When Jeremiah was a boy he wanted to be a hero. He used to climb up his parents’ TV antenna and sit on the roof looking out over all the other roofs in his hometown of Port Hope, Ontario, wondering who needed saving. His little sister, Julia, would stand at the bottom and say, “Be careful, Jeremiah!” His older sister, Jenny, would stand beside her saying, “I’m telling Mom and Dad!”
Once Jeremiah realized being Batman wasn’t practical, he turned to sports. He grew up playing hockey, but never got to a heroic level. Next, he decided to learn how to play football at McMaster University. He started feeling nearly heroic, but then tore his shoulder apart in his senior year. Faced with the threateningly predictable path of career, marriage, baby, mortgage (not necessarily in that order), Jeremiah decided one last time to try and become a hero. He began learning how to row.
Fast forward three and a half years.
With three hundred meters to go in his Olympic final race and thirty thousand fans roaring on either side, Jeremiah had only one thought: I don’t want to be a hero anymore, I just want this pain to end!
Well, he’s glad he persevered along with his eight teammates in the boat because they went on to win the silver medal just behind Germany, who took gold.
While standing on the podium and receiving his medal, his German mother was the happiest mom at the Olympics because she got to see a nice man put a medal around her son’s neck while hearing her native German anthem. And as Jeremiah stood on the podium with his eight other brothers from the boat, he thought to himself: This is the most heroic moment of my life.
The 2012 Canadian Men’s Eight: Brian Price, Will Crothers, Jeremiah Brown, Andrew Byrnes, Malcolm Howard, Conlin McCabe, Rob Gibson, Doug Csima, Gabe Bergen.