DeKalb twins ready to row for Olympic gold - – Rockford’s News Leader

DeKalb twins ready to row for Olympic gold

Ross James (with hat) rowing in Lucerne, Switzerland. Ross James (with hat) rowing in Lucerne, Switzerland.
U.S. Men's Eight rowing in Lucerne, Switzerland. U.S. Men's Eight rowing in Lucerne, Switzerland.
Grant James (in orange hat) getting ready. Grant James (in orange hat) getting ready.
The James twins. The James twins.

Two DeKalb natives look to take London by storm as they head to the 2012 Olympics.  The men have been training for the U.S. team the last few years but this was actually not a life long dream.

That's because Grant and Ross James only took up rowing when they got to college at the University of Wisconsin.  The, then engineering students, would never even have thought to go out for the team until a letter in the mail changed the path of their life.

"We got a postcard in the mail from Madison, Wisconsin when we got accepted there and it was inquiring whether or not you were 6'2" or over and if you wanted to try rowing," says Ross James.

Besides some rock climbing and baseball Grant and Ross James considered themselves more adventurous than athletic. In fact, the twins are expert marksman. In 2006, they won the National Championship for High Power Rifle Marksmanship. Before rowing became their new sport of choice.

"It wasn't something that we were naturally good at. But I think one of our advantages is when we try something we try and excel. I think just part of our natural attitude to stay positive and keep working at it and overtime it just became something we were good at," says Ross James

This year as they tried out for the Olympic Rowing Team Grant and Ross had to battle to earn their place in the eight man boat.  Grant was an early pick, but Ross was left wondering if he would have to cheer his brother on from the sidelines of the Olympics.

"It came down to Ross and one other rower to the last day and they kept switching and eventually when they got done racing they took a vote and they voted for Ross," says Grant James.

Grant did not vote so his brother would earn the final spot on the team without bias.  Now the two hope to propel each other and the Men's Eight to Olympic gold.

"Every practice counts cause we are counting down the days. We just have to stay sharp.  Go out and take care of business," says Ross James.

"Stay tuned and keep watching," says Grant James.

You can stay tuned right here on the stations of NBC.  The Men's Eight starts July 28th.  The finals will be on August 1st.

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