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Asuw Shell House

Gus's Celebration of Life

With all the hype of the movie The Boys in the Boat (directed by George Clooney) which follows the story of the University of Washington rowing team who won Gold at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, we were honored to plan the Celebration of Life for another University of Washington rowing Olympian. Gordon (Gus) Stephen Giovanelli was born in Everett, Washington. Gus was a gifted athlete playing both basketball and football at Queen Anne High School. However when WWII broke out Gus enlisted and left High School to serve 4 years in the US Coast Guard in the South Pacific. Upon his return from the war, Gus enrolled at the University of Washington on the GI bill. Due to an old football injury, he tried out for the rowing team. His 4 man crew with coxswain won the US Olympic trials and soon they traveled on the luxury ship S. S. America, a six day trip, to compete in the 1948 Olympics Games in London where the rowing competition was held on the Thames River in Henley, England. Led by their coach, master rowing shell builder George Pocock, the crew won the final competition, earning Gold in the 1948 Olympic Games. From bow to stern, Gordon (Gus) Giovanelli, Robert (Bob) Will, Robert (Bob or Ox) Martin, Warren (Wes) Westland and coxswain, Allen Morgan have been inducted in 5 Hall of Fames for their spot in sports history. While his life story and travels extended far beyond the University of Washington, his biggest passion always remained Husky sports. We celebrated Gus’s life and the legacy he and his team left behind at the ASUW Shell House. What an incredible honor it was to plan this event and learn more about the history of University of Washington rowing.

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