row2k Features
Recording of Bob Moch, Gold Medalist, 1936 USA Men's Olympic Eight, as He Recalls the 1936 Race
January 8, 2024
Ed Hewitt,

Bob Moch, Gold Medalist, 1936 USA Men's Olympic Eight

At an NRF Hall of Fame luncheon in 2000, Kent Mitchell was the moderator for a series of comments by members of seven different USA Olympic gold medal crews.

Among that group was Bob Moch, coxswain for the 1936 USA Olympic men's eight, now known almost ubiquitously as the 'Boys in the Boat.'

Kent recorded the comments with a small tape recorder at the event, and that tape was found a while back among some NRF archives.

Kent digitized the tape, and now you can listen to Bob's comments on Kent's Jamcotimes site, which is also the home to extensive results and split times from 1999-2014.

Read Kent's comments below (or visit his site here) and listen in here.

Kent's full comments:

In 1936 the US Olympic representative in the men's eight was the University of Washington. The rowing competition was in Grunau, Germany, just outside of Berlin. Adolph Hitler, Hermann Goering , Joseph Goebbels and many other Nazi and SS officials were in the stands. Germany won the first five rowing events. The sixth event, the double sculls, was won by Great Britain.

The final event, the eight, pitted the United States against 5 other crews, including Italy, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary and Switzerland. The Washington crew faced daunting odds: a seriously ill man at stroke; a significant deficit in the early going; and a severe crosswind favoring Germany and Italy in lanes 1 and 2 over Great Britain and the United States who were downwind in lanes 5 and 6.

On December 2, 2000, the National Rowing Foundation hosted a luncheon at the Lake Washington Rowing Club for Seattle area members of the Rowing Hall of Fame.

Medalists from seven US crews that won Olympic gold medals between 1936 and 1984 were present and spoke at that luncheon. Among them was Bob Moch, the coxswain of Washington's 1936 eight, whose quest for the Olympic Gold medal has received worldwide acclaim in the recent book "Boys In The Boat" by Daniel James Brown.

I was fortunate to be the moderator at that luncheon, and took a small tape recorder with me to record the comments of these great Olympians. After presenting a short summary of the accomplishments of these crews, I turned the mike over to Bob Moch, who told us about his 1936 race. My tape was only recently re-discovered in the archives of the National Rowing Foundation, and has not been heard by anyone until now.

Listen to the interview and hear Bob relate his memories of that great race.

Kent Mitchell

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