Team USA Olympian Gevvie Stone ’07 and her teammate Kristina Wagner have finished fifth in the women’s double sculls final at the Tokyo Olympics. The pair qualified for the event after finishing third in their semifinal.
Stone, who is the daughter of two elite rowers (her mother was an Olympian in 1976), won a silver medal in the single sculls event in Rio 2016 after coming up empty-handed in London four years earlier. Stone came out of retirement to defend her medal — postponing her residency training in emergency medicine — but failed to qualify for the single sculls competition at Tokyo 2020; had she qualified, the 36-year-old would have been the oldest woman ever to represent Team USA in the event at the Olympic games.
Stone and Wagner (who rowed for Yale until 2015) teamed up in the double sculls after they came in second and third, respectively, in the single sculls trials. The two qualified for the Tokyo games this past April when they came in first place in the U.S. Olympic Trials. The pair were hoping to bring home the first ever American medal in the women’s double sculls event.
The double sculls event is a rowing competition where two teammates take up oars in a small, sleek watercraft. Six pairs race side-by-side in straight lines along a two-kilometer course.
On Wednesday morning in Tokyo, the final race began. The pair jumped out in the front of the pack right at the start, but fell three seconds behind the pace to be fifth place at the 500 meter mark, neck-and-neck with Canada, and not far behind boats two through four. Romania held a commanding lead early on.
At the 1000-meter mark, the two Americans were just one second behind fourth-place Lithuania, and 5.6 seconds off the lead. With just 500 meters left, the Americans trailed by nine seconds and were out of medal contention. The two held the fifth position through the final 500 meters, just edging out the Canadians, and finishing 11 seconds behind the Romanians, who set an all-time Olympic best time of 6:41.03.
Overall, it was an impressive performance for two single scullers who were considered outsiders in the event.
Stone has stated that these Olympics are likely to be her last, although she hopes that one day she can be involved once again with Team USA as the rowing doctor.