DORSET -- While this year's Olympic Games were watched by more Americans than in previous years, many of them witnessed the Games from an armchair. For Dorset resident Barbara Howland, the experience was much different.
She had the opportunity to travel to London and witness her grandson -- Henrik Rummel -- and the Men's Four Rowing Team win the bronze medal for the United States.
Howland said she and her family arrived in London the day before the Olympics, but that they did not attend the opening ceremony as Rummel, 24, was scheduled to race early on the first day.
After watching Rummel and his teammates make it through the the first heat and the semi-finals, Howland saw them win the bronze medal in the final on Saturday, Aug. 4, an experience that brought her pleasure.
"It was a feeling of incredible joy for him," Howland said. "I was so proud of him because I knew how hard he had worked."
The U.S. finished close behind the host British and the Australians to earn the bronze. It was the first time since 1992 the United States won a medal in the men's four.
After he graduated from Harvard, Howland said Rummel was selected by the Olympic Committee to be a member of the U.S. National Team. For the next three years, Howland said he trained at the Olympic Center in Chula Vista, Calif. She said Rummel would spend six to seven hours per day training -- most spent on the water.
According to Howland, Rummel first developed an interest in rowing as a teenager when his family moved from Europe to Pittsford, N.Y., a Rochester suburb.
"When they moved back he was 13 and Pittsford still has a very active rowing club. He got involved in that through a friend and ... he found out that was his sport," said Howland.
Rummel rowed throughout high school and was recruited by numerous colleges, but ultimately chose to attend Harvard -- where he majored in applied mathematics -- to work with famous rowing coach Harry Parker, Howland said.
While at Harvard, Howland said Rummel would wake up at 5:30 a.m. and row. Howland said that Rummel and his teammates would row again in the evenings after classes had concluded for the day as well as on weekends.
Now that the Olympics are over, Howland said Rummel intends to get a job. However, Howland said he is already setting his sights on the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
According to Howland, Rummel plans to work for two years to save up some money and then train for two years - getting back together with his teammates at least a year before the Rio Games for "intensive training."
After the team received the bronze medal, Howland said one of Rummel's teammates indicated that they were not completely satisfied with the outcome at this year's Olympics stating, "We were happy to get the bronze, but there are still two other boats out there we have to catch."