OAKLAND, Calif. — From their early days as Boy Scouts to the demanding journey of becoming Eagle Scouts, to their days as national champion shooters and, eventually, top-notch college rowers each studying engineering, twins Grant and Ross James have always taken parallel paths in life.
Both knew that could end as they chased their Olympic dream.
One might make it, while the other stayed home.
Then, Ross landed the last seat in the U.S. eight boat that captured the final spot in the eight-country Olympic field.
Now they’re off to London as Olympic teammates, rowing in neighboring seats to boot.
“We’ve had a lot of similar experiences,” said Ross, who is four minutes younger than his brother.
“We’ve been doing a lot of things throughout our life together and we’ve accomplished a lot of things together, so it’s nice to continue that trend of being with your twin brother. I like to think of him like another teammate. It’s tough, because we won’t always be in the same boat or the same situations.”
For now, they’re thrilled with this rare opportunity – and so is their proud mother, Cindy Warren-James, who raised them on her own.
Teammate Giuseppe Lanzone called it a “very hard decision,” but credited Ross for earning the spot.
Coach Mike Teti said Ross was the most consistent.
US Rowing formally named them to the Olympic roster Tuesday.
The 24-year-old twins credit their do-everything mother for preparing them for just about anything.
A first-grade teacher, she had a family support system within 100 miles of their home in DeKalb, Ill.
Warren-James did all she could to expose her boys to a range of activities, and is quick to thank everyone generous enough to share their expertise along the way.
She encouraged adventure and exploration.
And her sons – who are tough to tell apart on the water when sporting similar red workout caps, though not identical twins – are quick to credit her hard work and tireless energy.
“I don’t know how she did it,” Ross said.