The boat completed the 2,000-meter race with a time of 5:34.23, about three seconds behind the Netherlands, the bronze medal winning team.
Women's fencing: Ibtihaj Muhammad came to the Olympics determined to show the world that Muslim-American women can excel in sports. "It was a very, very aggressive; it was a fist fight as it comes".
However, for Team USA, finishing second in the pool is an accomplishment that nobody would have expected after its performance in London four years ago.
"We controlled it from the start". When we know that, I think it hits us a bit harder. "These guys were magnificent today, absolute gladiators".
That led Grainger and Thornley to revive their double sculls boat - the silver they won on Thursday making Grainger Great Britain's most decorated female Olympian - with the eight then creating their own piece of history. Team GB looked set to miss out the podium having been last at the halfway stage, but a late surge saw them pip the teams from Romania and early leaders Canada, to finish behind the Americans.
As reigning world champions, Team GB were odds-on favourites for the men's event, and were dominant from the start.
The U.S. women's eight rowing team established itself as a dynasty after they took home their third consecutive Olympic gold medal in the event.
Katie Greves, Melanie Wilson, Frances Houghton, Polly Swann, Jessica Eddie, Olivia Carnegie-Brown, Karen Bennett, Zoe Lee and cox Zoe de Toledo crossed the line in six minutes 3.98 seconds - just 0.12 seconds ahead of the bronze medallists. "I am so proud of these nine girls but there are about 50 more behind us who got us here".
Reed added: "I've never been so ready for an Olympic Games before". "It wasn't by any means a ideal row, and I'm sure we had more in the tank". "We don't ever like to do that".