Photo: Peter Gibson (USRowing)
It’s been 20 years since a Belmont High School alumni – Patty Shea (’80) in field hockey in 1996 – strode behind the Stars and Stripes at the opening ceremony of a Summer Olympics. (Belmont High’s Emily Cook has been a member of four US Winter Olympic teams and competing in three as a freestyle skier.)
But that 20 year drought could come to end next year in Brazil as Peter Gibson, BHS class of 2009, is making his mark as one of the best lightweight sweep rowers in the country.
On Friday, June 26, Gibson joined team mates Andrew Weiland, Matthew O’Donoghue and 2012 Olympian Robin Prendes to finish first in the lightweight fours at the USRowing National Championships held at Mercer Lake in West Windsor, N.J.
Last month, the team – rowing out of the USRowing Training Center in Oklahoma City – finished first in qualifications to represent the US at the 2015 Pan American Games taking place in mid-July in Toronto.
Taking time away from the fours, Prendes and Gibson won gold in the lightweight pair in the 2015 Under 23 & Senior I World Championships Trials on Wednesday, June 24. They will represent the Stars and Stripes at the 2015 World Rowing Under 23 Championships in Plovdiv, Bulgaria.
Gibson is no stranger to world championships, having participated in the past two as a member of the lightweight eights, winning the bronze in 2013 and finishing fifth in 2014.
The son of Sarah Frisken and Ted Gibson, Gibson began rowing in 2008 at nearby Community Rowing, Inc., in Brighton. After graduating from BHS, Gibson entered Brown University where he rowed and earned a degree in computer science in 2013.
If he does make next year’s Olympic team, he will upholding family tradition. His father rowed for Canada at the 1984 Olympic Games and his cousin, Duff Gibson, won a gold medal while competing for Canada in skeleton at the 2006 Olympic Winter Games.