For Harvard’s 1968 Olympic crew, a visit to New London for the 4-mile race with Yale brings back magical memories

BGl/ Sports print scan. 9/27/1968 The Harvard eight man rowing team, that will compete as the U.S. entry in the upcoming Olympics in mexico City, has been training on Gunnison River in Western Colorado since early September. The team works out at altitude of 7.703 feet, which approximates the altitude of of Mexico City. Associate Press file photo. slug:Harvardcrew
Harvard’s 1968 crew team trained at altitude on the Gunnison River in Western Colorado for the Mexico City Games, where it represented the United States and qualified for the championship final.AP file photo

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Harvard’s 1968 crew came back to New London, Conn., on Saturday to revisit Red Top, the enchanted place by the Thames River from where the varsity embarked upon the magical mystery tour that brought them to Olympus and has bound them together for 45 years.

“It’s wonderful to revisit these moments,” mused Steve Brooks, the youngest member of that eight, who stroked the boat in the final at Mexico City.

“It’s a great way to come back and to pay tribute to Harry.” Harry Parker — no name needed now or then — still is coaching the varsity, and Sunday morning he’ll be marking the 50th anniversary of his first year at the helm when he sends out his varsity for the 148th 4-miler with archrival Yale.

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