Local Olympian update: Shoop wins gold, Allen and Kok bronze

Charlottesville native Lindsay Shoop hadn't picked up an oar until her third-year spring at UVA.

Charlottesville's colors may be the orange and blue of the University of Virginia, or perhaps the red brick and white trim of Monticello, but last night, native and 2002 UVA grad Lindsay Shoop added a little gold to the mix. She and her teammates on the U.S. women's eight rowing team took the gold medal at the Olympics, with a time of 6:05.34, surpassing teams from the Netherlands, and Romania. It's the first time the American women's eight team has won gold since the 1988 games in Seoul, Korea, when Shoop was six years old.

Moments later, 2004 UVA alum Wyatt Allen added to UVA's overall medal tally, when he and the rest of the American men's eight team won the bronze medal, with a time of 5:25.34, edged out for the silver by Great Britain by 22 hundredths of a second. Canada won gold with a time of 5:23.89.

And if that weren't enough to cheer Wahoo hearts and warm Wahoo blood, a third Cavalier ascended the medal stand yesterday. Rower and 2007 UVA grad Melanie Kok won a bronze medal as one half of the Canadian women's lightweight double sculls team, fending off the duo from Germany by four hundredths of a second. Kok and teammate Tracy Cameron were third only to the pairs from Finland, and the Netherlands.

If you count incoming UVA first-year and newly-minted silver medalist Marlies Smulders, who was part of the women's eight team from the Netherlands that Shoop helped beat, that rounds out the UVA rowing program's medal count at four, better than any other American program.


1 comment

I believe Marlies Smulders attended U.Va during the 2000-2001 school year, returning to the Netherlands in the Spring. I don't think she's an incoming freshman, although she is a former student.