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2 for the Gold Olympics challenge: Big Al and Cayden try rowing with Tulsa University team

Posted at 3:08 PM, Aug 02, 2012
and last updated 2016-07-29 12:54:09-04

This story was originally published on Aug. 2, 2012.

TULSA - Rowing is all about endurance, and as such it's one of the most physically demanding Olympic sports.

There are two different types of rowing: sweeping and sculling.

Sweeping, much like the name suggests, requires the use of one oar, with the athlete only rowing on one side of the boat. This is the type of rowing used in the esteemed men's and women's eight.

Sculling, in turn, requires the use of two oars, one in each hand. Among the 14 different Olympic events eight are sculls and six are sweeps.

So can I do it?

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With Cayden McFarland at my side, we headed to the "tank" at the University of Tulsa.

The "tank" is the indoor rowing facility in the TU rowing team locker room.

Once there, Cayden and I got on the stationary rowing machines, which seemed simple enough.

Until we started rowing.

"You're always going to pull in," said the coach.

From there we got in the water at the tank.

Cayden and I did our best. We rowed at 24 strokes a minute. An average rate would be around 32 strokes a minute. Olympic rowers? They reach anywhere between 40 and 47 strokes per minute.

Olympians we are not!

But hey, we at least gave it a shot. And we got to work on one of our favorite nursery rhymes. Before we got out of the water, Cayden and I were singing, " Row, row, row your boat gently down the stream..."

Check out the video in the player above to see how we did.

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