6 October 2018
In a press release, USRowing announces that Andrew Campbell and Vicky Opitz have been selected as the 2018 winners of the USRowing Senior Male and Female Athletes of the Year, respectively.
Selected by national team athletes and coaches who competed at the 2018 World Rowing Championships in Plovdiv, Bulgaria, Campbell and Opitz will be honored at the 2018 Golden Oars Gala on Thursday, 15 November, at the New York Athletic Club’s Manhattan location.
With a total of 12 national teams under his belt, including the 2016 Olympic Games, Campbell has persevered in the sport. Most recently, Campbell made a trip to the medal stand in the lightweight men’s single at the 2018 World Rowing Championships, mirroring his bronze medal finish from 2012 in Plovdiv. His involvement with the U.S. national team dates back to 2009, when he competed at the World Rowing Under 23 Championships as a 17-year-old.
‘It’s an honor to be recognized by my peers in the rowing community. It’s been a pleasure this year, coming back into the sport,’ said Campbell. ‘Getting to see all of the faces that were there when I left and just the enthusiasm for rowing in the national team community has been a huge force in bringing me back. I’m really grateful that I got the opportunity to compete on such a high level this summer and am looking forward to competing more in the years to come.’
The Connecticut native began rowing in 2005 for Maritime Rowing Club, competing at several USRowing Youth National Championships, including first-place finishes in the single and lightweight double sculls in 2010. He then went on to row lightweight for Harvard University, where he raced in the first varsity eight in 2013 and 2014.
Racing at her fourth World Rowing Championships, Opitz rowed in the women’s eight this year, helping the boat reclaim their world title, while also doubling up to race the women’s pair to a ninth place finish. Previously, she was a member of the women’s eight from 2013 to 2015, winning three consecutive World Championship gold medals.
‘I feel incredibly honored,’ said Opitz. ‘There were so many well-deserving female athletes on the team this year. I feel very honored to be selected among all of these amazing candidates. The team was awesome this year and I’m just happy to have been a part of it.’
Prior to a sidelining injury in 2017, Opitz served as a spare for the 2016 Olympic Games. At the 2013 World Rowing Cup III, she rowed in the eight that set a world record time which still stands today. Opitz first began rowing in 2006 at the University of Wisconsin, where both of her parents rowed. She was a part of the first-ever Wisconsin Big Ten rowing championship, Wisconsin’s highest finish at the South-Central Regatta and the highest team finish of seventh at the NCAA Championships.
In addition to the Senior Athletes of the Year, the 2018 Golden Oars Gala will honor the under 19 and under 23 national team athletes of the year, as well as the 2018 USRowing Medal of Honor recipient, David Grant.