Göran R Buckhorn writes:
Yesterday, Monday 19 October, rowing historian Bill Lanouette sent me an enthusiastic e-mail saying that he just read an article about rowing in The New York Times. Now that is a rare thing! As I have earlier complained here on HTBS about the lack of rowing coverage in NYT, I stopped on my way home from the office to pick up a copy of the paper. Not only was there an article about rowing, it was actually published in the paper’s sport section – you might think that the latter is an odd remark, however, the few articles on rowing that have been published in NYT during recent years have been in other sections, obituary (Allen Rosenberg), “Time Magazine” and the New England section.
But here it was in the Monday paper, and it even got a blurb on the “SportsMonday” front page.
What was the article about then? Tom Terhaar, the U.S women’s coach, was interviewed about the U.S. women’s great success at the World Championships at Lake Aiguebelette in France in the beginning of September. The women’s eight won gold for the tenth consecutive time, either in a World Championships event or the Olympic Games, ‘a phenomenal streak of superiority in any sport’, NYT states, something that no rowing nation has managed to achieve, not even steroid-pumped crews from the DDR in the 1970s and 1980s.
Not only was I happy to read about Coach Terhaar and the U.S. women’s fantastic successes at different rowing venues around the world during a decade, what pleased me most was that the article was so well-written. The piece was scripted by Juliet Macur, who is a Sports of the Times columnist since 2013. According to Macur’s bio on the NYT website, she has covered Olympic sports and the Olympic Games, ‘doping and legal issues since 2004’. And, most importantly (for HTBS, at least), while at Barnard College, she was the captain of the Columbia University rowing team. In other words, here we finally have a newspaper sport journalist who knows her stuff about rowing. Finally, I also have to mention how extremely blissful I am to have read a rowing article without Americanisms like ‘crew’ in the meaning of ‘row’ – as in the terrible ‘I crew’.
Please, Ms. Macur write more about rowing in the NYT! And while we wait, her article “U.S. Women’s Rowing Coach Says Secret Is Depth of the Talent Pool” is here.