannya berjaya menggandakan kuasa dayungan bagi mendahului perlumbaan sekaligus merangkul pingat emas.


William mengakhiri karier 11 tahun bersama sukan rowing dengan empat kejuaraan dunia dan dua kejuaraan Olimpik. Beliau merancang menjadi penceramah motivasi selepas persaraannya. Begitupun, beliau telah kerapkali dijemput memberikan ceramah di seminar korporat dengan tema yang sudah terkenal,‘winning in tough times, leading in tough times’.

Antara anugerah yang mengiktiraf kejayaan beliau adalah:

  1. OBE ( Order of the British Empire ) – 2008 Olympic champion 2008 in M4-
  2. FISA Male Crew of the Year – 2004 Olympic Champion 2004 in M4-
  3. MBE ( Member of the British Empire ) – 2004 Olympic champion 2004 in M4-

Biografi dan pencapaian beliau boleh di lihat di sini Perhatikan catatan masa yang direkodkan.

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Inspiring Olympic Story

Komen moderator: Sebagai atlet mahupun jurulatih, kita memerlukan dorongan dan juga inspirasi. Sekerap mungkin kita perlu mengingatkan diri akan kegigihan dan kepayahan atlet-atlet terdahulu daripada kita. Cerita-cerita mereka ini wajar diteliti dan menjadi pengajaran.

Larry Lemieux

During the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, Canadian Larry Lemieux was headed for what looked like a certain medal. But when he saw two men in trouble from Singapore that had capsized in turbulent waves that day, he took action.

Lemieux went off course and saved the lives of those two men, but in the process, he forfeited an almost certain medal.

His bravery was not unappreciated. IOC President Juan Antonio Samaranch presented Lemieux with a porcelain award adorned with the Olympic insignia soon after the games

Wilma Glodean Rudolph

Wilma Glodean Rudolph should not have been an Olympian. Born prematurely, as she grew up, Rudolph was struck with scarlet fever, double pneumonia and eventually contracted polio. In order to receive treatment, Rudolph’s mother had to take her to a black hospital more than 50 miles away.

Showing off her glory, Wilma Rudolph

Rudolph went on to set Olympic records in track and field that still stand today.

Immortalized on stampShe was a product of the pre-Title IX era, literally having to make her way through sports with perseverance and determination beyond the norm.

Her work paid off, she became the first US woman to win three gold medals in the track and field events. Rudolph arose out of the 1960 Rome Olympics and earned herself the nickname, “The Tennessee Tornado,” aka, the fastest woman on earth.

She holds the world record in the 100 meter and 200 meter races.

By the age of 12, Rudolph had put her disabilities behind her and started her dream of Olympic immortality.

At 16, she earned a ticket on the 1956 Olympic team and came home with a bronze medal in the 4×100-meter relay.

But it is for 1960 that she is most remembered.

Her inspiration for those Olympics was the one and only, Jesse Owens. Who sits ahead on our tribute.

More: find here Olympic stories of inspiration

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Steve Redgrave – Motion in Action

