In 1928, Olympic rower Bobby Pearce stopped mid-race to let a family of ducks pass, giving his opponent a 5-length lead. In the last 1,000 meters, Pearce pulled ahead by 30 seconds, winning the gold and setting a record.

To the greatness of small

Bobby Pearce : The Gentleman’s Gold

‘The most important thing in the Olympic games is not winning but taking part; the essential thing in life is not conquering but fighting well.’ Pierre de Frédy, Baron de Coubertin, founder of the Olympic committee

Henry Robert Pearce was an Australian sculler of the 1920s and ‘30s who was and still is viewed as an iconic sportsman. He was inducted into the Australian Hall of Fame in 1985, where they named him “The finest sculler of all, professional or amateur, in all the years before World War II.”

His legend might spring from the fact that he was the first singles sculler in the world to win back-to-back Olympic gold medals, but it was an act of compassion, not of physical prowess, that tru… Continue Reading (2 minute read)

12 thoughts on “In 1928, Olympic rower Bobby Pearce stopped mid-race to let a family of ducks pass, giving his opponent a 5-length lead. In the last 1,000 meters, Pearce pulled ahead by 30 seconds, winning the gold and setting a record.”

  1. jjkase

    The early Olympics all seem to have such weird and magical things happen

    Edit: Early \*IOC\* Olympics, not counting the Ancient Greeks that ended 16 centuries ago

  2. SoLongGayBowser

    He definitely got his mate to release the ducks just so he could flex.

  3. i_fuckin_luv_it_mate

    How did he see them? Don’t you face the other way?

  4. We-are-straw-dogs

    He should’ve passed over them – they would’ve ducked

  5. alltherain21

    Speed Racer would never

  6. TheSeansei

    Every time this is posted you get the rowers who say that getting that kind of lead in such a short time is basically impossible. Anyone care to weigh in?

  7. ItsNotRockitSurgery

    If anyone is interested in one of the most bizarre athletic events in the over 100 years of the Olympics, might I suggest reading into the 1904 St. Louis Olympic Marathon.

    This race featured a man who rode a car most of the way, finished first and received gold but then stupidly said he used a car and was revoked. The true winner who his trainers gave him actual rat poison to drink mixed with brandy for the race (he nearly died and lost 8 pounds over the course of the marathon) and a Cuban postal worker who showed up in his normal street clothes with less than a minute to spare, veered off course to grab some apples from an orchard for a snack, took a nap, and then finished fourth.

    There’s a lot more insanity to the race, so I definitely recommend checking it out

  8. Dlobrownies

    I’d like to think, under that boat, the same family of ducks, giving him a push

  9. jacker494

    It seems to me that if he had lost it would have been perfectly reasonable to hold a rematch considering he didn’t want to run over the ducky babies

  10. danhoyuen

    what if it’s the secret to this sort of race. rest for a good 30 seconds before going ham for the finish.

  11. IggyWiggamama

    I was hoping the title would end: “Pearce pulled ahead by 30 seconds, after the ducks attacked his opponent and threw them off course”

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