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Venonsky Named To United States Olympic Team

Jun 4, 2021

Julian Venonsky was walking around the T. Gary Rogers Boathouse on Thursday and stopped to look at a collection of pictures of former Cal rowers who have gone on to compete in the Olympics.

"There was one space missing to make a perfect square," Venonsky said.

It looks like the boathouse decorators have found their latest addition to the photo gallery.

Venonsky, a 2016 Cal graduate, was named as the coxswain in the men's eight for the Summer Olympics for the United States on Friday.

"My phone has been exploding with everyone I've ever met," Venonsky said shortly after US Rowing made the announcement. "It's a bit surreal. It's still sinking in."

The U.S. Men's National Team shares a facility with the Cal men's rowing program. Venonsky said he hadn't actually entered the Cal boathouse in awhile and wanted to spend some time looking around. It's a training center he used to call home, when he culminated his college career by leading the Bears to the 2016 IRA national championship.

Venonsky thought his rowing career was over after leaving Cal. He got a full-time job in New York and worked there for about a year when he realized the itch to stay in the sport was too much to ignore. Venonsky secured a chance to be evaluated by US Rowing, and a few months later led Team USA's men's eight to the silver medal at the 2017 World Championships.

"I'm thrilled that Julian was officially announced to the U.S. varsity eight today," Cal head coach Scott Frandsen said. "He is a great ambassador for our team and I'm really excited to see him take the next step of competing in the Olympics."