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RowAmerica Rye Alum Heads to Olympics

(PHOTO: Rodriguez with RowAmerica Rye Coach Aleks Radovic and Sean Hayes receiving their award at USRowing Youth Nationals for winning the men's pair.)
(PHOTO: Rodriguez with RowAmerica Rye Coach Aleks Radovic and Sean Hayes receiving their award at USRowing Youth Nationals for winning the men’s pair.)

RowAmerica Rye alum and 2017 Rye High School graduate Gus Rodriguez is headed to Paris as part of the full roster nominated to represent the United States at the Olympic Games. USRowing is taking 42 athletes and Rodriguez is one of five alternates, chosen by coaches to be able to take a spot in a competition should a rower be unable to compete for any reason. Rowing at the Olympic Games Paris 2024 will take place July 27 – August 4. 

“It’s such an honor,” Rodriguez told MyRye.com explaining the coaches are able to select who represents the team as part of the group of alternates. “Especially because [of] my circumstance, I was chosen. I feel very, very fortunate in my position. I think it’ll be a great learning experience, and hopefully will set me up well for 2028 in LA.”

Competing since age 12, Rodriguez has excelled during his time at RAR, Brown University and a fifth year competing at Cal. His roster of achievements includes national and international competitions.

(PHOTO: The Rodriguez family at the Head of the Charles in 2019.)
(PHOTO: The Rodriguez family at the Head of the Charles in 2019.)

Family and the Rye Connection

(PHOTO: Gus Rodriguez at age four with his father Raoul looking at a mural of Raoul's Olympic 4 achievement.)
(PHOTO: Gus Rodriguez at age four with his father Raoul looking at a mural of Raoul’s Olympic 4 achievement.)

Rodriguez comes from a family of athletes. He is the youngest of three – his brother was a swimmer at Princeton and his sister was a rower at Tulane. His father Raoul played football at Tulane and won a silver medal on the 1988 Olympic rowing team in Seoul. His mother Meg is a local broker at Berkshire Hathaway and a former executive director of the Rye Arts Center.

“I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for all the great coaching at RowAmerica Rye, and at Brown and Cal,” he said. “I grew up in a great place to be a rower.”

(PHOTO: Rodriguez with his mother Meg in Racice (outside Prague) for the 2021 U23 World Rowing Championships after the team won the silver medal.)
(PHOTO: Rodriguez with his mother Meg in Racice (outside Prague) for the 2021 U23 World Rowing Championships after the team won the silver medal.)

“It’s an amazing achievement,” said RowAmerica Rye Coach Aleks Radovic who worked with Rodriguez in 2015, 2016 and 2017. “We here at Rye, we kind of helped him shape in a certain way. But he didn’t get here just because of us. It was mainly the work he put in … necessary work to get to a certain level. We were kind of guidance to get to that point, but at the end of the day, it was him making all the work.”

Rodriguez has a similar admiration to share back to the RAR program. “I went to go watch practice at Rye two weeks ago, while they were preparing for these nationals. I was just super impressed … these kids are super competitive, and I’m really impressed …I’m not surprised they won. They’re much tougher than I was when I was racing there.”

(PHOTO: Rodriguez (far left) being awarded the bronze medal at the 2022 Intercollegiate Rowing Association National Championships.)
(PHOTO: Rodriguez (far left) being awarded the bronze medal at the 2022 Intercollegiate Rowing Association National Championships.)

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