Caryn Davies
Caryn Davies after winning Gold in the Beijing Olympics.jpg
Caryn Davies after winning gold in the Beijing Olympics
Personal information
BornApril 14, 1982 (1982-04-14) (age 40)
Ithaca, New York, U.S.
Medal record
Women's rowing
Representing the  United States
Olympic Games
Gold medal – first place 2008 Beijing Women's eight
Gold medal – first place 2012 London Women's eight
Silver medal – second place 2004 Athens Women's eight
World Rowing Championships
Gold medal – first place 2002 Seville Women's eight
Gold medal – first place 2003 Milan Women's four w/o cox
Gold medal – first place 2006 Eton, UK Women's eight
Gold medal – first place 2007 Munich Women's eight
World Rowing Cup
Gold medal – first place 2004 Munich Women's eight
Gold medal – first place 2004 Lucerne Women's eight
Gold medal – first place 2008 Lucerne Women's eight
Gold medal – first place 2011 Lucerne Women's eight
Gold medal – first place 2012 Lucerne Women's eight
Silver medal – second place 2006 Lucerne Women's eight
Bronze medal – third place 2004 Munich Women's pair
Bronze medal – third place 2005 Munich Women's quad sculls

Caryn Davies (born April 14, 1982 in Ithaca, New York) is an American rower. She won gold medals as the stroke seat in women's eight at the 2012 Summer Olympics and the 2008 Summer Olympics.[1][2][3] In April 2015 Davies stroked Oxford University to victory in the first ever women's Oxford/Cambridge boat race held on the same stretch of the river Thames in London where the men's Oxford/Cambridge race has been held since 1829.[4][5][6] She was the most highly decorated Olympian to take part in either [men's or women's] race.[7] In 2012 Davies was ranked number 4 in the world by the International Rowing Federation. At the 2004 Olympic Games she won a silver medal in the women's eight.[2] Davies has won more Olympic medals than any other U.S. oarswoman.[8] The 2008 U.S. women's eight, of which she was a part, was named FISA (International Rowing Federation) crew of the year. Davies is from Ithaca, New York, where she graduated from Ithaca High School, and rowed with the Cascadilla Boat Club. Davies was on the Radcliffe College (Harvard) Crew Team and was a member on Radcliffe's 2003 NCAA champion Varsity 8, and overall team champion.[9] In 2013, she was a visiting student at Pembroke College, Oxford, where she stroked the college men's eight to a victory in both Torpids (spring intercollegiate races) and the Oxford University Summer Eights races (for the first time in Oxford rowing history).[10] In 2013–14 Davies took up Polynesian outrigger canoeing in Hawaii, winning the State novice championship and placing 4th in the long distance race na-wahine-o-ke-kai with her team from the Outrigger Canoe Club.[11] In 2013, she was inducted into the New York Athletic Club Hall of Fame. She has served as a Vice President of the U.S. Olympians Association[12] and as athletes' representative to the Board of USRowing.

Davies has a degree from Harvard University (A.B. Psychology, 2005), a J.D. (Doctor of Law) from Columbia Law School (2013) and an MBA from Oxford University (2015). Davies is the most decorated Harvard Olympian in any sport.[8] During 2013–2014, Davies served as a clerk to Judge Richard Clifton of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit in Honolulu, Hawaii. She is currently an attorney with Goodwin Procter in Boston, Massachusetts.[13]

Early career

Davies was recruited into rowing at 12 years of age. She started rowing competitively a year later in Australia in 1996, at the Friends' School in Hobart. A local rowing club also recruited her into single sculling, where groups of teenagers launched off a beach into tidal estuarine waters. Within six months she was the Tasmanian under-15 single sculls champion. Returning from Australia she continued with Cascadilla Boat Club and the Ithaca High School rowing team. In 1998, as a 16-year-old she competed in the world's biggest rowing race, the Head of the Charles in Boston. Because she had already placed in the top three in a junior race at the Canadian Henley the summer before the race, officials insisted on placing her, as the only junior, into the championship category of top senior international rowers; she put up a creditable performance by placing 16th. The following summer (1999) she made her first national team, coming second in the US junior eight in Plovdiv, Bulgaria, followed by a gold medal in a four at the junior world championships in Zagreb, Croatia, in 2000, the first gold medal ever by US Junior women.[2][14] She also won the prestigious Stotesbury cup regatta and the Scholastic Rowing Association single sculls in both 1999 and 2000, and the USRowing Youth invitational in 2000, placing her as the top US junior female rower at the time she left high school. Caryn's brother Kenneth also represented the US as a junior rower, and well as rowing at Cornell University, achieving the position of Commodore of the Cornell Crew in his senior year and receiving All Ivy Academic Honors for all four years.

College and world championships

Davies rowed for Harvard from 2001–2003,[9] leading the team to an NCAA championship in 2003, and again in 2005, after taking a year off for the Olympics. She has again taken a year off from Columbia Law School to compete in 2012.[15] Most national team training has been based in Princeton, New Jersey, where the US women's team shares a boathouse and a lake with Princeton University, whereas winter training was based in San Diego.

