Host City: Los Angeles, United States
Venue(s): Long Beach Marine Stadium, Long Beach, California
Date Started: August 10, 1932
Date Finished: August 13, 1932
As had always been the case at the Olympics, the coxed eights was the signature event of the rowing program in Los Angeles; even in the midst of the Great Depression, eight nations managed to send crews to compete. The traditional powerhouses, the United States and Great Britain, were represented by the University of California, Berkeley and the Leander Club respectively, the latter having been champions at two of the last four editions of the Grand Challenge Cup at the Henley Royal Regatta (1929 and 1932). The surprise victors in the opening round, however, were the Italians, who finished in the fastest time of any nation and defeated Great Britain in their heat. In fact, the British time of 6:34.4 would only have been good enough for third place in the other heat, behind the Americans and the Canadians. Both Britain and Canada survived the repêchage, but the gold medal race soon became a fight between the Americans and the Italians, the former of whom bested their opponents by two-tenths of a second. Italy, who had led until the halfway mark and returned to that position 300 metres away from the finish, settled for silver while Canada battled Great Britain down to the wire and handed the favorites a surprising defeat by taking the bronze medal with a margin of 0.4 seconds.