It's the freakin' OLYMPICS! You don't just "quit"!

600 meters before the end of the 2000 m race, an Australian Olympic rower quit rowing. She was in an eight with seven other women pulling their asses off and she just stopped.

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It’s the freaking Olympics, fer Christ sakes. How many 2000 meter pieces has she done in her career? Hundreds? And to even get on the team you have to submit erg (rowing machine) scores which are pure torture. And she did all that and still quit in the middle of a race. I’ve never seen that happen, even with high school athletes.

You don’t ever let down your team mates like that. In a single, yeah, you could quit, but not when you have seven other people who are pushing themselves to the limit and have trusted you to do your absolute best for the team.

The newspapers are all a twitter becasue her teamates threatened to “throw her out of the boat”. She’s lucky she didn’t get decked. (I am in no way what-so-ever advocating violence of any sort but when you’ve just exerted yourself to your maximum and somebody just gives up, emotions run high.)

She’s an elite athlete who had to demonstrate that she’s physically capable of that intense a sport. Isn’t it possible that she knows what her body is telling her, and that whatever it was wasn’t good? I don’t like to assume the worst, so I won’t.

Bah, what a loser.

Whatever the reason that she quit (and my leaning is towards just a total physical shut-down, YMMV etc) she is finished as a rower. Some of her teammates have been extremely vocal in their condemnation and have refused to ever step into a boat with her again, while the others are playing the non-committal line.

Poor kid. She has stuffed up for good.

If she was lead off by the team doctor at the dock, is it possible there’s more to the story than just simple fatigue? I was rowing in practice one day, three days before a regatta and my lower back started spasming and I had to stop rowing simply because I couldn’t put any pressure on the oar. Of course, this was just practice so we were able to stop and switch me out. If it had been a race, I probably would have just tucked my oar in and tried to not get in other people’s way since I wouldn’t have been able to keep anything close to a racing pace.

If Robbins was ill, or in extreme pain, I’m sure her fellow rowers would have understood. All she had to do was tell them, or at least pretend she was in difficulty. But if she was “led away” by the team doctor it sounds as if she couldn’t have been all that bad off, and I can understand the anger of her team mates.

But one of the things I have admired most about the Olympics, either Summer or Winter, is that competitors just don’t quit. So a figure skater falls down. You know their chances for a medal are screwed, but they get back up, paste the smile back on, and finish their routine. A gymnast falls, and hears the sympathetic groans of the crowd. They get back up and keep on going.

Or a marathon runner falls and injures his leg, hobbling into the stadium over an hour after the last runner before him. He doesn’t give up, because “my country didn’t send me 5000 miles to start a race, they sent me 5000 miles to finish it.”
http://www.wordiq.com/definition/John_Stephen_Akhwari

But I could be wrong. I hope it is shown there was some honorable explanation for Robbins quitting, I really do.

You’d think if it was a back thing, the news would have come out by now. And there’s a couple of other articles that suggest the same thing happened in a fours race in 2002. Wow. :eek: I can’t believe she got in the eight after that.

A huge part of rowing, particularly 2k training, is learning how to push yourself to the limit yet be able to make it through the whole race. 2000 m races hurt like hell (I’m rowing masters now and we just do 1000m :smiley: ) I’ve felt like quitting during 2k races (most shameful confession I’ll ever make: once, during a college erg test, I got up and walked out. I couldn’t deal. But the coach let me take it over again and I had to reprove myself in practice.) butwaht kept me going, even more than the desire to win, was that I absolutely couldn’t let down my team mates by not pulling as hard as I possibly could.

In interviews, she sounds wounded that her team mates are mad at her. She must be incredibly naive (and not ever listen to other rower’s conversations) to not understand how insanely furious they must be.

Well unlike you people, I prefer to leap to conclusions, and my conclusion is that she’s a loser who shut it down. I hope they run her out of town on the rails.

