John Nunn – 1968 Olympic medalist
John Nunn is a living legend – a US Rowing sculler who took bronze in 1968 at the Mexico City games where many struggled in the high altitude. He tells us some of his best rowing stories. Every Games has its dramas but John came face to face with burnout during his Olympic final.
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Timestamps to the show
03:20 Introduction and background to rowing. From playing cricket in high school to Cornell recruited by Bill Stowe.
09:00 Michigan training for Mexico games. I put a 50lb sandbag in the front seat of a tandem kayak
12:00 Training in 1x there’s so much more technique in a scull. Training at Longbeach CA
16:20 Meeting Lee Iaccoca at Ford (Ford vs Ferrari Movie) in Summer 1965.
18:30 How I met Bill Maher, my 2x partner on the Detroit river
21:00 Trials for ’68 were in Longbeach on the 1932 Olympic rowing course. My starboard pin was bent.
27:22 We won the 2x trials and went to Mexico as Olympians. We did altitude training at Gunnison Colorado.
31:00 People were passing out all over the place once we started competition in Mexico
35:00 Our Olympic 2x final. Nobody knew when to start racing – it was really easy for first 500m. The Dutch decided to go for it – we were slow to respond
41:00 Becoming a coach at USC. There was a womens rowing announcement from FISA that the Olympics in 1976 would have womens rowing for the first time. I decided to row myself and coach the women at the same time.
46:00 Jim Dietz was the 1x and I watched his heat when he raced Sean Drea from Ireland – It was a ripping headwind
51:00 I meet the Romanian 1x on the bus to the course. He tells me he’s thinking of defecting and needs my help to get his suitcase out of his room at the Athletes Village.