No one is technically unbeatable, but it seems that there is one U.S. women's team that is pretty friggin' close. The U.S. women's eight rowing team won a third straight Olympic gold medal on Saturday, beating out Great Britain — who took the silver — and Romania, who came in third. The win was a stunning continuation of the team's legacy, which could qualify them as the U.S.'s best Olympic team.
The U.S. team finished 2 seconds ahead of the second place Great Britain, pulling through the 2,000-meter race with a time of 6 minutes, 1.49 seconds. That finish was the 11th straight world and Olympic titles for the U.S. women's rowing team in as many years. And competition was fierce: Romania was the last team aside from the United States to win the Olympic gold in 2004.
The U.S. boat overtook early race leaders Canada and and the Netherlands, not losing their cool despite trailing the teams initially. "You could feel all nine of us fighting to push our bow ball forward, push our bow ball forward, and it was our goal to stay very internal, because we knew that it was going to be a tight race," team member Meghan Musnicki told NBC. "It was very important for us to listen to [coxswain Katelin Snyder] and do it as one. We had a heat where we were pretty far out, and we knew that this was not going to be the same way."
This was 28-year-old Snyder's Olympic debut, and she was able to guide the team to gold. The coxswain, who doesn't actually row, is in charge of leading the team and understanding the boat's position in the race. Snyder, apparently, has a knack for it. The win was undoubtedly a bittersweet moment for Snyder, who was cut from the 2010 national team before going to London, and then lost her brother, Jake, to cancer shortly thereafter. She told Time: "This feels way better than it would have had I made the team in London. I learned so much from getting cut. Personally, I learn a lot more from my failures than I do from my mistakes."
Team member Elle Logan snagged her third consecutive gold with the team, and Musnicki snatched her second. If all goes according to plan (or, you know, follows recent history), the U.S. team will continue to dominate lagoons for many years to come.