Things to know about US Rower Billy Bender

Born on 9 July, 2001, Norwich, Vermont, William “Billy” Bender is an American rower who earned the bronze medal at the 2021 IRA National Championships in Varsity Eight, the 2024 U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Team Trials in Rowing, and the 2023 USRowing Senior National Team Trials in Pair event. Billy is also eligible to compete in the 2024 Olympics in Paris.

Billy Bender qualifies for the Paris Olympics 2024

William Bender, a student studying engineering sciences at Dartmouth College, and his teammate Oliver Bub, an alumnus of Dartmouth from the class of 2020, have qualified for the 2024 Summer Olympic Games in Paris, France. They achieved this by winning the men’s pair event at the US Olympic and Paralympic Team Trials held in Sarasota, Florida. Bender and Bub emerged victorious in the men’s pair event at the Olympic trials.

During Sunday’s men’s pair final race, Bender and Bub were in the fourth position at the midway point. However, they surged ahead in the final 1,000 meters and finished with a time of 6 minutes and 54.64 seconds, nearly three seconds ahead of the second-place finishers, who clocked 6 minutes and 57.37 seconds.

Previously, in the summer of 2023, Bender competed with his then-partner Evan Olson and secured the fifth position at the World Rowing Championships. This result qualified the men’s pair boat class for the Olympics. Consequently, Bender and Bub’s victory at the US Olympic Trials allowed them to directly qualify for the Paris Olympics in 2024.

“The race was good. We did a really good job of executing our race plan,” “I’m obviously really excited about making the team. It became clear to me this summer that it’s a totally different level than college or U23, and I’m stoked to get a chance to compete with, and against, all of these really talented guys.”

said Bender to USRowing.

Bender was introduced to rowing by his Elder Brother

William “Billy” Bender was born on 9 July, 2001, he a student at Dartmouth College, was raised in Norwich, Vermont. He went to Hanover High School. Billy is tall, standing at 6 feet 5 inches (195 cm) and weighing 195 pounds (88 kg).

Billy was born to parents Bill and Mary Bender. He has two brothers and one sister. His father, Bill, is an alumnus of Dartmouth College, class of 1978. One of Billy’s brothers, Ryan, rowed for four years at Colgate University.

Billy is a local kid, having attended Hanover High School, located right across the street from Memorial Field. He competed for three years on the rowing team and alpine ski team at his high school, captaining both teams. Billy’s father gives credit to his son’s coach, Wyatt Allen, an Olympic rower himself, for Billy’s success.

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It was Billy’s older brother who first introduced the whole family to the sport of rowing. Billy’s older sister also took part in rowing. The small rural town of Norwich, Vermont, where Billy grew up, has a history of producing Olympians, with 11 people from this town of just 3,500 residents making it to the Olympics. The coaches at Hanover High School were also experienced and highly accomplished rowers.

Billy enjoys outdoor activities like downhill skiing, cross-country skiing, water skiing, and hiking. His neighbor was his novice rowing coach and had been the captain of Harvard’s 1975 “Rude and Smooth” crew team. This neighbor got Billy’s older brother hooked on rowing when he attended Colgate, and Billy followed suit after his brother.

Billy began rowing when he was 14 years old

Billy Bender began rowing when he was 14 years old, following the path of his older brothers and sister who had taken up the sport before him.

In the year 2021, Bender won a Silver Medal while competing in the eight-person boat event at the World Rowing Under 23 Championships. That same year, he secured third place in the Varsity Eight event at the IRA National Championships.

William rowing at the U-23 World Rowing Championship 2021
Image: William rowing at the U-23 World Rowing Championship 2021 (Source: Dartmouth Heavies)

In 2023, Bender finished in fifth position in the pair event at the World Rowing Championships. Later that year, he won the pair event at the USRowing Senior National Team Trials.