Feb. 6, 2009
NEW YORK - Nearly 200 alumni/ae, parents and friends of Yale Crew, one of the largest turnouts in recent memory, attended the annual Yale Crew Association dinner at the Yale Club of New York City on Thursday night. One of the highlights of the evening came when heavyweight coach John Pescatore showed off Stillman Rockefeller's gold medal from the 1924 Olympics, which has been donated to Yale and will be displayed in the Kiphuth Trophy Room of Payne Whitney Gym.
Rockefeller, a 1924 Yale graduate, captained the Bulldogs to the gold medal in eight-man heavyweight crew at the 1924 Summer Games on the Seine River in Paris. The crew set the Olympic record at the time and won by open water over Canada.
"Dirtiest river I've ever seen," Rockefeller told Dave Solomon of the New Haven Register in 2002. "We had to row through garbage. It was not a pretty river from a rowing point of view."
Rockefeller was featured on the cover of the July 7, 1924, edition of Time Magazine. He died at the age of 102 in the summer of 2004. At the time of his death, he was the oldest living Olympic gold medalist.
The dinner also featured speeches from Pescatore, lightweight coach Andy Card and women's coach Will Porter, who each entertained the crowd with stories, talked about the upcoming season and recognized their seniors. Crew Association President Peter Nordell `88 served as the master of ceremonies.
In addition, Hart Perry and Tom Weil `70 spoke about the Rowing Hall of Fame in Mystic, Conn., and its many Yale connections.
All three Yale crews will begin the spring season in March.
Report filed by Tim Bennett, Yale Sports Publicity