Rowing It Alone

Tireless sculler Don Smith isn't a famous name--and he won't be soon, even if he wins a medal

The only way you'll be having an up-close-and-personal moment next month with Don Smith, America's lone and somewhat improbable entry in the Olympic men's sculling competition, is if all 120 or so members of the U.S. track-and-field team--as well as the gymnasts and the swimmers and the beach volleyballers--pull their hammies. Nike scolds us in its ads for paying attention to Mercedes-driving star runners just once every four years, but for elite rowers like Smith, most of whom live a post-collegiate, hand-to-mouth existence well into their 30s, being ignored by the sporting public is an everyday occurrence.

Which is just fine...

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