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Row to Rio

USRowing is pleased to announce the winning Row to Rio logo, selected from over 120 entries. The rowing community took part in the contest through online voting, followed by nominations from the selection committee to narrow down the finalists last month. More than 9,000 votes were cast and the winner is Jake Mercuri of Cincinnati, Ohio.

“I am ecstatic! I was certainly not expecting the phone call (that I had won),” said the digital design major at the University of Cincinnati’s College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning. “It was also a big relief, as I was hoping my entry would resonate well with both the selection committee and athletes, which is most important above all.”

Mercuri rowed for four years and was the varsity men’s team captain for the University of Cincinnati Rowing Club. When he graduates in May, he plans to pursue a spot on the national team.

“The national squad has always been an inspiration for me throughout college. Following their exploits and triumphs through Twitter and the web is a constant reminder that our country has such incredibly talented, hard-working and driven individuals that sacrifice so much to represent us all,” said Mercuri. “It is an honor to create a visual identity to represent this energy leading up to the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.”

“In choosing Jake Mercuri’s design, the committee loved the strong commitment to Rio depicted through the choice of the Brazilian colors and the flag, while incorporating the USA oars,” said Beth Kohl, Chief Marketing Officer of USRowing. “This design will be included in all aspects of USRowing and the National Rowing Foundation’s Row to Rio campaign, designed to energize the rowing community to support the team training for Rio.

“Quite simply, we were overwhelmed with the response to the Row to Rio logo design competition,” said Kohl. “We are grateful to the rowing community for submitting designs and getting involved in the voting process. These votes, combined with the input of the selection committee determined the final winner.”

In addition to the winning logo, the selection committee made a decision to utilize the logos of finalists 2-5 in various elements of the Row to Rio campaign over the next four years. These are the designs of Jason Anthony, Kristin Cook, Ursula Grobler and Julia Schorr.

Among the Rio Olympic hopefuls on the selection committee were 2012 Olympic women’s eight gold medalist Meghan Musnicki and 2012 Olympic alternate Mike Gennaro, who each won silver medals at the 2013 Samsung World Rowing Cup last month.

"There were over 9,000 votes for USRowing's logo design contest – 9,000! As an athlete dedicating much of my time and all of my effort to reaching the podium at the 2016 Olympic Games, it's hard to find the words to explain what it means to have the support of the rowing community,” said Gennaro.

“It was super exciting to see how many people participated in the contest,” said Musnicki. “Not only were there thousands of votes cast, but hundreds took the time to submit their own design. Generally, rowing is not a highly publicized or talked about sport, so to see so many people take an interest in it is amazing and means a lot to all of us training. I will be proud to wear the winning design as I train for a chance to make the team for Rio 2016.”

“When our friends, families, fans and fellow rowers of all ages show excitement about USRowing, it creates an extremely positive culture and environment of which everyone in this country can thrive,” added Gennaro. “Rowing is a very eccentric sport; and if there's one thing we all can relate to, it's the concept of synergy and working together. I'm proud to be a member of the USRowing family. We are very excited about the winning logo and very proud to have the top five finalists' logos represent USRowing. On behalf of all the athletes training, I would like to thank everyone. We appreciate all of your support as we Row to Rio."