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OFFICE OF news communications

News Archive


June 8, 2012

CONTACT: Gregory J. Forester gregory.forester@tuhs.temple.edu


Team Temple races to the finish line

Team Temple races to the finish line. Photo by Daniel Burke Photography


Temple physicians, medical students, and staff took to the Schuylkill River on June 4 to compete in the 2012 Independence Dragon Boat Regatta, representing Temple University School of Medicine, Temple University Hospital (TUH), TUH-Episcopal Campus, TUH-Northeastern Campus, and Jeanes Hospital in dozens of boat races.

During the race – an annual Temple tradition, of sorts – teams piloted traditional Chinese dragon boats, complete with decorative dragon heads and tails. Racers rowed in unison, directed by a drummer pounding rhythmic beats. This year, four Temple boats competed in the races: Temple Emergency Medicine, Temple Administration, Temple Jeanes Team, and TUH Cherry Bombs.


Team Temple prepares for race.  Photo by Daniel Burke Photobraphy

Team Temple prepares for race. Photo by Daniel Burke Photobraphy

Veteran racer and international Dragon Boat competitor Robert McNamara, MD, Professor and Chair of Emergency Medicine, was in the Temple Emergency Medicine boat for its first-place finish in the final race, which earned the boat a Gold prize. It finished first and second in two earlier races. TUH Cherry Bombs notched a second-place finish in their final race, while Temple Administration narrowly missed a second-place finish in its final, losing to the Jeanes boat by a little more than a single second.

In this and other races, the Jeanes Hospital boat benefitted from the expertise of a colleague and Dragon Boat racing veteran who found herself unable to row this season because of health challenges. Instead of packing it in and staying home, Jeanes Education Coordinator Ginny Tokarski contributed in another way – by putting her years of boating experience to use as a coach and motivator.

During the races, she organized and inspired the team from the shoreline and joined friends and family in rooting for the Jeanes Hospital boat.

Congratulations to all of the “Team Temple” rowers…and their family and friends who cheered them to victory. When Temple staff join other competitors in modern-day Dragon Boat races, they pay respect to Chinese folklore surrounding the original Dragon Boat races. The legend, set in the year 278 B.C., centers on the response of locals to the drowning of Chinese statesman Qu Yuan in the Milou River.

In a futile rescue attempt, scores of local fishermen rushed out in their boats. Others banged drums with an eye towards keeping away dragons and fish from the site of the drowning, spawning many of the features of today’s races.