Ron Harvey, ASM1x (second place in B final for eighth place overall)
“It was a good race. I worked on pacing it better today and I think it worked out really well. I kind of dulled myself into the race, trying to pull back on the New Zealand guy. Spain was up ahead, and then his strap came loose, unfortunately for him. Then all of a sudden, he was behind, which was surprising. I feel bad that he had an equipment problem right at the end.
“I thought it was a good complete race, and probably the best one I put together here (at the Paralympics). It’s been a really nice event. Fortunately, the weather has been cooperative for three days, so we had really good water for all three days of racing.
“I’m looking forward to hanging out and watching other events now, just enjoying the Paralympics. I’d like see some athletics, see the stadium, maybe some swimming. It seems like the velodrome has been popular, so I’d like to check that out. We get to go to closing ceremonies, which will be nice since we missed the opening ceremonies.
“Then I need to go home (to Long Beach) and take care of my back for a little while. I hurt it a few months ago and I need to heal properly. I’ll figure out from there what I’m going to do for future racing.”
Rob Jones, stroke TA2x (bronze medal)
“I feel really tired, actually. My whole body hurts. We were behind – I couldn’t really tell where we were. At the end, we just started to sprint and pulled ahead. We were able to catch (Great Britain), but we didn’t quite catch France and China. I thought we were pretty close. She said we were second to last going into 600 meters. I knew that was the time to empty the bank account of all the work we’ve been doing the last eight months. So we just emptied it out. Luckily, it was enough.
“It wasn’t the result we really wanted – we wanted first-place, but we’re certainly proud of making the top three, especially since we’re the smallest crew here, and the least experienced crew here. It’s just really gratifying to be able to do this well. It’s only our second international race. First one with a full field, so it’s been great."
On taking up the sport of rowing: “It’s been awesome. The reason I got into this sport, and the reason I get into any sport is to challenge myself to do the best I can against other people that have that same will power, that same drive, and are just as equally skilled as I am. So it’s great to be able to compete against people that same motivations and the same attitude.”
On emotions leading up to today: “A lot of nerves. A lot of twisting and turning the night before. A lot of motivational videos. We watched our coach Brad Lewis’ 1984 race a bunch of times. I watched Alexi Grewal win in 1984 in cycling (the first American man to win a gold medal in road cycling). A lot of stuff to remind me of what it takes to win at this level.
“I think today was the first time I heard the crowd. I was always expecting the crowd to give me an extra boost, but it never does, because I think I’m already red-lined. The environment is great, having all the competitors around really pushes you to do better. Having such support from fans is great.
“My motivation today was first, to win one for the United States. That’s the most important thing to me. Second was to make good on everybody that’s helped us out in the last eight months since my injury, and before that. I just wanted to make them proud, and do good by them. Third, it’s been her (Oksana’s) dream for a really long time and I’m happy to help her out with that. Fourth, this is something I really wanted to do.”
Oksana Masters, bow TA2x (bronze medal)
“I’m not crying. I promise not to cry. I feel pretty amazing. I thought we came in fourth, I had no idea. I’m speechless, this is unreal. We’ve (Rob and I) have been together for less than a year. It’s just unbelievable.
“I’m pretty stoked, pretty happy. It’s been an unreal experience. This is the best of the best in every boat, and I am just so happy and thankful to be able to be here at this high of level.
“I think we knew what we wanted to do today. I wanted to at least medal. Wherever it was going to be, I was going to be fine with it. I was pretty confident in my abilities and wanted to stay as calm and relaxed as possible.
“My biggest inspiration and motivation, I don’t know. I really wanted to prove everyone wrong. I’ve been told I’m too small to be an athlete, especially a Paralympian or a higher-level athlete. I want people to see that no matter what size you are, you can be just as good of an athlete. If you dream hard enough, your dreams will come true. For me, all this hard work has paid off.
“I’m definitely never going to stop rowing. I love rowing. I don’t know where I’m going to go competition-wise. I don’t know what’s next. I’m just going to live in this moment right now and see what happens. I’m definitely going to celebrate and take it all in.”
Alex Stein, coxswain LTA4+ (sixth place overall)
On their sixth-place finish: “We knew that everyone was going to be fast off the line, so we just wanted to go out and be in contention, put forth a full effort, hampering it out right from the start. We just came up short, but I think we feel good, because we put it all on the line. It didn’t yield what we were hoping for.
“It’s really exciting for Paralympic and adaptive sport, that things are as fast as they are. We need more people to be aware of adaptive rowing in the U.S., come out and try it. I think that’s what I’m energized about right now, that we can grow. We have four fantastic athletes in the boat now, and we’re looking for more people to push them and compete for these seats. They delivered today, but we can be faster. We need people to pay attention.”
Eleni Englert, stroke LTA4+ (sixth place overall)
“I went out with everything I had. I’m tired, I feel like I did everything I possibly could and we finished sixth. I think we were really excited. The other crews had us off the line.”
On what’s next: “We’re moving to the main athlete village, and I’m going to check out goal ball. There’s a cyclist that’s going to UW and I want to see if I can find him. I start school (at the University of Washington) on the 24th. I’m super excited, I’ve met all the coaches and I think it’s going to be great coming off this and then, to just start right up there. To be around people that I think are way better than me, can only help me get better if I try this (adaptive national team) out again.”