Host City: Beijing, China
Venue(s): Shunyi Olympic Rowing-Canoeing Park, Mapo, Shunyi
Date Started: August 11, 2008
Date Finished: August 17, 2008
The United States had maintained its momentum after winning men’s coxed eights the 2004 Summer Olympics by capturing the 2005 World Championships, but had struggled since then, taking bronze in 2006 and finishing off the podium in 2007, although it did win the event at the 2007 Pan American Games. The reigning World Champions were the Canadians and both of these nations had legitimate claims to the title at the 2008 Games. Germany, meanwhile, had won the 2006 World Championships, been runner-up in 2007, and come in third in 2005. In the opening round, however, Great Britain, the reigning World bronze medalist, bested both Germany and the United States, while Canada took the other heat. In the final, Canada took the gold medal with ease, becoming the first World Champion to become an Olympic champion the following year since East Germany had done it in 1979/1980. Great Britain, meanwhile, was in a comfortable second-place for most of the race but, just before the three-quarter mark, the were forced to deal with a challenge from behind from the Americans and they managed to hold on to their silver medal by only 0.23 seconds, leaving the United States with bronze.