Marietta alum named alternate on U.S. Olympic Rowing Team

Marietta College graduate Andrew Bolton '02 will soon have his flight booked for Beijing, China.

Bolton, a former Pioneer Navy rowing standout, recently learned of his selection as an alternate on the United State's Olympic Rowing Team, which will compete in the 2008 Beijing Games. In addition, Bolton earned a spot on the nation's World Championship Team for the third straight season.

Bolton, an Old Lyme, Conn., native, will make his sixth international rowing appearance later this month as a member of the lightweight men's eight at the 2008 FISA World Rowing Senior Championships, which are scheduled for July 22-27 in Linz-Ottensheim, Austria. In 2007, Bolton helped the U.S. qualify for the Olympics in the lightweight men's four with an 11th place finish at the FISA World Rowing Championships. He also won a silver medal in the lightweight four at the 2007 Pan American Games and finished sixth in the lightweight four at the 2007 FISA World Cup event in Linz, Austria. In 2006, Bolton finished 11th in the lightweight men's pair at the FISA World Championships. His initial international experience came in 2003 when he won a silver medal in the lightweight eight at the 2003 FISA World Championships.

"It is always a privilege to represent the U.S. in international competition," Bolton said. "Every time I compete, I try to think about the people I represent; people who have supported me along the way - family, friends and coaches."

The World Championship Team features 28 athletes, including Bolton and 14 others from the 2007 Senior National Team. World champions will be crowned in eight senior-level events. Because it is an Olympic year, only non-Olympic events will be contested. The U.S. will field entries in the lightweight men's single sculls, lightweight women's single sculls, lightweight men's pair, men's pair with coxswain, women's four, lightweight women's quadruple sculls, lightweight men's quadruple sculls and lightweight men's eight.

The U.S. Olympic Rowing Team is comprised of 45 athletes, including 10 multiple-time Olympians, as well as nine alternates. Rowing at the 2008 Olympic Games starts Aug. 9; finals will take place Aug. 16-17. The competition's setting will be the Shunyi Olympic Rowing-Canoeing Park, located in Mapo Town in the Shunyi district of Beijing.

"Being on the Olympic team is an honor," Bolton said. "Though the role of the alternate is frustrating, knowing that you are part of a team effort representing the U.S. is awesome."

The U.S. Olympic Rowing Team will have crews competing in the women's single sculls, men's single sculls, women's double sculls, men's double sculls, lightweight women's double sculls, women's quadruple sculls, men's quadruple sculls, women's pair, men's pair, men's four, lightweight men's four, women's eight and men's eight.