From the Red to Rio: Alex Karwoski’s Unorthodox Path to the Olympics

In August, former Cornell heavyweight rower Alex Karwoski ’12 competed in the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro representing the United States of America, where his boat placed fourth overall in the men’s coxed eight. Karwoski’s story begins in Ithaca. Karwoski found himself at Cornell’s College of Engineering in his second year of college, after spending his freshman year at Trinity College. “I was super lucky,” Karwoski said. “I still think they made a mistake in the admissions office … I think they put my name down by accident.”

Karwoski competed as a heavyweight rower at Cornell and in the Olympics.

Men’s and Women’s Rowing Take Home Titles in Successful Weekend

The weekend proved successful for Cornell rowing. The men’s heavyweight rowing team swept Penn and Dartmouth, and the women beat Dartmouth in three out of five races. With the win, the Red reclaimed the Madeira Cup and James Wray Memorial Trophy for the ninth straight season. The races also marked the­­­ last day of home racing for the team’s seniors. “It was a day of fun racing, and it was special for the seniors since it will be their last home race at Cornell,” said senior captain Creg Davis.

Heavyweight Rowing Earns Third Straight Goes Cup and Stagg Points Plate

Watching the tape of one of his boats’ races, Cornell men’s rowing head coach Todd Kennett said he was impressed with the men’s power, but upset at their form and decision-making. Nevertheless, he was well aware of how well his boats had raced this past weekend. His team defended its grasp on the Goes Cup and Stagg Points Plate over Syracuse and Navy. “This is the first time since [the 1970s] that we won three years in a row,” he said. All three Red rowing teams were in action this last weekend.