The 2016 finalists for the Thomas Keller Medal, the most prestigious medal awarded in rowing, have been selected by the World Rowing Federation, FISA.
Created in 1990, the Thomas Keller Medal award celebrates athletes who have had an outstanding career in rowing, have shown exemplary sportsmanship and technical mastery of the sport as well as symbolise a legendary aspect both in and outside of their rowing career. Following public nominations, the finalists were decided by FISA’s council and commission members. They are (in alphabetical order):
· Erin Cafaro, United States
· Caryn Davies, United States
· Thomas Ebert, Denmark
· Caroline (Meyer) and Georgina Evers-Swindell (Earl), New Zealand
· Greg Searle, Great Britain
Erin Cafaro – United States
Erin Cafaro first made the United States national team as an under-23 rower and, in her first international regatta, she was part of the gold medal women’s four. Cafaro then moved into the senior squad and went on to take gold at the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games in the women’s eight. Along the way she proved that it was possible to race in two boat classes successfully when she won gold at the 2009 World Rowing Championships in both the women’s eight and pair. Cafaro’s tenacity saw her overcome injury to carry on and she also challenged the perception that rowing is just for tall women.
Caryn Davies – United States
Caryn Davies is described as the epitome of the scholar-athlete. Having earned a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Harvard University in 2005 and a Doctor of Law from Columbia University in 2013 she also became an Olympic Champion twice 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, Great Britain and during that time she stroked the women’s Oxford boat to victory in the 2015 Oxford-Cambridge Boat Race.
Thomas Ebert – Denmark
Thomas Ebert finished his rowing career with three Olympic medals – two of them gold. Ebert won these as part of Denmark’s legendary lightweight men’s four and included a 2008 successful comeback after stepping away from the four following gold at the Athens Olympics. Ebert’s career spanned nearly two decades and in that time he worked his way up from junior representative, through under-23s before making the Danish senior team as a 21-year-old. By the time of his retirement Ebert had collected seven senior World Championship titles.
Caroline (Meyer) and Georgina Evers-Swindell (Earl) – New Zealand
Identical twins Caroline and Georgina retired in 2008 as two-time Olympic Champions. At Beijing they successfully defended their title in the women’s double sculls. This was the first time in the history of Olympic rowing that two consecutive wins had been achieved in the women’s double. Starting out rowing separately, the twins found success when they rowed together. Beginning in 2002, with a World Champion title, their winning continued. The Evers-Swindell’s inspired many New Zealanders to start rowing especially high school girls.
Greg Searle – Great Britain
Between 1990 and 2000 Greg Searle raced at three Olympic Games and at seven World Rowing Championships. During this time he won two Olympic medals and 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.
The winner will be announced on 20 May 2016 and awarded at the 2016 World Rowing Cup II in Lucerne, Switzerland. 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/athletes/thomas-keller-medal
Article originally appeared at http://www.worldrowing.com/news/world-rowing-reveals-2016-thomas-keller-medal-finalists