Host City: London, Great Britain
Venue(s): Eton Dorney, Windsor
Date Started: July 29, 2012
Date Finished: August 2, 2012
As the defending Olympic Champions and the reigning World Champions since 2006, the squad from the United States was heavily favored to win Olympic gold in the 2012 women’s eights event, as they had not lost a competitive race since 2005. The closest any team had gotten to overcoming their dominance was the Canadians, who had been the runners up in the World Championships over the past two seasons. Romania, having rebuilt their women’s eights team in the second half of the 2000s, and who won bronze at the 2008 Games, were also seen contenders for a podium position. The Netherlands, silver medalists from 2008, was a potential dark horse nation in the competition; although they had performed unevenly since their second place finish in Beijing, they had improved significantly in the year prior to the event.
Canada looked promising in the heats, winning theirs in a faster time than the Americans, but the final was dominated entirely by the United States. The Americans set themselves out in front from the beginning and were never seriously challenged for the gold medal. Canada and the Netherlands pulled ahead from the rest of the pack and battled for the final two medals, with the Canadians eventually coming out on top and earning silver.