Barcelona 1992: Oarsome Foursome – Rowing
Featuring veteran reporters Tim Webster, Katrina Lee and George Neugus, this TEN Eyewitness News coverage centres on the famous Oarsome Foursome win in the Men’s Coxless Four at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.
As noted in Neugus’s commentary, the team – consisting of James Tomkins, Nick Green, Mike McKay and Andrew Cooper – overtook their American rivals in the first half of the race. They then staved off a spirited challenge from Slovenia to win gold.
The achievement was particularly special for the quartet after their poor performances in the lead-up regattas. Struggling to hold off the likes of America, the Netherlands and Slovenia, the Oarsome Foursome needed to make some changes if they were to compete for a medal at Barcelona.
In addition to a month-long intensive training camp, the team decided on a seat swap between Cooper and Green, and the implementation of short, cleaver-like blades to their rowing boat. These tactics proved successful, the team bouncing back to win the ultimate prize in Barcelona.
The inclusion of footage from the race itself, edited with the post-race interview with lead rower James Tomkins (while still on the boat), helps to capture the intensity and magnitude of the moment.
The overwhelming achievement enjoyed by the team is further emphasised in the last few shots – where the four Olympians sing lines of the national anthem, followed by cheers and celebrations.
Following their successes in Barcelona, the Oarsome Foursome became a household name. The crew also appeared in playful, amusing and now iconic Goulburn Valley canned fruit commercials.
Excerpt from TEN Eyewitness News Sydney, 3 August 1992.