Robert Silk from the Class of 1984 has always been a fierce competitor – his records speak to that. But he also recognizes the powerful role that teamwork and coaching play in building champions. As a swimmer, he won Ridley’s first OFSSA medal. As a rower, he won the Stotesbury Cup and two CSSRA championships. He was offered a full athletic scholarship to Temple University in Philadelphia, where he found himself in a boat with a number of rowers he had beat out in the Stotesbury Cup race. “They hated me at first,” he recalls. “But it taught me the importance of competition. Some of those guys who hated me my first few days at Temple are now some of my best friends.” His Temple crew pulled together to win several gold medals and championships, including the memorable Augusta Invitational in Georgia, where they beat Oxford University in the final. His list of positive influences from his Ridley days is extensive, starting with Rick Coy, his Lower School football coach. He also notes Paul Lewis, Rick Rasmussen, Neil Campbell – who pushed him beyond what he knew he could do – and assistant football coach Dennis Hull, who always reminded players in the huddle to just go out and have fun. “That’s something,” he cautions, “that I think athletes forget sometimes.” Well, let's hope he's having fun today.
“None of us could do this alone; I know that my teammates have carried me a lot of times.”