Members nearly raised the roof as the Great Britain Women’s eight including Durham ARC life member Jess Eddie crossed the finishing line in the Olympic final at Lagoa de Freitas in Rio de Janeiro on Saturday August 13th.
For the first time ever a GB Women’s eight achieved the distinction of winning an Olympic medal, taking the silver in a photo finish with Romania, only headed by the defending champions from the USA. The club opened the bar for the occasion and welcomed a good turnout of members for a BBQ as the drama unfolded on the big screen, the women’s success being followed up by a gold medal for the GB men’s eight 20 minutes later.
Summing up the achievement DARC general manager Mark Bell said “DARC is so proud of you, enjoy every minute of it”
Speaking to the BBC after the success Jess expressed her delight and praised the support the crew has received from her home city and the club where she learnt to row and where she first competed as a junior.
“It makes me really proud to be able to come here and do that for everyone back there” she said.
Jess was taking part in her third Olympic Games. Now 31 she went to St Leonard’s School in Durham and took up rowing at the age of eight, achieving success with Durham ARC Juniors and representing Great Britain In the World Junior Championships in 2001 while a member of the Club. She now represents London Rowing Club.
The silver medal winning crew comprised Katie Greves, Melanie Wilson, Frances Houghton, Polly Swann, Jess Eddie, Olivia Carnegie Brown, Karen Bennett, Zoe Lee and cox Zoe de Toledo.