Rower competes in first Olympic Games, ousted by Swiss in preliminary heats

By Grant Nussbaum

Alex Osborne ’05 competed in his first Olympics at the 2012 London Games, rowing for the United States men’s quadruple scull team.

Osborne’s team finished six seconds behind France to take fourth place out of five in preliminary heats on July 28. The U.S. team was forced to compete in the repechage – an elimination round between the teams that placed at the bottom of their heats – where Switzerland beat out Osborne and the U.S. team by 0.72 seconds to claim the third and final spot to advance to the semifinal round.

Despite being eliminated in the second round, Osborne was grateful for the chance to row.

“Unfortunately the result wasn’t what we wanted,” Osborne said. “We had a bit of a shipwreck in our qualifying race, but beyond that it was just a very special opportunity.”

Osborne did not row while he was at Harvard-Westlake, but he rowed in college for Stanford University.

Although originally in sweep rowing, which uses one oar while scull rowing uses two, Osborne suffered a stress fracture and a torn intercostal in his ribs in January, which kept him out of action until March. When Osborne returned, the Olympic quadruple scull team was one of the only teams that had yet to be selected. Osborne was able to make the team and go to the Olympics. While he had previously raced in several international competitions including the 2011 World Rowing Championships in sweep rowing, the 2012 London Olympics were Osborne’s first international competition as a quadruple scull rower.

Osborne is uncertain of whether he will attempt to make it to the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games, as he is looking to settle in Los Angeles and search for a job.

“I’m going to need a little bit of time to step away from everything and evaluate what I want to do,” Osborne said.