Five successive rowing gold medals cemented the status of Steve Redgrave — now Sir Steve — as Great Britain's most successful Olympian. He is also the most successful man in the history of the sport at the Games. Only Elisabeta Lipă has achieved more.
Redgrave's success began with victory in the coxed fours in 1984 and continued with successive gold medals for the coxless pairs in Seoul, Barcelona and Atlanta, after which he famously announced his retirement. But in 2000 he returned to win gold again, this time in the coxless fours.
A bronze from the coxed pairs in 1988 gives Redgrave a total of six medals, two fewer than the Romanian Lipă, who also collected two silvers in a career spanning 20 years from 1984.
London will stage 14 rowing events, eight for men and six for women, ranging from single sculls for individual rowers to teams of eight plus a cox. A repechage system will give a second chance of progress to boats which don't qualify automatically from the heats.
Rowing has been a part of every Games since 1900 — it was cancelled because of bad weather in 1896 — and women entered from 1976.
The United States has won the most medals, with 84 compared to 54 for Great Britain. But much of America's success is historic — 13 of the medals came at St Louis in 1904 when the only opponent was one team from Canada, and they have only won four gold medals since 1964.
East Germany's leading total of 33 gold medals also presents a false picture because 11 came from the boycott-hit Moscow Games and because the nation's entire Olympic effort is tainted by allegations of drug use.
Modern rowing is one of the most open events at the Games. In Beijing the 14 gold medals were shared between 12 nations, in Athens between 11 and in Sydney between 10.