Davies has the ability to row starboard, port, or scull at an international level.[16] At 6' 4" she was the tallest member of the U.S. Women's National Team. She was part of the U.S. Olympic women's eight that set a world record in the heat prior to a silver medal in the final in Athens, Greece. She was stroking the eight that repeated the feat in the World Cup in Lucerne in May 2012. As the most experienced oarsperson on the U.S. women's team she acted as a guiding figure: "Remember it's just like the World Championships – the same people doing the same thing – but with more flags."[17]

As of 2019, Davies has won the C.R.A.S.H-Bs three times: first as a junior in 2000,[18] next in the open category in 2005, and in 2019 (at a rowing age of 37), she again won the open category.[19] She serves as the athlete demonstrating rowing technique in video for the Concept II rowing-machine.[20] Davies also promotes youth fitness through World Fit and gives inspirational talks to youth groups.[21]

Davies' hobbies include travel, sailing, downhill skiing, horseback riding, yoga, and ballroom dancing.[2][17] In high school, she competed for several years in competitive downhill skiing, reaching a 7th place in giant slalom in New York State. As a senior at Harvard, she competed on the ballroom team.

Competitive history

International results


Junior international


C.R.A.S.H.-Bs: World Indoor Rowing Championship

National results


Junior national


See also


  1. ^ "U.S. Wins Another Gold in Women’s Eight". The New York Times. Juliet Macur. August 2, 2012. Retrieved August 2, 2012.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "Athlete Bio: Caryn Davies" Archived June 20, 2012, at the Wayback Machine. USRowing. Retrieved June 24, 2012.
  3. ^ "USRowing Announces Final Olympic Lineups" Archived April 7, 2016, at the Wayback Machine. USRowing. June 22, 2012. Retrieved June 24, 2012.
  4. ^ "English boating tradition modernized a bit by adding women". CBS News. Charlie D'Agata. April 15, 2015. Retrieved April 18, 2015.
  5. ^ "Rowing’s Caryn Davies Goes Out In Style". Team USA. April 15, 2015. Retrieved April 18, 2015.
  6. ^ "Caryn Davies to be part of history-making boat race". Ithaca Journal. Tom Fleischman. April 1, 2015. Retrieved April 6, 2015.
  7. ^ "Boat Race 2015: Historic moment for Oxford and Cambridge at weigh-in for men's and women's crews". The Telegraph. Rachel Quarrell. March 19, 2015. Retrieved March 22, 2015.
  8. ^ a b "Day 6 at the London Olympics: Gold for Davies '05 and Lofgren '09". The Harvard Crimson. Alexander Koenig. August 2, 2012. Retrieved August 2, 2012.
  9. ^ a b c "Golden Girl at Full Power: Caryn Davies". Harvard Magazine. Craig Lambert. July–August 2003. Retrieved June 24, 2012.
  10. ^ a b "ROWING: Olympic star helps Pembroke to victory". Oxford Mail. May 31, 2013. Retrieved May 31, 2013.
  11. ^ "Va’a – Na Wahine O Ke Kai". Bora Bora Insider. Roderick Page. September 21, 2014. Retrieved March 22, 2015.
  12. ^ "United States Olympians Association Leadership Team: 2009–2012". Team USA. Archived from the original on April 24, 2012. Retrieved June 24, 2012..
  13. ^ "Caryn P. Davies". Goodwin Procter LLP. Retrieved April 9, 2018.
  14. ^ a b c "Caryn Davies". World Rowing. Archived from the original on August 30, 2013.((cite web)): CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  15. ^ "Pressing pause: Davies, who won gold in 2008 as a member of the U.S. women's eight rowing team, took a break from law school to pursue a trip to London". Los Angeles Times. Lisa Dillman. July 13, 2012. Retrieved July 14, 2012.
  16. ^ "Davies rows in Head of Charles". Boston Globe. October 17, 2006. Retrieved June 24, 2012.
  17. ^ a b "Caryn Davies – Four Years Later". Row2K. August 7, 2008. Retrieved June 24, 2012.
  18. ^ a b "Crash B 2000". Rowing News. February 2000. Retrieved June 24, 2012.
  19. ^ "Olympic Champion is top indoor rower at C.R.A.S.H-B's". Retrieved August 14, 2019.
  20. ^ Technique video: Caryn Davies. Concept II. Retrieved June 24, 2012.
  21. ^ "TEDxYouth@Bruce – Caryn Davies: The Team Machine". YouTube. April 18, 2012. Retrieved June 24, 2012.
  22. ^ "C.R.A.S.H.-B. Sprints | Time-Team". Retrieved February 18, 2019.
  23. ^ "Crash B 2005". Rowing News. April 2005. Retrieved June 24, 2012.
  24. ^ [1], BBC video of the 2015 Women's Oxford/Cambridge Boat Race, accessed May 20, 2017