California State University, Long Beach

Seasons Greetings from the BCA Board of Directors

Thursday, 24. December 2015

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Dear Beach Crew Alumni and Friends of Long Beach State Rowing:

As 2015 draws to a close, we want to express our gratitude to all of our alums, parents, and friends who make our efforts possible. This year brought us some great additions, including the dedications of the John D. Boyle 8+ and the Joan Lind Van Blom 8+. We also saw what happens when we lose someone so special from our community. We all came together. That’s what makes Beach Crew a part of our lives, and it’s one that will be a part of you forever.

The BCA continues to play an advisory role with the team’s annual operation. This year, we welcomed new additions to our coaching staff and have been grateful of their efforts and expertise. One addition we are proud of are the new corporate and business sponsorships, such as the Boathouse on the Bay restaurant. Many of these sponsors have committed annual support to our cause and we are grateful to have this support. The BCA continues to coordinate the Naples Island College Sprints and Head Race with USRowing. There will be some changes to this event next fall, including making it a one-day event and pushing it ahead in November. We continue to be a channel partner with The Rowing Channel (TRC), an effort launched in 2014 by a number of west coast higher-education institutions and the American Collegiate Rowing Association, to bring live coverage of our major events to you. The BCA Saturday Rows continue to be a hit, seeing new and familiar faces from time to time. This has been inspiring our community to get back in a boat. We were daring enough to enter an 8+ in the Men’s Alumni 8+ at the San Diego Crew Classic, only to be shattered by a broken rudder during the first heat.

In 2016, the BCA will be rolling out a new 501(c)3 non-profit corporation. It is currently in final development. This will enable us to get even more of every dollar that you give directly to our efforts and the team’s operations. As we move into the Fall, Beach Crew will enter its 60th racing season and there is movement for a “diamond jubilee” celebration. Our records of activity back in 1956 are still a blur, but we’ve been able to confirm things from our co-founder, Dr. Ludwig Spolyar, from these early days. Nonetheless, you will hear more about this next year as we get closer.

The campus announced that 90,000 students have applied for the Fall 2016 semester, and we are hoping to get a few excellent athletes from that pool. In our own efforts, over 200 people have inquired through BeachCrew.org/join directly to us about rowing at LBSU since we first launched the effort back in Fall 2013. There’s no doubt that people want to come to Long Beach. We definitely have something special here.

Before we sign off for the rest of the year, we’d like to remind everyone that if you have not updated your membership for this academic year, please consider that there is still time for a tax deductible donation to the BCA. Your support is making a huge difference in building a quality rowing team at LBSU. You can still send your $25 membership fee and any other contribution via http://beachcrew.org/alumni/donate

The team’s Spring 2016 schedule will be released in January. All of us wish you the best for the holidays and into the new year.

 

Give Now

Go Beach!

Brandin Grams ’10
Director of Outreach

Remembering Joan Lind Van Blom (1952-2015)

Saturday, 29. August 2015

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Friday, August 28, 2015
UPDATED: September 7, 2015 11:47PM PDT

By: Brandin Grams (’10, B.S., business)
Director of Outreach, Beach Crew Alumni Association
CSU Long Beach 49er Foundation

Photo Credits: Hope Wilkinson, Karen Keehn (1973, B.A., psychology), Jean Strauss, Andi Parsons, Carol Beard, Maddison Kerst

 

LONG BEACH, CA —

Lind_2Long Beach State has lost a legend in the 49er Hall of Fame, only to be remembered by her endless prowess for success and as an ambassador to the sport of rowing. Forget just being a role model, to many, she was a hero. She was a fierce competitor, but also passionate of promoting Physical Education throughout her career.

Joan (Lind) Van Blom (1974, B.A., physical education; 1976, credential)  passed away in the morning hours on Friday, August 28, 2015, after a near two-year battle with complications of glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), the most aggressive form of brain cancer. She was 62. Prior to this time, Joan’s story was that of a storybook, whose athletic achievement became a legend. But on August 21, 2013, at the Pete Archer Rowing Center, she collapsed after an indoor rowing session, depicting the fate of what’s to come.

Joan was the first woman to win an Olympic medal for the United States in rowing, taking silver in the single sculls at the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal, and another in the quadruple sculls at the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles. Joan was also a member of the 1980 Olympic team, which boycotted the Moscow Games. She not only medaled as a rower, but also medaled internationally as a coach in the Pan American Games, and currently holds 11 world records on the indoor ergometer.

11951883_10153557286702298_4070469725516771882_nJoan had a 35-year career with the Long Beach Unified School District as a physical education teacher and was instrumental in winning a million-dollar grant to put rowing machines in each of her school district’s nine high schools. Joan retired in 2012.

Through the years, Joan was inducted into the 49er Hall of Fame and was declared a Lifetime Member of the Long Beach Rowing Association, marking her never-ending achievement in advocacy for the sport and healthy living. She was inducted into the National Rowing Hall of Fame in 1985. Joan is part of the Long Beach Century Club‘s best moments in the City of Long Beach, instated February, 2006.

For all of her accomplishments, dedication to rowing and contributions to the sport’s growth, Van Blom was named the recipient of the 2014 USRowing Ernestine Bayer Award, formerly Woman of the Year, which recognizes outstanding contributions to women’s rowing and/or to an outstanding woman in rowing.

