Osprey Oars - Endorsements and Testimonials

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Rowing shaped my adult life, instilling in me the importance of hard work, preparation, and time management. The sport's emphasis on camaraderie amongst individuals striving to create something greater than themselves has cemented the way that I interact and collaborate with others. And, for me, it all started with Peter de Manio." Jonathan Smith, Pine View and Yale University.

“I moved to Sarasota in 1994-95 specifically to row for Peter de Manio, who coached the premier rowing program in Florida and the Southeastern U.S. While there, my teammate, Kevin O’Neil, and I were both recruited by numerous top collegiate rowing programs and we both went on to row for Princeton University. Since graduation, I have coached rowing at Princeton, Rutgers and now at Leon High School. Peter’s rowing program made this possible for me as it helped dozens of other athletes at every significant college rowing program in this country. This illustrates the lasting impact that Peter has had on so many people.” Dan Newman, Sarasota HS, Princeton University.

”My entire life changed through rowing, thanks to Peter and his efforts. He helped me to become a two-time Junior U.S. National Team member with one silver medal and a four-time Senior U.S. National Team member with one gold medal and one silver medal in the World Championships. He always has the best interest of the crew at heart. A young athlete interested in the best possible foundation in rowing can’t do any better than starting with Peter.” Bill Plifka, 1998 World Champion Silver Medal, 1999 World Champion Gold Medal

“Experienced athletes recognize that training with Coach de Manio provides some of the best physical, technical and mental conditioning available to youth rowers nationwide. His winning record as a coach speaks for itself.” Chris Liwski, 2004 US Olympic Rowing Team, 2003 Pan American Games Gold

“I will never forget the Head of the Charles, and not only beating Navy, but starting a bitter rivalry that would go on for another four years as I rowed on scholarship at Syracuse University. Looking back, I realize how lucky I was to get an amazing education for free. I only have Peter to thank for this, the rowing memories, and for molding me into a person who knows that nothing is too hard, nothing is out of reach. He played a tremendous part in where I am today and I thank him wholeheartedly.” Matthew Liwski, D.P.M., Riverview H.S., Syracuse University

"It takes time and distance to gain perspective on past events and it has been over fourteen years since I rowed for Peter. My decision to join his team was the defining point in my life. All the things one hears about what rowing can do for a young person’s outlook on life and how it shapes young minds (and bodies) into improved versions of themselves are true. There are very few coaches that I have ever met or heard of that facilitate this process with more zest, flair and a sense of purpose, than Peter. Although my rowing days are long gone, I have never been more aware of what he has done for me and for hundreds of other young people who have gone through his program. " Dinko Vucemilovic, Riverview H.S., Harvard University, Wharton MBA

"I provide Critical Care to all patients while in the operating room. I am expected to understand the thousands of medications in the pharmacy and how they will interact with my anesthetic and how to appropriately use them in conjunction with my anesthetic. When anything goes wrong, the anesthesiologist is the person everyone looks to to fix it. Peter, I just wanted you to know what my job was like since you were part of how I got here.” Stephen Nemeth, Riverview HS, University of Florida, University of South Florida, MD.

“You have been an inspiration to me and many others by personally resurrecting youth rowing in Florida. With your time, resources and a great family, you have provided lots of ‘kids’ with outstanding opportunities. Thanks.” Stan Bergman, Head Rowing Coach University of Pennsylvania

“Thanks to Peter’s dedication to coaching excellence and a genuine interest in all of his athletes, our crews enjoyed great successes on the water. Peter also created many opportunities for me personally, and I received several full athletic scholarship offers from top universities. The intangible lessons learned by being a member of Peter’s team have served me extremely well as a person, a student and an athlete.” Grant Earl, Cardinal Mooney, ’95, 1994 United States Junior National Team, Northeastern University, ‘00.


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