Rower Susan Francia C’04 G’04 captures second Olympic gold medal

How strong is Penn’s Olympic tradition?

We got a good glimpse of it Thursday in England when one Penn rowing Olympic medal-winner (Anita DeFrantz L’77) put a gold medal around the neck of another Penn rowing Olympic medal-winner (Susan Francia C’04, G’04).

Moments before the emotional ceremony, Francia had captured gold in her second straight Olympics when her women’s eight team outlasted second-place Canada and third-place Netherlands in a dominating wire-to-wire victory in the 2,000-meter finals, repeating their championship performance at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.

On the medal stand, the announcer said Francia seemed “happiest of them all,” and he was probably right. It’s been a tough journey for her, after all, as she had to fight back from a severe herniated disk and broken ribs to earn her spot in the women’s eight boat for a second consecutive Olympics.

But there she was in England, smiling ear to ear and collecting a second gold medal from DeFrantz, who captained the women’s eight to bronze at the 1976 Olympics and later became the first female vice president of the International Olympic Committee.

With her back-to-back Olympic victories, Francia becomes the first Penn athlete to win two gold medals since William Arthur Carr C’33 did it in track 80 years ago.

Before Francia, the last Penn alum to win gold was wrestler Brandon Slay in 2000. Slay is back in the 2012 Olympics as a Team USA wrestling coach.

Penn, which has had a representative in every Summer Olympics since 1900, now owns at least 26 gold medals and at least 82 total medals.

5 Comments

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5 responses to “Rower Susan Francia C’04 G’04 captures second Olympic gold medal

  1. Pingback: Penn’s Got Game | Frankly Penn

  2. Pingback: Under the Button » Penn Alum Wins Gold In London

  3. bardzo fajny artykuł, będę częście[http://www.bike-on.pl/linki.php]j wpadała na niego :) a co sądzisz o rowerach? Oraz podrózach rowerowych napisz o tym jakiś artykuł :)

  4. Pingback: You’ve seen this Penn Alum’s “Apple” commercials during the Olympics | Penntertainment

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