Rowing has been part of the Olympic program since debuting at the 1900 Summer Olympics. Initially, only men were allowed to compete. Women’s events were introduced at the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal.
American Jack Kelly rowed his way to win gold in both the single and double sculls at the 1920 Antwerp Games. He won a third gold in the Paris 1924 Games and his son, John Kelly Jr., competed in rowing events at four Olympics.
American Paul Costello won his third gold medal in double sculls at the 1928 Games in Amsterdam. He was one of five rowers in Olympic history to win gold medals at three Games.
In men’s eight, the U.S. hadn’t won a gold medal for 40 years. During the 2004 Games in Athens, the American men’s team broke this streak with a one-second victory over the Netherlands. On the final day of the Beijing 2008 Games, the U.S. women’s eight team brought home the first women’s gold since 1984. The women’s eight team continued to dominate, bringing home gold at the London 2012 Games and Rio 2016 Games.