Sometimes it is not any one individual feat that defines someone’s “greatness” as much as it is the culmination of the many accomplishments they have made as a whole. Sir Stephen Geoffrey Redgrave is one such example that exemplifies this very scenario.
Stephen Redgrave (Now known as Sir Stephen Redgrave after receiving the prestigious Knighthood during the 2001 New Year’s Honors List) was born on March 23rd of 1962 in Marlow, England. While he does not publicly speak much about his past, his incredible list of records speaks for itself.
Steve Redgrave was a British Rower in his earlier years. This at least, is what brought him international fame and recognition. His feats and capabilities as a coxswain manifested themselves early on, but he will likely always be best remembered for his Olympic accomplishments. Steve Redgrave first arrived on the Olympic scene during the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles , California . He won his first Olympic Gold Medal during the Coxed fours events. He again appeared in the Olympic rowing competitions in during the 1988 Olympic Games held in Seoul , South Korea and won another Gold Medal, this time in the coxless-pairs event. He also managed a second medal. He won a Bronze medal in the coxed-pairs events as well. Anybody who is an avid follower of the Olympics knows that scoring two gold medals in consecutive Olympic Games is an amazing accomplishment, but Sir Stephen was not finished, at this point he had barely even started his amazing list of Olympic deeds.
His third Olympic appearance was in the 1992 Olympics held in Barcelona, Spain. During the 1992 games he managed to win a Gold medal in the coxless pairs again. Three consecutive gold medals is an accomplishment which is almost unheard of, but still he was not done. During the 1996 Olympic games in Atlanta, Georgia he scored yet again. Once again, his strongest competition was the coxless pairs and he won his fourth gold medal in four consecutive Olympic Games. He vowed never to compete again in the Olympics after he had won the gold in Atlanta, but shortly afterwards decided that he had chosen his words prematurely. He did indeed participate in the 2000 Olympics held in Sydney, Australia. Could this (now) aging coxswain still compete with the world’s best competitors though?
The Olympic Competition in Sydney, like all Olympic competitions, is between what are arguably the best athletes in the world from any given sport. Sir Stephen had seen his better days. Recent problems with his health led many people to doubt his ability to be truly competitive in such a gathering of exceptional athletes. He still worked very hard in his chosen field though, and he always had the encouragement and found the motivation to excel in whatever endeavor he chose to undertake. During the Sydney Olympics he went on to win his fifth consecutive Gold medal, this time in the coxless fours event. This made him the first Olympic rower in history to accomplish such an amazing record. Never before in Olympic history had any rower racked up Gold in five consecutive Olympic challenges. His receiving the Knighthood and his title was a direct result of the hard work and effort he put forth in his Olympic competition.
While this in itself is Olympic history and one of the great all time moments in Olympic sports, Sir Steve still was not done. His love of sports and athletic competition did not stop with rowing. Sir Stephen was also a member of the British National Bobsleigh team in the 1989-1990 season. To this day he has held numerous world records and still holds an Olympic record. His personal effort and thoughtlessness perhaps, make an even larger picture of Sir Stephen possible. These also help to include him among the ranks of the “best-of-the-best” among historic Olympic figures.
While his Olympic and athletic prowess is beyond question, his personal endeavors are even more impressive. He continues to raise large amounts of money for charity, raising most of the money for children’s charities. He has his own charitable organizations which he promotes selflessly. He is very active not only in the world of sports, but the business world as well. His continued efforts beyond his sports ability alone truly separate Sir Stephen from other, more common heroes. His approach to life makes a greater impact on more people than most people believe is humanly possible. While he should not only be remembered for his accomplishments in the sporting world, Sir Stephen Redgrave could (And should) indeed be a role-model for just about anybody, making him a true spotlight in time to be remembered from the Olympics.
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Elisabeta Lipa-Oleniuc – 6 Times Olympian

Not just anyone can win an Olympic medal never mind win medals in six different Olympiads. Four people have achieved this amazing feat in Olympic history. Although some of them have appeared in the so-called lesser profile Olympic sports, it does not detract from their incredible sporting achievements. Elisabeta Lipa-Oleniuc, from Rome, is one of these elite four.
She was born in Siret, 26 October 1964, and started rowing at the age of 16, in 1980. Elisabeta competed since 1988 as Elisabeta Lipa. She is one of the few women to have won medals in six separate Olympics in her career; in fact she won something every time she participated. In the year 1992 she made her living working for the Romanian version of the CIA. In 1996 in Atlanta she became the first rower in Olympic history to win a total of six medals, when she helped the Romanian coxed eight to victory. She was chosen as the Romanian flag bearer in 2004 and won Gold in the Eights at the age of 39.
Many would say that athletics and sports are sometimes more a game of fate than a test of endurance, and ‘you win some-you lose some’ but people like Elisabeta disprove this by performing consistently under high pressure – the pressure of their country’s expectations, the pressure they have from within and the pressure of the moment. After her decision to retire (following her last Olympics victory), she said ‘It was my last race (2004) I am very happy because I won five medals in six participation in Olympic games. I dedicate the medal to me.’ She added about her future plans that ‘I am going to rest after putting myself through the last two years of practice.’ Being the persistent champion that she is, with a habit of winning, she has accepted to represent Rome yet another time at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. If she wins gold there she will go down in the record books as the only rower with six Olympic golds.
At the age of 43 she would be the oldest rowing medalist at the Olympics. But this Romanian has an added reason for representing Rome in 2008 – she says ‘I put a condition to the Romanian Government for my presence at the 2008 Olympics – to build an Olympic six-lane waterway in Romania.’ Her influence is such at her country that her appeals definitely will not go unheard by the government of Rome. The president of Romania personally came down to watch her eight at Athens, and met the crew to congratulate them after their win (after the first round). This is an obvious self less gesture to help her younger colleagues gain maximum experience for future Olympic games She currently is titled ‘the most medaled rower in Olympic history.’ A competing rower Ester Workel from Netherlands, commented once (on rowing alongside Elisabeta), ‘when going into the race and knowing and knowing you are racing against her it gives you an added impulse.’ That’s a great reputation for a competitor in any field, to hold – the respect of members from your competing teams.
Rowing came into this superstar’s life at the age of 14, in 1979, when a recruiter visited her school at her hometown Botoshani. This person obviously saw the potential in young Elisabeta and in three weeks she was training in Bucharest at the Olympic Rowing Centre. Before the age of 20 she had bagged her first Olympic gold and three other world Championship medals (including a gold in one of them).
Elisabeta Lipa-Oleniuc is well known for her retirements! She announced retirement for the first time in 1996, after Atlanta, and did not compete for 3 years in fact. In early 200, she made her come back just in time to be part of the wining eight at Sydney (gold). Once again she retired after these Olympic games, only to make another comeback in 2003 to help her country qualify for the Athens Olympics. As history would have it, she’s set her sights on the 2008 Beijing Games, where we will see her lead Romania’s eight into perhaps another winning Olympic performance.
Elisabeta Lipa-Oleniuc has proved to the world that training and fitness are the key elements that make a champion out of a sportsman, and has been a fitting role model for her colleagues in the Roman Eight, and for many aspirants around the world. We hope to see her win many more championships.
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Just say row: Blindness is no handicap

