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44 days to Rio: The Oarsome Foursome at Barcelona 1992

James Tomkins was stroke of the Oarsome Foursome. (Sarah Ewart / Wiki Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0)
22nd June, 2016
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The ‘Oarsome Foursome’, Australia’s most famous rowers, became household names during the early 1990s, as the group took out the gold medal in the coxless fours at the Barcelona 1992 Olympic Games.

Andrew Cooper, Nick Green, Mike McKay and James Tomkins – the former three having already taken out the world championships in 1990 alongside Sam Patten – went to the Olympics and got the better of the United States of America and Slovakia.

» VIEW THE OLYMPIC MEDAL TALLY HERE

The Olympic Games gold medal was even more special for the quartet after they had looked shaky during the lead-up regattas, struggling to hold off the likes of America, the Netherlands and Slovakia.

It took a seat swap between Cooper and Green, plus the implementation of short, cleaver-like blades and a month-long intensive training camp for the team to bounce back and win gold.

It was not only a calm yet dominant performance in the final of the event, but they also came home with victory in their heats and semi-finals, never once looking out of place or under pressure.

The popularity of the team grew out of sight in Australia, earning the nickname the ‘Moomba Monarchs’ and appearing in advertisements for Australian company Goulburn Valley.

It kicked off a golden era for rowing in Australia, particularly in the coxless fours event, with members of the team continuing to compete at the Olympic Games arena right through to the end of 2012, with constant medals won.

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The team came back at Atlanta in 1996, albeit with the retired Cooper replaced in the bow seat by Drew Ginn, and once again won the gold medal, this time ahead of France and Great Britain.

Be sure to follow The Roar as we look back on some of the most memorable moments in Olympic history – be they weird and wacky or brilliant and significant – and count down the days until the Rio Olympics opening ceremony.

The Roar’s countdown to the Rio Olympics

50 days to go: Australia’s first Olympian, Edwin Flack
49 days to go: Brazil capitulate at the 2012 Olympics
48 days to go: Blood in the water during the 1956 Melbourne Olympics
47 days to go: Daniel Carroll, the man who won rugby gold with Australia and America
46 days to go: Margaret Abbott – the golfer who didn’t know she had won gold
45 days to go: Where did all the amateurs go?
44 days to go: Australia’s oarsome foursome
43 days to go: When Korea stood as one
42 Days to go: Oscar Swahn, the oldest Olympian
41 days to go: Edith Bosch – the Olympian not known for her medals
40 days to go: Jane Saville’s heartbreaking Sydney Olympics
39 days to go: Herb Elliot dominates in Rome 1960
38 days to go: Teofilo Stevenson, the boxer who might have beaten Ali
37 days to go: Betty Cuthbert steals the show in Melbourne
36 days to go: Jesse Owens’ heroic performance in Berlin
35 days to go: Eric the Eel steals Sydney’s heart
34 days to go: What happened to Cassius Clay’s gold medal?
33 days to go: Australia’s equestrian brilliance at Barcelona
32 days to go: The Olympic sports which are no longer with us
31 days to go: Debbie Flintoff-King wins on the line
30 days to go: The dominance of basketball’s Dream Team
29 days to go: Nadia Comenaci scores gymnastics’ first-ever perfect score
28 days to go: The man who stopped for a duck
27 days to go: The upset of the Sydney Olympics
26 days to go: Murray Rose’s scintilating Melbourne performance
25 days to go: Greg Louganis’ heroic comeback win
24 days to go: Fencing turns to duelling in Paris
23 days to go: Dawn Fraser’s flag-stealing shenanigans
22 days to go: The most prolific Olympic competitor
21 days to go: Duncan Armstrong’s underdog win in Seoul
20 days to go: Johnny Weissmuller: A brilliant swimmer and Hollywood actor
19 days to go: Majorie Jackson – the Lithgow Flash
18 days to go: Larisa Latynina, the most successful female Olympian
17 days to go: Dimitrios Loundras, the child who won an Olympic medal
16 days to go: Roy Jones Jr is robbed of an Olympic gold
15 days to go: Shane Gould’s superstar performance in Munich
14 days to go: The Kookaburras finally fly to the top of the world
13 days to go: Matthew Mitcham’s historic dive
12 days to go: Even Olympians are prone to the odd fail
11 days to go: Abebe Bikila wins the Olympic marathon running in bare feet
10 days to go: Track cycling’s greatest rivalry
9 days to go: Kieran Perkins’ gold medal from lane eight
8 days to go: Sally Pearson’s awesome run in London
7 days to go: Mark Spitz’ perfect seven gold medals in ’72
6 days to go: Usain Bolt torches the field in Beijing
5 days to go: Michael Klim and Ian Thorpe help smash America’s 4x100m world record like a guitar
4 days to go: Tommie Smith and John Carlos’ defiant black power salute
3 days to go: Michael Phelps – the best to ever grace the Olympics
2 days to go: Cathy Freeman delivers with the weight of a country on her back
1 day to go: Ian Thorpe – Australia’s finest Olympian