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The Question: Can the Navy rowing crew, champions in the 1952 Olympic Games, come back in 1956?

Crew coach
University of California
"A long layoff could affect even such a great crew. The 1956 field will be very strong. Their return to competition is not a new idea. Navy's 1920 Olympic Champions returned in 1924, but lost to Yale. The experiment will again be interesting and will strengthen the U.S. Olympic entry."

Crew coach
Cornell University
"If it's ever going to happen, this is the crew to do it—a fine crew of strong men. But I don't think they I can come back. They have been away too long. Several are married. All are used to a different life. I doubt that they can reach the peak necessary for college competition."

Crew coach
Columbia University
"It's been tried before without success, but the conditions under which these men will be living will provide ample time for mileage and conditioning necessary to become a great crew again. I think they can come back and be as good or, with added maturity, better than they were in 1952."

Crew coach
U.S. Naval Academy
"Ask them. Ask their wives. What have three years in service done to their incentive and spirit? If they want to win, they can. They were a great crew with a rare combination of pride and humility. Condition is half the battle. They are men now. They should be better. They may have to be."

Brown University Rowing Assn.
"They are older and less fit. They can't train as they did for four years at the Academy. But they are experienced winners and champions. Navy life is not a complete physical letdown. To be the first crew to retain Olympic honors is a powerful stimulant. They can come back."

1956 American Olympic Crew
"They could. In my opinion, young men don't reach physical maturity in college. The average crew would be better if they could row another year or two. A few years out of college are not too much handicap for the greatest crew Rusty Callow has produced. Yes, they can come back."

Crew coach
University of Pennsylvania
"It has been tried before by great crews and has met with failure. However, it has never been attempted by a crew as great as the 1952 Navy crew. My feeling is that they will find it impossible to regain that keen mental attitude they had in such abundance as midshipmen."

Crew coach
University of Washington
"If they really want to row, they can be as good or better. However, if there is even one who is returning to the rowing ways because he was ordered to and doesn't have his heart in it, they are wasting their time. Only the members of this great crew can answer this question."

Olympic Rowing Committee
"Although it's been tried without success by two other alumni crews, there is this difference: after winning at Helsinki, this crew dedicated themselves to a comeback for the Olympiad in Australia. In spite of wives, children and naval obligations, they've prepared for this great effort."

Crew coach
Stanford University
"Like judgment, the technique of rowing improves with age. Technically, Navy's more experienced oarsmen should row more smoothly and efficiently. The question is whether their strength and endurance can equal that of their younger opponents. They may do even better than in 1952."

Former crew coach
Yale University
"Yes. These men are not like punch-drunk fighters on the comeback trail. Undefeated, they still have that winning spirit and the resilience of youth. Under the good conditioning and great coaching of Rusty Callow, there is no reason why they cannot again reach their peak. All power to them."

Rowing referee
New York
"The identical Navy crew of 1952 will not win the qualifying race for the 1956 Olympics, but if 'loaded' with other Naval Academy selectees from recent years, this crew could push brilliant, young and up-and-coming crews, particularly Cornell, to the peak necessary to whip the Russians."



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