It doesn’t sound like she just quit rowing because she was a poor sport, it sounds like she was utterly spent and simply couldn’t even keep herself upright. Unlikely, perhaps, but everyone has limits.

That’s a bit more damning, I’ll admit. She must have a hell of an erg time. What seat does she row?

I realize that - I rowed throughout college both head and sprints and have felt the same way. Nothing quite like the feeling of your legs screaming and then remembering that you’re about to begin the final sprint. :slight_smile:

I can’t find any articles that mention her seat anywhere. I heard through the grapevine that she was seven seat (:eek:) which is even worse.

Yeah, the sprint sucks and the Australian boat must have been just about to start when she quit. Unbelievable.

OT: Hey, I just got back from Masters nationals and a boat in your neck o’the woods, Capital Rowing, totally kicked our ass in the four’s race. They came in second, we came in fifth (we didn’t bring it up for the sprint). There are some good rowers at that club…

If these links work, here are some other viewpoints:

http://www.abc.net.au/7.30/content/2004/s1183305.htm

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2004/olympics/rowing/wires/08/23/2080.ap.as.spt.oly.row.australia.rowing.spat/

Okay, my position is, if you decide to quit an individual event, it’s between you and your conscience. Maybe you’re hurt and don’t want to risk it becoming permanent, maybe your confidence is shot, maybe it just ain’t worth it. As long as you’re willing to deal with the consequences, I have no problem with that. But in a team event, where there will be others counting on you, you’d damn well BETTER be up to the task! If not, step aside and give the spot to someone who can get the job done.

Just didn’t know her limitations or was in denial about them, and it’s almost certainly destroyed her career. Shame.

She’s simply following the example set by Paula Radcliffe, who quit in the middle of the marathon when it became clear that she couldn’t win.

Where is the line between what is an acceptable drop and what is unacceptable? If she was injured or having a muscle spasm that physically prevented her from continuing, that’s okay, but if her brain shut down, that’s not okay?

Anyone who saw that race knows what complete BS that statement is. That woman was completely shot physically and emotionally and tried several times to get back in the race.

I won’t even mention that fact that she was 23 miles into a 26 mile race in 95 degree heat, not barely halfway into a 2000 meter race on water.

From the Telegraph article:

Bleh. Then who can question her commitment? It seems to me the women who rowed and worked out with her everyday know beter than anyone. Or have we lapsed into the mamby-pamby feel-goodism that everybody get a gold star for just trying at the Olympics?

I find this bit interesting (from the ABC transcript):

Sounds like the team already didn’t trust her. They probably all knew the rumors about the other race she stopped rowing in in 2002.

I compete at the club level and everyone on my team are great friends. We hang out together, go to one another’s weddings, etc. But if this happened in a boat I was rowing in, it’s be the same story. Unless there wound up being a medical reason (such as the back injuries Neurotik mentioned earlier), the rower woudl be ostracised. I don’t care if we come in DFL (OK, I do care but I’ll deal with it) as long as I know every woman in the boat is giving it all she has right up until the end.

Please. Gymnasts and skaters finish because the penalty for not finishing is much, much higher than that for falling. Falling left Paul Hamm within reach of the gold medal. Falling left that Russian couple in Salt Lake City with a gold medal (and well into the medals, even had the scoring been honest). Akhwari may have felt compelled to finish his race, but plenty of injured olympians didn’t finish this year.

Hmmm, the more I read, it seems that she didn’t shut it down, she just ran out of gas and collapsed. It’s obvious there’s more going on then we’re currently aware of.

Wasn’t there a runner in a previous Olympics that, even though he had no chance to win, damn near crawled across the finish line to the emotionally moved, wild cheers of the crowd? I believe his answer when asked why he didn’t stop when he had no chance was that his poor country sent him here to finish a race, not to quit it (or something similar).

It’s not about winning or losing, it’s about the competition and, like with Neurotik’s story, if she was hurt she at least should have pulled her oar. I’m afraid her teammate’s outrage appears to be fairly justifiable.