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    Sunday, August 10, 2008

    Olympics Day 2: Masslete Elliot Hovey: Rowing

    Today's Masslete of the Day is Manchester By The Sea native Elliot Hovey. Elliot is a rower who grew up in Mass, but trains in Alameda, CA. Check out the stuff on Elliot.

    A year of firsts
    Elliot Hovey not only makes his Olympic debut in Beijing in the men's double sculls, but the 2008 Olympic regatta will be his first international competition, as this is his first year on the national team. A New England native, Hovey rowed for the University of California, Berkeley, and continued the sport with the California Rowing Club after college. In 2008 he and his sculling partner West Piermarini finished fourth at the second national selection regatta and first at Olympic team trials.

    From the sweep to the sculls
    A member of the varsity eight at Berkeley, Hovey and his teammates won the Pac-10 Championships and the IRA Championships in 2006. Upon graduating with a degree in American Studies that same year, Hovey continued rowing at the California Rowing Club, where he learned how to scull from Australian Olympic veteran Tim McLaren; "Tim has taught me so much about how to be a rower, an athlete and a human being," Hovey said.

    Teaming up
    McLaren had Hovey rowing in the single sculls until Wes Piermarini arrived in the fall of 2007. Because they were of similar size and shape, the two started sculling together. "We rowed differently and Tim is always telling us to do tweak things so we'll row more similarly," Hovey said. Not having known each other for long, Hovey says they try to get together outside of practice: "We live on different sides of town, but we'll grab a pizza now and then."

    Rowing tradition
    Hovey started rowing ten years ago as a freshman at the Salisbury school in Connecticut. Having played football and ice hockey in the fall and winter seasons, springtime came around and he thought rowing would be fun. Drawn to the history and tradition behind rowing, he also enjoyed the camaraderie among teammates, and being out on the water. He says his passion for the sport was fortified by his high school coach, Dick Curtis.

    Athletic family
    Athletic since childhood, Hovey started downhill skiing when he was three years old. By the time he was eight, he was racing, and continued until he was a sophomore in high school. His older sister, Averill, 28, also skied, but was most successful as a lacrosse player at the University of Denver. She is now the head lacrosse coach at the University of Colorado, Boulder.

    Outside of rowing
    When Hovey isn't rowing, he helps out around the rowing club, and enjoys telemark skiing, golf and fly-fishing. After the Olympics he hopes to work in finance.

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