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BEIJING Former UVa rower Lindsay Shoop was part of the winning United States women’s eight crew Sunday at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, as the Americans earned the gold medal in the event with a time of 6:05.34.

Shoop, a Charlottesville native and two-time All-American in 2003 and 2004, rowed in the second seat in the crew. The U.S. stormed into the final race with impressive heat wins and dominated the final race from start to finish.

Three-time Olympic champion Romania was third at the 500m mark and moved into second at the 1500m mark, holding a three second lead over the Netherlands and a one second lead over Canada. But Romania couldn’t hold their lead in the final 500 meters and conceded silver to the Netherlands by just 0.03 seconds. Rowing for the Netherlands was Marlies Smulders, who rowed one year for Virginia in 2001 and earned All-America honors.

Another former rower at Virginia, Melanie Kok, was a bronze medalist in the lightweight women’s double sculls for Canada. Kok and her teammate Tracy Cameron finished third with a time of 6:56.68. The Netherlands won the gold (6:54.74), while Finland took the silver (6:56.03). Kok graduated in 2007 and was an All-American for UVa.

Wyatt Allen
, a 2001 Virginia graduate, also won a bronze medal with the United States men’s eight crew. The Americans had a time of 5:25.34, while Canada won gold (5:23.89) and Great Britain took silver (5:25.11). Allen’s bronze medal was a follow-up to his gold medal in the men’s eight at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece.

In all, four rowers with Virginia ties earned medals at the 2008 Olympic Games. Of all Division I universities represented in rowing at the Olympics, UVa’s four medals ranks first.

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