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Plymouth Rower Wins Olympic Medal

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Plymouth Rower Wins Olympic Medal

By Stephanie Graham

2 Olympic games...2 medals! Not bad for a local athlete who didn't even start rowing until college. We sat down with Beau Hoopman's parents...To ask how sweet it is to see their son win again. Debe and Jim Hoopman can barely keep track of all their son's medals. Now a new one to add to the list: An Olympic bronze in the Men's 8 Rowing competition. "It's just...your heart bursts! It's just overflowing with love cuz that's your child and he's really trying hard, and he succeeds in what he does," Debe says. That's not the first Olympic medal for 27-year-old Beau. He picked up a gold in the 2004 Olympics in Athens! Beau's parents aren't the only ones who are proud. Plymouth's 8,000 residents put their pride on display! "The people around here really enjoy, enjoy reading about him and seeing, you know, that a hometown kid can do something," Debe explains. Before he was on the water...Beau was swimming in it! He was a state qualifier in breast stroke during high school. In fact, he didn't even start rowing until college, where the UW-Madison coach first discovered him. 'I said, you know, you gotta give it a shot. So he did, and everything worked out pretty well," Jim recalls. But it's been a long 10 years...with a lot of time away from family. "Oh yeah, you always miss him. He's been busy, preparing for this," Debe says. The Hoopmans weren't able to make it to Beijing this year, but they still got to watch Beau race live...Thanks to the Internet! "Well, we watched it on the computer at 4:15 in the morning...When he comes up, yeah, you look at him. I noticed he hadn't shaved in awhile," Debe laughs. Now...They look forward to having Beau home for awhile. "He's got a niece he hasn't seen since Christmas, and she's growing like a weed," Debe says. It's also a time for Beau to consider what the future holds. "I would say as far as competitive rowing, it's probably winding down for him.... He had talked a little bit about coaching. I think he could do a good job," Jim speculates. "What he does with his future...who knows! Opportunity's around every corner," Debe points out. Beau majored in Biological Aspects of Conservation at UW. Fellow badger Micah Boyd is also part of the winning U.S. Men's 8 team.
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