Several of the largest medals manufacturers in the US have announced plans and tooling to allow for the engraving of asterisks onto 2021 medals and regatta trophies, a response to the unusual regatta attendance this year.
"Many regatta organizers have contacted us about making changes to their medals, but are obviously looking to limit their cost exposure," said Debbie Cuartnau, a representative for Medals-r-Us, a major rowing medals supplier in the Midwest. "Sticking a bunch of asterisks on a medal is actually not that big a deal."
Traditionalists are fretting about the changes. "After waiting almost two years to get back to racing, the last thing I want to worry about is what the awards look like," said college coach Rick Bowman. "We have to get to race a championship, otherwise the athletes are gonna tear the boathouse down."
Per a report in the Yale Daily News, the oldest collegiate daily in the US, Yale Athletics has offered to cover the cost of engraving all IRA medals and trophies with asterisks this year. "It's a special year in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic," said a Yale Athletics spokesperson, "and we simply wanted to ensure that this solemn occasion was properly remembered."
Meanwhile, a report that the University of Washington had offered to send a Brinks truck to take unmodified IRA medals directly to
Seattle Mercer, NJ, site of the 2021 IRA regatta, could not be confirmed at press time.