by joe eskenazi
staff writer

When Aerial Gilbert first learned to row, her college coaches often advised her to close her eyes, shut out the distractions of the outside world and soak in the feel of the boat. She never could have realized how important the advice would turn out to be. Decades later, when a bottle of tainted eyedrops robbed Gilbert of her sight in 1988, it changed every aspect of her life. But one. “Being blind, you’re on an equal playing field in the boat as a sighted person. You’re rowing backwards, anyway,” said Gilbert, the director of volunteers at Guide Dogs for the Blind in San Rafael. “As long as you have someone to guide the boat down the river, you’re on an equal field.”
Come Sunday, March 28, Gilbert will be inducted into the Sports Hall of Fame on eastern Long Island, N.Y., where a plaque in her name will be on permanent display. Gilbert was nominated for the honor by a fellow U.S. national team rower.
Rowing has been a huge part of her life ever since she was first transfixed by the awesome power and effortless synchronicity of sculls gliding across the surface of the water. But, following her accident — which police believe was the result of a disgruntled factory worker filling the eyedrop bottle Gilbert would eventually buy with lye — rowing has become the 49-year-old’s catharsis and refuge.
The sudden, painful blinding left Gilbert, a busy pediatric nurse and an athlete since age 2, unable to even walk safely around her own house. “The first six months, I didn’t handle it well. I didn’t go anywhere or do anything. But a friend from the boathouse said, ‘I’m taking you out rowing. You don’t have to see in order to row; we’ll take out a double,’” recalled Gilbert, who lives in Petaluma and now rows in two- and four-person boats. “It was like getting onto a bike after you learned how to ride when you were a kid. It was instantaneous. There were no problems. I just jumped in the boat and started rowing. Getting into the boat and moving through the world feeling strong and safe was an amazing opportunity for me. … I have to say, between rowing and getting my guide dog, those were the pivotal factors that allowed me to put my life together.” Gilbert immediately laid her own doubts to rest, but the rest of the world took some convincing. More than a few boathouse owners were reluctant to allow a blind rower out
onto the waves for fear she would run into something and ruin the expensive boat. They sang a different tune, however, once they saw her out on the water. That’s not to say there haven’t been dicey moments out there.
While competing in a race in the last Petaluma River Regatta, a stray eight-man boat crossed Gilbert’s path. She was smacked across the back by an oar and propelled into the water. Gilbert had the wind knocked out of her, but quickly found her way back into the boat, kept rowing, and her two-person boat finished second in the race. In addition to rowing in Master’s Division tournaments, Gilbert has helped to start up an “adaptive division” U.S. national team boat, featuring a pair of blind rowers and a pair of above-the-knee amputees. Competing in the 2002 World Rowing Championships in Milan, Gilbert’s adaptive boat took home the bronze medal.
Her inauguration in the Sports Hall of Fame — yes, she says with a laugh, there is such a thing — is a double victory. Not only is it a win for disabled athletes, it’s also a big step for an athlete in a non-major sport.
But Gilbert’s biggest thrill will come when more young people hop into boats and prove that blindness may be a disability, but it’s no handicap. “There are sports where blind kids can participate with other blind kids, but there are no other sports where blind youth can participate equally with sighted kids,” she said. “Since I’ve lost my sight, rowing is the only time during my waking hours when I can forget I’m blind. Other times, I’m really aware of it. But I put all my power into it and I don’t have to worry about running into everything. I can just row.”

CopyrightJ, the News Weekly of Northern California
Rowing Canada Aviron

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