Caryn Davies felt relief after the United States women's eight rowing crew won Olympic gold in London. Teammate Esther Lofgren felt jubilation.
The former Harvard rowers and Olympic gold medalists were in Oklahoma City on Saturday and Sunday to sign autographs at the Head of the Oklahoma Regatta.
Davies was a member of the last three U.S. women's eight crews. She won a silver medal with the boat in the 2004 Olympic Games and struck gold in 2008.
In 2012, the Ithaca, N.Y., native admitted feeling pressure to win in London.
“The U.S. women's eight hadn't lost a major regatta since 2006,” she said. “You start to feel the pressure. I'm told the bookies were offering, not great odds on us, but if you were to bet on us you wouldn't get a lot of money in return.
“In 2008, we were the underdogs. In 2012, we had to live up to expectations, and we were able to do that, which I am proud of.”
For Lofgren, a native of Long Beach, Calif., crossing the finish line in first place in London was a more joyous moment.
“I was one of the last women to get cut from the 2008 boat, so I have been working at this for seven years,” she said.
“Being a part of this crew the last few years has been really, really special. It was definitely very, very memorable. I don't think it cannot be.”
London was Davies' final time in the Olympic Games. A third-year law student at Columbia University, Davies has achieved her Olympic dream and will not attempt to make the U.S. women's eight crew for a fourth consecutive time in 2016.
“I am going to get a job and start earning some money and move on with life,” Davies said. “I am tired of being poor. Rowing is not a very high-profile sport so we can't pull in the million dollar sponsors like somebody like Michael Phelps can.
“I'm 30 now. I think it is time to have my own place and have a job and maybe start a family.”
Lofgren, 27, is undecided on whether to go for gold again in 2016.
“I need to get a real job for a little bit,” she said. “There is a lot of other life outside of rowing. I haven't made up my mind. I am leaving the door open.”