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Oklahoma City rowers hope Olympic experience isn't once-in-a-lifetime event

Oklahoma City rowers Will Newell, Robin Prendes and Tom Peszek competed in the 2012 Olympic Games in London. All three will be competing in the Head of the Oklahoma regatta Saturday on the Oklahoma River.
by Ed Godfrey Published: September 28, 2012
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photo - Arne Landboe, front, Seatle Washington, competes in a heat race of the Junior Men's kayak  at the 2012 Oklahoma Regatta Festival on Friday, Sept. 28, 2012 in Oklahoma City, Okla.  Photo by Steve Sisney, The Oklahoman
Arne Landboe, front, Seatle Washington, competes in a heat race of the Junior Men's kayak at the 2012 Oklahoma Regatta Festival on Friday, Sept. 28, 2012 in Oklahoma City, Okla. Photo by Steve Sisney, The Oklahoman

“They certainly got that treatment,” he said. “For us, probably not as much, although definitely more than we were used to.”

All three rowers described the Olympics as an amazing experience. The rowing competition was on Dorney Lake in Eton, so the athletes stayed in a satellite village for the first week of the Olympics.

When the races were completed after the first week, the American rowers and paddlers moved into the main Olympic Village in London and spent the rest of the time attending other events.

“I felt like a tourist, a spectator with an all-access pass to the Olympics,” Newell said. “Going to watch other people who are at the pinnacle of their sport compete, it's just incredible on so many levels.”

Peszek hopes it won't be just a once-in-a-lifetime event. He already is making plans for the 2016 Olympic Games.

“I intend to go,” he said. “Four years is a long time. Anything can happen, but I plan on training with that as my long-term goal.

“I am not embarrassed about how we performed (in London), but at the same time when I came back from London, while some people just want to relax and do nothing for a couple of months, I couldn't get wait to get back to training.

“I kind of had the feeling that I just got my butt kicked and I want to be on the other end of it next time.”

by Ed Godfrey
Copy Editor, Outdoors Editor, Rodeo, River Sports Reporter
Ed Godfrey was born in Muskogee and raised in Stigler. He has worked at The Oklahoman for 25 years. During that time, he has worked a myriad of beats for The Oklahoman including both the federal and county courthouse in Oklahoma City for more...
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