Photograph: Werner Schmidt

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Three Rowing Nobel Laureates

In yesterday’s entry, Tim Koch sort of had reply to Sunday’s entry about rowing Nobel Prize winners, writing “Taking a random sample of great rowing universities we can see that Cambridge has produced 85 Nobel Prize winners, Columbia 72, Oxford 48, Harvard 43, Cornell 40, Princeton 32, and Yale 18. Someone with a lot of time on their hands could undoubtedly find a few rowers in this lot but it’s not going to be me.”

I was actually thinking the same thing, that among the rowers from some of these fine educational institutions, there might be a Nobel Prize winner, but I don’t have a name. Then late Sunday, I received an e-mail from Johan ten Berg, editor of the marvellous book about Holland Beker, which I wrote about on HTBS at the end of September.

Johan kindly pointed out that his rowing club, USR ‘Triton’, in Utrecht, Netherlands, has had not only one member getting a Nobel Prize, but three (3!). Johan goes on to say that one of the founding fathers of ‘Triton’, which was established in 1880, Willem Einthoven, received the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1924 for inventing the ECG (or EKG). Einthoven is seen in the 1883 photograph above in the 2nd seat in the coxed four. In the 1990s, he was also depicted on a stamp in the Netherlands.

The two other ‘Triton’ rowing Nobel laureates are Nico Bloembergen, Nobel Prize in Physics (shared) in 1981, and Gerard ‘t Hooft, Nobel Prize in Physics (shared) in 1999.

Very impressive, indeed, Johan. Thank you very much for sharing!

Are there any other rowing Nobel Prize winners out there?

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