Host City: Paris, France
Venue(s): Argenteuil Basin, Paris
Date Started: July 15, 1924
Date Finished: July 17, 1924
Four medalists from the coxed pairs at the 1920 Summer Olympics returned for the event in Paris. Ercole Olgeni and Giovanni Scatturin of Italy were back to defend the crown that they had earned in Amsterdam with a new partner, Gino Sopracordevole. Bronze medalists Édouard Candeveau and Alfred Felber of Switzerland, meanwhile, brought Émile Lachapelle to try for gold once more. Among five nations, the only non-European entry came from the United States, with the somewhat inexperienced crew of Leon Butler, Harold Wilson, and Ed Jennings. Compared to the strong French trio of Eugène Constant, [Raymond Talleaux], and Marcel Lepan, most observers felt that neither the Americans nor the Belgians would be a factor in this five-nation contest.
In the heats France had the fastest time by almost 4.5 seconds, but the Americans surprised everyone by coming in second. Only Belgium failed to make the final, which was thought to be a shoo-in for France but, after leading for the first three-quarters of the race, they suddenly tired and allowed the others to pass. The competition came down to a neck and neck effort between the Italians and the Swiss, which the latter won by 0.1 seconds. The United States captured a surprise bronze medal, on which Jennings would improve in 1932 by winning gold in Los Angeles.