Smith Places 9th Overall in Olympic Lightweight Four Rowing
By Tim Hipps
Special to American Forces Press Service
SCHINIAS, Greece, Aug. 24, 2004 Army Capt. Matt Smith's lightweight four crew finished third in the "B" final Aug. 21 to place ninth in the 2004 Summer Olympic Games rowing event at Schinias Olympic Rowing and Canoeing Centre.
One day later, Denmark's quartet of Thor Kristensen, Thomas Ebert, Stephan Moelvig and Eskild Ebbesen won the gold medal in the men's lightweight four "A" final. Australia's Glen Loftus, Anthony Edwards, Ben Cureton and Simon Burgess won the silver medal. Italy's Lorenzo Bertini, Catello Amarante, Salvatore Amitrano and Bruno Mascarenhas took the bronze medal.
Veljko Urosevic, Nenad Babovic, Goran Nedeljkovic and Milos Tomic of Serbia and Montenegro won the "B" final, followed by Russia's Aleksandr Zyuzin, Sergej Bukreev, Valerij Saritchev and Aleksandr Savkin in 6:20.64.
Smith teamed with Cincinnati's Pat Todd, Paul Teti of Upper Darby, Pa., and Steve Warner of Livonia, Mich., to finish third. The Americans defeated crews from Austria, Germany and Spain.
"The best you can give is all you can give," said Smith, 23, an infantry officer from Woodbridge, Va., and a member of the Army World Class Athlete Program. "If you get beat, you get beat, and that's what happened today. It was a tough week of racing.
"Ninth overall at the Olympics isn't bad for the first time," Smith said with a smile. "I'm definitely motivated to try for the 2008 Games. I just want to thank all the armed forces around the world for helping us out here. Even if I can't stay in the (WCAP) program, I'm definitely staying in the Army. I owe it to them. They gave me a lot, and now it's time to give back."
(Tim Hipps is assigned to the Army Community and Family Support Center Public Affairs Office.)