Oklahoma City area rowing teams were the biggest winners at the Head of the Oklahoma regatta, which concluded Sunday on the Oklahoma River.
OKC RIVERSPORT captured 37 medals (seven gold, 16 silver and 14 bronze). Oklahoma City University was second with 24 (six gold, 10 silver and 8 bronze).
Finishing third was the OKC National High Performance Center with 22 (10 gold, 9 silvers and 3 bronze).
FOR YOUNG AND OLD
The oldest participant in the Head of the Oklahoma was Lee Smith, 78, from Fort Worth, Texas, who raced in three events and rowed 15 miles in two days.
Smith is a member of the Fort Worth Rowing Club.
Linda Barry, 63, from OKC RIVERSPORT, was the oldest female participant. She also raced in three events and rowed 15 miles during the regatta.
TEXAS WELL-REPRESENTED AT REGATTA
The state of Texas had 274 entries in the Head of the Oklahoma regatta followed by Oklahoma with 258.
Next on the list was Kansas with 101, Colorado with 29 and Manitoba, Canada, with 25.
Esther Lofgren met President Barack Obama at the White House last month with the rest of the gold-medal winning United States women's eight crew.
“Seeing the president is so cool,” she said. “He is like the biggest celebrity ever.”
But for Lofgren, getting to meet Lionel Richie was just as exciting.
Lofgren is a huge fan of Richie's, who was the musical guest on the Today Show on the same day the rowers appeared on the television program.
Lofgren went out of her way to meet Richie, who sang a song just for her in the green room.
“I was so over the moon,” she said. “I guess he is a big fan of tall women.”
THUMBS UP FOR BACKWARDS
Two-time Olympic gold medalist Caryn Davies said she could relate to the movie “Backwards”, which is showing through Thursday at Crossroads Mall.
The movie is the story of a fiercely competitive rower and the sacrifices she makes trying to make the Olympic team.
The portrayal of rowing in the movie is “relatively accurate,” Davies said. “It's worth seeing, especially if you like rowing.”