Not result LaCava hoped for but an 'incredible' experience
WINDSOR, England -- It wasn't the Olympic Games Weston's Nick LaCava had hoped for, but it did end on an encouraging note.
The rower, who grew up in Weston, and his mates on the U.S. lightweight men's four finished second in the men's B final Thursday.
"Today was a positive ending for us," said LaCava, whose crew is known as the "Ivy League 4" -- LaCava's fellow rowers went to Harvard, Dartmouth, and Princeton. "We had a good race -- probably our best race. We beat a lot of good crews. And it was a good experience for us, so I'm pretty happy with that."
France won the B final heat to finish sixth, with a time of 6:08.37. The Americans clocked 44 second behind the French boat at 6:09.23. South Africa won gold, Great Britain took silver and Denmark captured bronze.
LaCava is a first-time Olympian, and described his crew's performance during the week as "a step in the right direction.
"I think we were coming in here hoping to do a little better. Our goal was really to make the A final. But I think we still overall did a good job. Last year, we hadn't even qualified for the Olympics, so it's been a long journey this year. So I'm feeling pretty happy now."
He added that the experience of being an Olympian is one he'll cherish for the rest of his life.
"It's been great. This venue is amazing. The crowd is awesome. Rowing in front of this many people, it's pretty incredible, so that's been really exciting and everything's been really great."
He said one of the high points has been all the support he's received from back in Weston.
"I've had a lot of great support. Everyone's writing emails and sending Facebook messages, which really means a lot and a lot of my family's here, which is really great, so it's really been a great experience."
With his event completed, LaCava planned to become a spectator for the remainder of the games, going to the Athletes' Village and trying to see as many events as he could.
As for his future in the sport, he said it's too soon to tell if he'll want to try return to Olympic competition for the 2016 Games in Brazil.
"Maybe -- but right now I'm just trying to kind of take a little time off and then just kind of think about 2016 a little later. Right now, just try to take a break a little bit and just get away from rowing for a little while. It's been a long three years straight, basically since I graduated from college. Definitely I need a break, and that'll be really nice."
Ed Klajman is a freelance writer.