Matt Madigan ’93 heads to the Olympics a second time.
|Matt Madigan with the London 2012 Olympic torch. Photo courtesy Matt Madigan
Matt Madigan ’93 will coach the U.S. Women’s Double Sculls at this year's Olympic games held in London. This will be the second time Coach Madigan has gone to the Olympic games—his first being in 2008 at Beijing where the Women's Quadruple Sculls team he coached narrowly missed the podium, finishing fifth overall.
After coming in third-place at the Non-Qualified Olympic Trials, the season seemed over for Madigan and his rowers—Margot Shumway and Sarah Trowbridge. But after the first and second place finishers elected to combine forces for the Women’s Quad, Madigan's team got a second chance.
The team, training out of the Potomac Boat Club in Washington D.C., went on to win their regatta in the final Olympic qualifier. “It’s so rare in life that you get a second opportunity of this magnitude ... it’s been awesome to have athletes that have taken advantage of that opportunity,” Madigan said.
|Madigan with his rowers, Margot Shumway and Sarah Trowbridge. Photo courtesy Matt Madigan
Since then, Shumway and Trowbridge have ramped up both their training and determination—and Madigan believes the work will pay substantial dividends. The event is sure to receive a strong reception in London, as Great Britain's team features one of the host country's biggest stories: Katherine Grainger's pursuit of gold. Grainger, 36, has won three silver medals at three consecutive Olympic games, and enters London, along with teammate Anna Watkins, as the favorite.
On the eve of the games, Olympic buzz is ratcheting up, but what is Coach Madigan most anticipating? “The opportunity to see how fast we can go.”
Women’s Double Sculls begin their first heat on July 30 at 10:20 a.m. and conclude their competition with the final on August 3 at 10:30 a.m. You can find more information about Women’s Double Sculls on the London Olympics website.
UPDATE Aug. 3: They went for the gold
On Monday, July 30, the U.S. Women’s Double Sculls team finished third of five in Heat 2 of Women’s Double Sculls competition, their first race of the event. Unfortunately, only the top two teams of each heat qualify for the final. That sent the duo coached by Matt Madigan to race in the repechage—a second chance to qualify for the final.
And on Tuesday, July 31, Margot Shumway and Sarah Trowbridge took full advantage of that second chance. The team qualified for the medal race by finishing one second ahead of the third place team for the last spot in the final with a time of 7:10:37.
In their try for a win, the pair raced out of lane 1 against the heavily favored British team. Although the Americans gave it their best effort, Anna Watkins and Katherine Grainger of Great Britain took the gold with a time of 6:55.82.