The award is named in honor of the late Ernestine Bayer, a pioneer in women’s rowing, who is seen as the matriarch of the sport in the United States. Joan was honored on Saturday, December 6, at the 2014 USRowing Annual Awards Reception presented by Nathan Benderson Park in Jacksonville, FL


 

Joan is survived by her husband John Van Blom (1972, B.A., art) and their son, John Jr. John is a four-time Olympian and was also inducted into the 49er Hall of Fame. Joan has two sisters, Loretta Madsen and Carol Hansen. Both entries can be seen at the 49er Hall of Fame, located at the Walter Pyramid, Ukleja Room, on the CSULB campus.

 

Recent Activities

On February 21, 2014, the Beach Crew Alumni Association hosted John and Joan Van Blom for an interview at the 49er Hall of Fame, conducted by Dave Straley (’72). The interview can be seen on the Beach Crew Alumni Association’s YouTube page. It is also available for viewing by appointment at the University Archives, Room 300, third floor of the CSULB Library.

 

Racing Shell Dedication

After a successful annual membership drive Fall 2014, the Beach Crew Alumni Association announced the dedication of two racing shells introduced in the Spring 2015 racing season. A Women’s Resolute 8+ shell was dedicated as the Joan Lind Van Blom. The Men’s golden Vespoli 8+ shell was dedicated to a influential and respected alum, John D. Boyle. The dedication ceremony was Saturday March 7, 2015, after racing commenced at the Southern California Opening Day Regatta. CSULB President, Dr. Jane Close Conoley was in attendance and made a special presentation. The ceremony was broadcasted by The Rowing Channel (TRC) and can be viewed at their website.

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Biography

Jean Strauss, a former Long Beach-native, has been involved during this time with Joan’s biography, titled, “The Olympian,” scheduled to be released in Spring 2016, 40 years after her first Olympic race. She invites everyone to see a preview of what’s in the works:

Joan Lind – America’s Sculler from Jean A. S. Strauss on Vimeo. At the 2015 San Diego Crew Classic, Olympians and National Team Members talk about Joan Lind Van Blom and the impact she had on the early years of women’s international rowing – and the impact she continues to have to this day.

JOAN – on rowing from Jean A. S. Strauss on Vimeo. Joan Lind Van Blom is a two time Olympic silver medalist. The first woman to ever win a rowing medal for the US at the Olympics (Montreal, 1976), she represents a generation of women who, once given the opportunity to compete, raised the level of athleticism and grace in a sport that for over a millennia was the domain of men only. This short film contains footage from a documentary currently in production.

 

Related Articles:

Other Videos:

 

Memorial

Plans for a memorial are set for Saturday, October 10, 4:00PM to sunset at the Pete Archer Rowing Center. Please RSVP to JoanCelebration@gmail.com. This article will be updated below of such plans. Our community subscribed to the B-Newsline will be notified of these events.

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Photo Credits

Larger Photos: Hope Wilkinson
Earlier/B&W Photos: Karen Keehn (1973, B.A., psychology)
Where Credited: Andi Parsons, Maddison Kerst, Carol Beard

Shells to be Dedicated to John D. Boyle & Joan Lind Van Blom

Saturday, 31. January 2015

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After a successful annual membership drive last fall, the Beach Crew Alumni Association is proud to announce the dedication of two racing shells being introduced in the spring racing season. We are honored to have the Women’s Resolute 8+ shell dedicated to our 49er Hall of Fame recipient, Joan (Lind) Van Blom. The Men’s golden Vespoli 8+ shell will be dedicated to a influential and respected alum, John D. Boyle.

Please join us for Dedication Day, Saturday March 7, 2:00 PM, after racing has commenced at the Southern California Opening Day Regatta, right here at the Long Beach State Boathouse. Come hear a special presentation from our guest of honor, CSULB President, Dr. Jane Close Conoley.

Racing starts at 8:00AM with a series of time trials for the sprints later in the morning.

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The entire day will be broadcasted thanks to our partnership with TRC. Coverage starts at 7:00AM. http://beachcrew.org/live

Pete Archer Rowing Center
5750 Boathouse Lane
Long Beach

ABOUT JOHN D. BOYLE

John Boyle embodied the contrast of rowing’s comfortable intensity. His dedication and loyalty made him an example for his boat mates and team members to follow. Although his time with us was far too short, his influence has continued on. John rowed on the varsity crew from 1984-1986. His boat won the V8+ event at WIRA in 1984 & 1986. He coached the Women’s Novice team from 1989-1991.

ABOUT JOAN (LIND) VAN BLOM

Joan (Lind) Van Blom was the first woman to win an Olympic medal for the United States in rowing, taking silver in the single sculls at the 1976 Olympic Games and in the quadruple sculls at the 1984 Olympics. She has not only medaled as a rower, but also medaled internationally as a coach in the Pan American Games, and currently holds 11 world records on the ergometer.

She has been an ambassador for the sport, raising over a million dollars in grants to bring rowing to high school students and teachers. She currently teaches rowing classes on the ergometer to non-rowers at the Pete Archer Boathouse and inspirationally continues to train and compete.