Aug. 13, 2016
By Alan Wasielewski:
Amanda Polk, a 2008 Notre Dame graduate and four-time All-American with the Fighting Irish is now an Olympic Champion. Polk was a member of the United States Women’s Eight that powered to victory (6:01:49) in the Grand Finale this morning at Lagao Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
The victory put the U.S. Women’s Eight in rarified air in international competition. The U.S. Rowing Women’s Eight has now won 11 consecutive world titles – every world championship and Olympic title since 2006. An analysis of comparable streaks of teams in international competition leads to the 1963-76 Soviet Union hockey team who won 14 consecutive world titles.
“I am extremely happy for Amanda, her family and the whole U.S. team,” Notre Dame head rowing coach Martin Stone said.
“It was a superb performance at the pinnacle race of our sport.”
— U.S. Olympic Team (@TeamUSA) August 13, 2016
Polk, who just missed out on the 2012 championship roster in London as an alternate, becomes the first Notre Dame rower to earn a gold medal at the Olympics.
Polk completed her Notre Dame career as the most decorated rower in school history. A four-time All-American, 2008 team captain and key member of the 2006 Varsity Eight that earned Notre Dame’s first berth in the NCAA rowing championships, finishing seventh overall. She also led Notre Dame to three consecutive BIG EAST Conference rowing championships in her final three years on the team.
Polk has been a part of the United States national rowing scene since 2004, when she was a member of the U.S. Junior Women’s National Rowing team. She competed on the Under-23 U.S. team in 2008 before moving up to the senior national team. Among her many international rowing accomplishments, Polk won gold in the eight at the 2015, 2014 and 2013 World Rowing Championships. At the 2012 World Rowing Cup 2, she was a member of the gold medal-winning eight, who set a world record time (5:54.17).
There will be more information to come on Polk’s historic day in Rio.
— NBC Olympics (@NBCOlympics) August 13, 2016
Alan Wasielewski is an Associate Athletics Communication Director at the University of Notre Dame and coordinates all media and publicity efforts surrounding the Notre Dame men’s basketball and women’s rowing teams.