A pair of Wisconsin rowing standouts will be reunited in Beijing for the 2008 Olympic Summer Games when Beau Hoopman and Micah Boyd compete for Team USA. The duo, named to the team on Friday by USRowing, will make up one quarter of the rowers in the U.S. mens eight.
The naming of the two Badgers extends an impressive streak for Wisconsin men's rowing. The Badger program has now had at least one men's rowing Olympian in 11 consecutive Summer Olympics dating back to the 1968 Mexico City Games.
Hoopman, who won gold with the mens eight during 2004 in Athens, Greece, originally hails from Plymouth, Wis. Part of the eight that set the worlds fastest time over 2000 meters at the 2004 games, Hoopman will sit as the two seat for the 2008 games. A walk-on to the Badgers in 1999, he is now a veteran of eight U.S. national teams.
During his Badger career, Hoopman captained the Badgers to the 2002 Eastern Sprints varsity eight title, the Badgers first since the inaugural event in 1946. He also helped the UW win its fourth consecutive Ten Eyck Trophy as team champion at the 2002 Intercollegiate Rowing Association national championships. His varsity eight placed second at the same national championships.
Boyd, who will sit four seat for the mens eight at the Olympics, makes his second national team appearance. A St. Paul, Minn., native, Boyd rowed in the same boat at Wisconsin with Hoopman in 2002 and 2003.
As a sophomore, Boyd sat five seat for the UWs Eastern Sprints varsity eight title and national runner-up finish. He went on to captain the team in 2003 as a junior. That year, Hoopmans senior campaign, the UW varsity eight placed fourth at the national championships.
In addition to both serving the Badgers as team captains, both Hoopman and Boyd won the UWs Randall T. Jablonic Award as MVP of the freshmen rowing team and went on to win the Norman R. Sonju Award which is given annually to an oarsman making an outstanding contribution to the success of the UW crew program in leadership, dedication and sportsmanlike attitude.
Former Badger rower Matt Imes will also make the trip to Beijing as one of the teams assistant coaches. Imes will direct the men's four. Former Wisconsin womens openweight rower Elpi Pagitsas will serve as team manager.
Rowing at the 2008 Olympic Games begins August 9 and runs through August 17. Finals are set for August 16-17. The competition will take place at the Shunyi Olympic Rowing-Canoeing Park, located in Mapo Town in the Shunyi district of Beijing. The rowing course is located about 45 kilometers outside of downtown Beijing. The venue also will host the flat-water and slalom canoe-kayak competitions.