Dear <<First Name>>,
Did someone say...
I suppose I should say something about the biggest sporting evening in the world. Obviously our medals tally at the Olympics isn't what it was but I think we need to consider this calmly. We know a lot of seasoned and experienced competitors left rowing after Rio so we do have a number of new-ish people in the squad. I suspect those that know would say that they were expecting something of a knock-back after a long run of success to which we've sort of become accustomed and that Paris is probably the start of the next round of rowing expectation.
And if you look at the results wider than just medals we achieved more just-off-the-medal positions than any other country; some by a fraction of a second — 5cm over 2k is just unlucky, half a breath. And well done, I say, to Helen and Polly for a jolly good try. And all the others who I know have given their all.
I must say, although perhaps I shouldn't, that I don't like the moaning from some people looking to place blame for not getting what they seemed to feel entitled. We know we lost a brilliant coach and that the new brooms are trying something different but ultimately even a brilliant coach isn't in the boat and if you 'only' get bronze instead of gold — sorry but who's bum was on the seat or foot in the shoe?
Anyway I just hope the negative and somewhat snide media reaction, delighting in the disappointment we feel, doesn't damage grass roots rowing which is still strong and proud.
And members will be interested to know that Weybridge's Mat Tarrant, of whom I am proud to say I was part of the team that taught him to row, was out there in Japan although sadly not in the Men's Eight where a number of us think he should have been. But what do I know...