Two former McMaster University student athletes led Canada's men's eight rowing team to a silver medal Wednesday.

Jeremiah Brown and Doug Csima are former McMaster Marauders.

Csima was on the rowing team at Mac and Brown was a member of the McMaster football team. 

Brown picked up rowing after his university football career ended.

The Canadians couldn't defend their Olympic title against the Germans but the silver was good enough to become the country's fifth medal of the Olympics.

Thursday morning CBC's Heather Hiscox spoke with Brown as well as his parents Jonathan and Bettina Brown.

Germany dominated the race at Eton Dorney from start to finish — winning gold with a time of 5:48.75, just ahead of the Canadians, who rowed to a 5:49.98 time. The Germans have not been defeated since 2009.

Great Britain spent most of the race level with Germany, but settled for bronze with a time of 5:51.18.

"An unreal race, we were so stoked," said Csima of Oakville. "We executed our plan exactly and it was a great feeling rowing through the British in the last 250 metres. We're happy."

Canada, the defending Olympic champions, had to earn their spot in the final through Monday's repechage, where they finished second after placing last in their heat on Saturday. Germany and the United States dominated their heats on Day 1 to advance directly to the final.

The Canadian crew had only three returning members from their gold medal-winning Beijing team — Toronto's Andrew Byrnes, Victoria's Malcolm Howard and coxswain Brian Price of Belleville, Ont.

With files from the Canadian Press