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Rio 2016 Olympic Calympian: Olivier Siegelaar, Men's rowing, Netherlands

The Cal Mechanical Engineer alum and 3rd time Olympian with the Netherlands is still seeking his first Olympic medal after two close calls.

Sporting the headband in seat 2, Cal alum Olivier Siegelaar will be racing in his 3rd Olympic games in Rio.
Sporting the headband in seat 2, Cal alum Olivier Siegelaar will be racing in his 3rd Olympic games in Rio.
Srdjan Stevanovic/Getty Images

Olivier Siegelaar

Sport: Men's Rowing (Eight)

Country: Netherlands

Twitter: Olivier is not on Twitter (as far as I can tell) but his boat @hollandacht is (but most tweets are in Dutch)

Birthday: October 24th, 1986 (age 29)

Hometown: Delft, The Netherlands

Cal affiliation: California Golden Bears alum (Mechanical Engineering '13)

Years at Cal: 2009 - 2011

Olympic appearances: 2008 Beijing (Eight, 4th), 2012 London (Eight, 5th), 2016 Rio (Eight)

CGB's 2012 London Profile on Olivier Siegelaar

Cal Achievements:

Olivier Siegelaar rowed in the Cal Men's Crew Varsity 8 boat in his Sophomore (2009), Junior (2010), and Senior (2011) year. The Golden Bears finished 2nd, 1st, and 3rd in those year, respectively. The 2009 Cal V8 boat won the Pac-10 title, while finishing 2nd in the 2010 and 2011.

Olivier is a member of the 2010 National Champions boat with fellow Rio Calympians in Nareg Guregian (USA) and Will Dean (Canada). Interestingly, the three former teammates are all in different events in Rio.

International Achievements:

Olivier started rowing in 1999 (age 13) and made his International debut at the 2004 World Rowing Junior Championships when his crew finished 3rd. He rowed in the U23 World Rowing Championships in 2006 before advancing to the senior team in 2007.

Interestingly, his first International Eight competition came in the 2008 Beijing Olympic when his Dutch team finished in 4th place behind a U.S. team coached by current Cal Men's Crew coach Mike Teti. Olivier actually suffered an injury and missed the Repechage race but was back for the Final.

In London 2012, Olivier and the Dutch 8 had to go through the Repechage to make it to the final again. They finished in 5th place, just 0.5 seconds off the Bronze medal. The United States with Calympian coxswain Zachary Vlahos (a very friendly guy who I have met and watched the 2012 Cal Football game at Ohio State in a DC bar with...since he was visiting the White House) finished in 4th place.

Olivier and the Dutch 8 placed 3rd in the 2009 and 2015 World Rowing Championships. He also owns several 2nd and 3rd place finishes at the various World Rowing Cup throughout the years. The Dutch team is consistently good but never the best.

Olivier's full International results can be found here.

More on Olivier and his Rio chances:

A rare Cal student-athlete that is the graduate of the University of California, Berkeley School of Engineering, Olivier Siegelaar is an Olympics vet with his native Netherlands. Judging from LinkedIn profile, when he is not training for the Olympic, he is working as a Trader/Quant for Roca Markets. That is probably fairly unique amongst the Olympians in Rio.

In Rio, Olivier will be in the Dutch Eight boat with coxswain Peter Wiersum, Robert Lucken, Mechiel Versluis, Tone Wieten, Boudewijn Röell, Kaj Hendriks, Boaz Meylink, and Dirk Uittenbogaard. Wiersum is the only other guy that remains from the Dutch Eight boats that raced in London and Beijing with Olivier.

Being 6 foot 6 inches tall and 220 pound, Olivier has the look of a superhero. He more than look the part though. Just a few days ago, Olivier made the news in Amsterdam for saving a young woman from being raped.

I had to Google Translate the article from Dutch but the gist is that Olivier was a good Samaritan on the street (at The Spui) when he pulled a drugged out 21 year old off a young woman and subdued the would be rapist until the cops showed up. He brushed off his deed as something that anyone would have done but wouldn't mind some good karma for Rio.

After just missing out on a medal in his previous two Olympics, Olivier and his current crew has posted some competitive results in the past months. The Dutch Eight boat should again be in the mix for a medal and may that good karma be the difference for them in earning an Olympic medal.

Best of luck to Olivier and ROW ON YOU BEARS!